The Ancient Library

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On this page: Manto – Mantuan Vase – Manumissio – Manus – Manus Iniectio – Marcellus Empiricus – Marcianus – Marcus Aurelius – Marius Maximus



signs that inspired terror. Prophesying from the stars however did not become known in Greece till the time of Alexander the Great.

In important enterprises, especially in war, recourse was had to an examination of the condition of sacrificed animals or hlSro-ifopla ; oxen, sheep, and also pigs being most frequently the victims. The points observed were: normal or abnormal nature of the entrails, especially the liver, with the gall-bladder, and also the heart, spleen, and lungs. The various kinds of entrails and their abnormal conditions were made the subject of a highly elaborate system, so that no Greek army could dispense with a skilled interpreter of signs. When the omens were unfavourable, the sacrifice was repeated till they were favourable, or the enterprise was postponed. The manner too in which animals went to be sacrificed, whether willingly or with reluctance, etc., was looked upon as an omen, as also the way in which the sacrifice burnt on the altar, the burning of the flame itself, the rising or sinking of the smoke, etc. These signs drawn from fire were the subject of pyrSmantcia.

There was indeed a general inclination to regard all striking and unusual events as hints from the gods, and to interpret them oneself, or to have them interpreted by skilled seers. From ancient times the chance utterances of others were thought to be prophetic in so far as they applied to the circumstances of the moment. For such omens also the gods were asked. Besides these, lots and dice were used for predictions. There were many other arti­ficial varieties of the art of divination, some of them very strange, which were in special favour in the lower classes of the people and in later times; as, for instance, soothsaying with a sieve suspended by threads, for the purpose of finding out thieves or remedies for illness, etc., that name being thought the one required at mention of which the sieve ceased to turn round. As early as Aristotle allusion is made to chiromancy, or palmistry. For the Roman methods of prophecy, see divi-natio.

Manto. Daughter of the seer Tiresias, was herself a prophetess, at first of the Ismenian Apollo at Thebes. After the capture of the town by the Epigoni she was presented to the oracle at Delphi as part of the booty, and sent by the god to Asia, in order to found the oracle of the

Clarian Apollo in the neighbourhood of what was afterwards Colophon. Here she bore Mopsus (q.v., 2) to the Cretan seer Rhacius,

Mantnan Vase. See gems,

Manumisslo. Freeing of slaves, See feeedmen.

Mantis, in its wider sense, is the name given by the Romans to the power of the chief of a family over the whole of that family, especially the power of the husband over his wife, whose person and property were so completely his own, that he was legally responsible for her actions, but at the same time had the right to kill, punish, or sell her. As in this respect, so also with respect to the right of inheritance, the wife was placed on a level with the children, as she obtained the same share as they. For marriages without manus, see "marriage,

Manns Iniectlo (laying the hand on). In the oldest Roman legal procedure a kind of execution levied on the person of one who had been condemned to pay a certain sum. If this was not done within thirty days of the condemnation, the plaintiff could seize the debtor and bring him before the praetor, who handed him over to the creditor with the word addlcO (I hand over), unless he paid there and then, or a vindex came forward to pay for him or to show there was no ground for complaint. The creditor kept the debtor in chains at his house for sixty days; if his claims had not been satisfied during this period, he might kill him or sell him as a slave in foreign parts. From the 4th century onwards a less severe arrangement was usual; the relation of the addictus to his creditor was that of a 7i6mo liber in manciple. (See mancipium.)

Marcellns Empirlcus (so called from his empirical work on medical remedies), of Burdlgala (Bordeaux). Marshal of the household (magister officKrum) to TheS-dosius I, compiled about a.d. 410 a dispen­satory for the poor, which was chiefly founded on Scribonius Largus (q.v.\ with many superstitious additions.

Marcianus. A Greek geographer, who lived at Heraclea in Bithynia. With the aid of the best sources of information from Hanno and Scylax down to PtSlemaeus, he compiled, about 400 a.d., a description of the Western and Eastern ocean in two books, not completely preserved. It is of particular importance for ancient geography; as the distances in stadia are given.

Marcus Aurelius. See antoninds (1).

Marias Maxlnms. Latin historian. (See

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