The Ancient Library

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On this page: Mancipium – Manes – Manethon – Mania



chaser took hold of the thing and uttered certain prescribed words. He then struck the balance (libra) with a small piece of copper (ces or raudusculum), which he gave to the seller as symbol of the price. Tliis mode of purchase per ces et libram was employed in the case of res mancipi, i.e. estates in Italy or provinces with Italian saw, in the country or in towns, slaves, and domestic animals and beasts of burden needed for agricultural purposes; also in a certain kind of testaments, in the form of marriage called coe'mptio, and in trans­ferring one's power over a person (manus) to another. (See adoption, emancipated, and mancipium.)

Manclplum. The right of possession ob­tained through mancipatio (q.v.), and the possession itself, which none but the head of the family has a right to dispose of. Homines llberi in mancipio are free men, whom their father has given into the power of another man by mancipatio, e.g. in com­pensation for some damage they have done to the latter. Their position differed from that of slaves in this, that they retained the right of personality, could complain if their masters treated them badly, and re­gained all the rights of a freeborn man on leaving their position of dependence. This was effected in the same way as the libera­tion of slaves vindicta, censu, and testa-mento. (See freedmen.) After the repeal of the severe laws making imprisonment the penalty of convicted debtors, the same relation as that mentioned above existed between debtor and creditor, until the 1 money was paid.

Manes (i.e. the good). A name given by the Romans to the spirits of the dead, which were held to be immortal like the gods, and hence designated as such (dii manes). They dwell below the earth, and only come forth at certain seasons of the year. On the Mons Pdldtinus at Rome, there was, as in other Italian towns, a deep pit with the shape of an inverted sky, known as mundus, the lowest part of which was consecrated to the infernal gods and also to the Manes, and was closed with a stone, lapis manalis, thought to be the gate of the nether world. This stone was lifted up three times a year (August 24th, October 5th, November 8th), and the Manes were then believed to rise to the upper world: on this account those days were relit/lost, i.e. no serious matter might be undertaken on them. Sacrifices were offered to them as to the dead ; water, wine, warm milk, honey, oil, and the blood .

of black sheep, pigs, and oxen, were poured ! on the grave; ointments and incense were offered; and the grave was decked with flowers, roses and violets by preference. Oblations, which chiefly consisted of beans, j eggs, lentils, bread and wine, were placed on the grave, and the mourners partook of a meal in its neighbourhood. Besides the private celebrations there was also a public and universal festival, the Pdrentalia, which lasted from the 13th to the 21st of February, the last month of the older Roman year; the last day had the special name Feralia. During these days all the temples were closed, marriages were prohibited, and the magistrates had to appear in public without the tokens of their office. The festival of the dead was followed by that of the rela­tions on February 22nd, called Caristia. This was celebrated throughout the town by each individual family, the members of which exchanged presents and met at festal banquets.

Mauethon (or MancthOs). An Egyptian of Sebennytus, who lived in the second half of the 3rd century b.c. He was high priest at HeliSpSlis in Egypt, and wrote in Greek a history of his native country from the oldest times to its conquest by Alexander the Great, founded on the sacred records of I the Egyptians. Recent hieroglyphic dis­coveries have confirmed the authority of this work against the doubts and suspicions previously entertained, and show it to have been compiled from good sources: only a third of the kings' names and some frag­ments have been preserved by later writers. He has been wrongly considered the author of a Greek poem in six books, treating of the influence of the constellations on the fates of men, entitled ApotSlesmdtlca ; various parts of it seem to have been writ­ten by different authors between the 3rd and 5th century after Christ.

Mania. An old Italian goddess of the Manes, i.e. the dead, also called Lara, Lar-unda, Muia (the dumb), Mana Glmta, who was held by some to be the mother or grand­mother of the good Lares, by others of the evil Larvce. Originally daughter of the river-god Almo, and called Lara, she was deprived of her tongue by Jupiter, because she had betrayed his love for the Nymph Juturna, and was condemned to be the Nymph of the marshy waters in the realm of the speechless. On the way to the nether world Mercury fell in love with her. and the Lares were her offspring In early times boys are said to have been

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