The Ancient Library

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On this page: Eclogue – Edictum – Education



were attached to no particular school, but made a selection of favourite dogmas from the tenets of the different sects.

Eclogue (Gr. EcWgi). A selected piece of writing. Properly a poem taken out of a larger collection, and so applied, under the Roman Empire, to a short poem, as an idyll or satire. The term was specially applied to the pastoral poems of Vergil and Calpurnlus Slculus.

Edictum. The Roman term for any written announcement made by a magis­trate to the people. An edictum was some­times temporary only, as, e.g., the announce­ments of the public assemblies or games; sometimes it contained permanent enact­ments, as, for instance, the edicta of the censors against luxury. The name was especially applied to the proclamations issued by judical functionaries on assuming office, and stating the principles or rules which they intended to follow in the exercise of their authority. The edicta of the aediles relative to the markets belong to this class. One kind of edictum was specially important in its bearing upon Roman law, the edictum of the praetor. In his edictum the praetor laid down the rules which he would observe in arranging the proceedings of the regular courts and of his voluntary jurisdiction, and in deciding cases which did not appear to be covered by the written enact­ments of the Twelve Tables, or later legislation. These edicta, written on wood, stone, or bronze, were in early times pub­lished only as occasion required, but in later times the praetors regularly promul­gated them on entering upon their office. They prevented the fossilization of the law, and allowed the enactments of the Twelve Tables to adapt themselves in natural development to the changing cii'Cumstances of civic life and intercourse. It is true that the edicta had no force beyond the praetor's year of office, but, as every new praetor observed what was found in the edicta of his predecessors, a permanent nucleus of constantly repeated rules, called edictum perpetuum (or continuous edict), was formed in course of time. This be­came, for the later period, a recognised source of customary law, side by side with the legSs proper. At length, under Hadrian, the mass of edicta was reduced to system by Salvius Jullanus, and received the force of law at the imperial command. This body of law included the accepted edicta of the prcetor urbanus and the other

prsetors administering law in the provinces, of the proconsuls, propraetors, and aediles. It was called edictum perpetuum, ius prceWrium, or ius hOnOrtirfum, the latter because its authors had held public offices (hunOrSs). On this collection the Corpus luris of Justinian is in great part founded. The emperor and imperial officials, as proefectus urbl and prcefectus prcetSria, nad also the right of issuing edicta.

Education. (1) Greek. The Dorians of Crete and Sparta followed a peculiar line in the matter of education. Throughout Greece generally the state left it to private effort; but in Sparta and Crete it came under the direct supervision of the com­munity. At Sparta, as soon as a child was born, a commission of the elders of its tribe had to decide whether it should be reared or exposed. If it was weakly or deformed, it was exposed in a defile of Mount Tay-gStus. Till his seventh year, a boy was left to the care of his parents. After this the PaidOndmSs, or officer presiding over the whole department of education, assigned him to a division of children of the same age called a bua. Several of such buas together formed a troop or Ha. Each bua was superintended by a SudgdrSs, each ila by an ITarchiis. Both these officers were elected from among the most promising of the grown up youths, and were bound to instruct the children in their exercises. The exercises were calculated to suit the various ages of the children, and consisted in running, leaping, wrestling, throwing the spear and discus, as well as in a num­ber of dances, particularly the war dance or PyrrMche (see pyrrhic dance). The dancing was under the constant superin­tendence of the Paidonomos, and five Bidycs under him. The discipline was generally directed to strengthening or hardening the body. The boys went bare­foot and bareheaded, with hair cut short, and in light clothing. From their twelfth year they wore nothing but an upper garment, which had to last the whole year. They slept in a common room with­out a roof, on a litter of hay or straw, and from their fifteenth year on rushes or reeds. Their food was extremely simple, and not sufficient to satisfy hunger. A boy who did not want to be hungry had to steal; if he did this cleverly, he was praised, and punished if detected. Every year the boys had to undergo a flogging at the altar of Artemis Orthia, as a test of their power to endure bodily pain. They were whipped

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