The Ancient Library

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On this page: Lactantius – Lacunaria – Ladon – Laena – Laertes – Laestrygones – Laevius – Lagoena – Lagona – Lagynos – Laius – Lampadedromia – Lampridius – Lamps – Lancea – Lanista – Latern F Demosthenes – Lanterns – Laocoon



sweating-bath was taken in a small, circular room, covered with a cupola, and capable of being raised to a high degree of temperature. Its sole light was admitted through a hole in its vaulted roof. Under this opening there hung on chains a bronze shield (cltpeus), by elevating and depressing which it was possible to regulate the temperature.

Lactantlus (Firmlanus). A pupil of ArnSbius, summoned by Diocletian to teach rhetoric in the school of Nicomedia in Bithynia. Here he embraced Christianity (before a.d. 303), and in his old age (about 317) he became the teacher, in Gaul, of Crispus, the son of Constantine the Great. He is remarkable above all Christian authors for the purity and smoothness of his style, for which he was indebted to the careful study of Cicero, so much so indeed, as to have earned the title of the Christian Cicero. His great work is the "Intro­duction to Divine Knowledge" (Divinae Institutiones), in seven books. A poem on the phoenix, in eighty-five couplets, is also ascribed to him; but this ascription is doubtful.

Lacunarla (Lacwaria, LaquSarla). The Latin name for the panelled ceilings of rooms which were formed by placing planks across the beams of the roof, whereby hollow spaces were produced. These spaces were covered with wood or ivory, or ornamented with sculptured reliefs or pictures; occa­sionally they were even gilded or inlaid with plates of gold. [Horace, Odes, ii 18, 1.] In banqueting-rooms they were some­times so formed that the panels could be slipped aside to let flowers, wreaths, and other complimentary presents fall in showers on the guests below. [Suetonius, Nero, 31.] Ladon. The hundred-headed dragon, who watched over the garden of the Hesperides (q.v.); the son of Phorcys (or of Typhon) and of Ceto. He was slain by Heracles when he went to fetch the golden apples.

Laena. An ancient Roman garment. It was a woollen mantle, fastened by a brooch, of a coarse, shaggy material, twice as thick as an ordinary tdga. Under the Empire it was very generally worn as an outer cloak by all classes of society, especially on going out to supper.

Laertes. King of Ithaca, and son of Arcl-sius, a son of Zeus. He was the husband of Anticleia and father of Odysseus (q.v.).

Lsstrygdne's. In Homer, a race of giants and cannibals dwelling in the distant north, where the nights are so short that the shepherd driving his flock out meets the

shepherd who is driving his flock in. Their city was Telepylus, founded by Lamus. When Odysseus (q.v.) came there on his wanderings, their king was Antiphates. The later Greeks placed the home of the Lsestrygonians in Sicily, to the south of Etna, near the town of Leontmi; the Romans, on the southern coast of Latium, near Formise. [Homer, Od. x 82, 106; Thuc., yi 2 ; Cic., Ad Atticum ii 13 ; Horace, Odes iii 16, 34.] (See painting, fig. 5.)

Laevlus. A Roman epic and lyric poet. (See Epos and lyric poetry.)

Lagcena, Lagona; Lagynos. See vessels.

Lalus. The son of Labdacus, grandson of Polydorus, and great-grandson of Cadmus. When his guardian Lycus was banished or slain by Amphlon (q.v.) and Zethus, he fled to Pglops. At the death of the usurpers, he ascended the throne of his fathers and married Jficasta. (See CEoiPUS.)

Lampadedromla. See torch-race.

Lamprldius. One of the Scriptores His-torice Augustce (q.v.).

Lamps. See lighting.

Lancea. See legion, near end.

Lanista. The Roman name for a fen­cing-master or trainer of gladiators. (See gladiatores.)

Lantern of Demosthenes. A mediaeval name for the monument of Lysicrates (q.v.).

Lanterns. See lighting.

LAOCOON AND HIS SONS. (Borne, Vatican.)

Ladcdon. According to the post-Homeric story, a priest of Apollo. He had displeased that god by marrying against his wishes;

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