The Ancient Library

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On this page: Galli – Gallus – Games



Part of his writings were destroyed in a fire ; in all 125 of his books are lost. About 100 of his genuine treatises have been pre­served : of 19 we have fragments, more or less considerable; the genuineness of 18 is doubted, 24 are spurious. Many have not yet been printed, while others exist only in Latin, Syriac, Hebrew and Arabic transla­tions. For during the Middle Ages, down to the 16th century, the authority of Galen was, throughout the East and West, held, especially by the Arabians, to be unassail­able. A prolific writer like Galen was naturally careless of his style.

His writings leave no branch of medicine untouched. They comprise anatomy, physio­logy, pathology, pharmacology, and treat­ment. Among them should be mentioned the following: On Anatomical Procedure, in 9 books; On the Use of Parts of the Human Body (17 books); On the Parts Affected (6 books); On the Composition of Medicines (three works, including 26 books); On Me­thod in Therapeutics (14 books). His book on medicine, a complete sketch of therapeu­tics, was immensely popular. He was also the author of 18 books of commentaries on Hippocrates, whom he claimed as his mas­ter. These still survive. His books contain important notices on the history of philo­sophy, of which he professes his knowledge and enthusiastic admiration. Some of his writings deal specially with this subject. Galli. See ehea. Callus. See cornelius, 2. Games. (1) Public. Among the Romans public games were intimately connected with religious worship. (For the public games of the Greeks, see isthmian, nemean, olympian, pythian games.) The Roman ludi, originally races, appear first in the wor­ship of Mars and Census, the tutelary deities of horses and mules. But it was also a very ancient custom to celebrate ludi votlvt, or games vowed on special occasions, particu­larly in time of war. Such games were usually vowed to Jupiter, the greatest deity of the Romans. These exceptional celebra­tions were bo often repeated that they at length passed into regular annual festivals (liidi statT). The number of these games gra­dually increased, and so did their duration. At the end of the republican period there were seven sets of games, which occupied 65 days ; in the middle of the 2nd century a.d. 135 days were given up to them, and in 354 a.d. as many as 175. In old times the games only lasted part of the day ; but they gradually began to take up the whole

day from early morning onwards. At a later period they went on in many cases into the night, requiring artificial illumina­tion. The Roman ritual was very strict, and it happened pretty often that in con­sequence of some accidental interruption or trivial oversight, an instaurdtiO or repeti­tion of the spoiled day, if not of the whole festival, would be ordered, lest the gods should have any cause for anger.

The different collegia of the priests were responsible for superintending the games, prescribed in honour of their respective divinities. But in the case of festivities vowed by the State, this duty fell to the high magistrates; at first to the consuls, afterwards (and almost exclusively) to the sediles, and after Augustus to the pr£etors. The expenses were provided for by a cer­tain sum of money paid over from the public treasury to the giver of the games. For the Ludi Bomdnl, the greatest of all the festivals, this sum amounted, during the period preceding the Punic wars, to about £1,800. After this period it reached some £3,000, and by 51 a.d. had risen to £8,750. At the same time the givers of the games had to make larger supplementary contri­butions. The demands of the public were so extravagant that in course of time the amount of this private expenditure increased enormously, especially in the last century b.c. Augustus, indeed, tried to check it; but he was obliged to allow his praetors to spend three times as much on the games as was paid for the public treasury. Under the Empire many enactments were issued to restrict the expenditure on the games by law, but no permanent effect was produced. Even after the 4th century a.d. the expense rose to as large a sum as from £50,000 to £150,000. The oldest games were those of the circus, consisting mainly of horse-races and chariot-races, with gymnastic contests, to which others were added in course of time. (See circus.) After 364 B.C. dram­atic representations were introduced from Etruria. These were in 240 b.c., and on­wards, exchanged for regular theatrical performances (see Livros andkonicus). Contests of gladiators, also from Etruria, were fashionable after 264 B.C. But these were only exhibited, during the republican period, at funeral games, private and other entertainments (see gladiatores).

The following regular festivities were introduced in the republican period, and continued in existence until the latest times: (1) The LudiRomani. These were.

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.