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MEDEA.

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ting on the couch (lectus) of the master of the house, the children by their side or at a separate table and on stools. Masters and servants originally had their meals in common in the atrium ; as time went on special dining-rooms, triclinia (see tricli­nium) were built. At a banquet (cun-vlvlum) the very lightest dress was worn, in which it was not considered correct to appear in the street, and sandals (sOlece), which were taken off by a slave, brought for this purpose, before one reclined, and what was called the synthesis (q.v.). Before the meal, and between courses, water was handed round for the hands. Napkins (mappce) came to be used in the reign of Augustus, but only at fashionable parties. As among the Greeks, no knives and forks, but only spoons, were used; the viands were cut up by a special slave, the scissor.

The dishes of which the various courses consisted were served on a tray (repOsito-rlum) and handed round by slaves. The meal, preceded by an invocation of the gods, was regularly divided into three parts : (1) the gustus or gustatw, also calledpromulsls, because a drink (mulsum) made of must and honey was handed round with the food (boiled eggs, salads, vegetables prepared in a way to stimulate the appetite, fresh or cooked crabs, etc., and salt fish). (2) The cena proper. Originally (and later also among people of small means) it only con­sisted of a single course, afterwards of three and more, which were distinguished by the names of prima, altira, tertia cena. During this—contrary to the Gre ik custom—wine waa drunk, though in moderate quantities, and mixed with warm or cold water to suit the taste of each guest. Then came a pause, in which all were asked to be silent while the offering was made to the Lares, and (3) the third part of the meal, the dessert, was served. It consisted of pastry, cakes, fresh and preserved fruits.

Roman luxury prescribed the greatest variety in the dishes of the cena, both with i regard to their nature and to their mode j of preparation. In early times only oil, honey, salt, and vinegar, but afterwards the most varied and piquant spices of other countries, and particularly foreign fish-sauces, were employed. Pork had always been a favourite meat; fifty ways of dress­ing it were known. Under the Empire, when a dish was so prepared that even a gourmand was puzzled to tell what he was eating, it was held to be a chef ifoeuvre of the culinary art, The art was practised by

slaves, for whom considerable prices were paid.

The later Romans were on the whole much more immoderate in eating and drink­ing than the Greeks ; a not unusual way of making further eating possible was to take an emetic in the morning, or else after bathing, or after the meals. After the cena, either at the dessert or not till later in the evening, the drinking proper, or cfimissatio began. It was done mOr£ Grceco, that is, according to the Greek manner : the guests were anointed and crowned with wreaths, and one was chosen by casting dice to be the master of the drinking (mdgister or arbiter blbcndi}, also called rex (or king), who regulated the proportion of water to wine, and the number of goblets each person was to drink. As a rule the wine was mixed with warm water, as this was considered more wholesome. Many, how­ever, preferred the cold mixture, and drank it with ice, or else cooled it in cold water. Conversation, varied with the music of the flute and the lyre, was held by the earlier Romans to constitute the charm of dining; at a later time, intellectual pleasures gra­dually declined in favour more and more, and there was an ever-increasing craving for the exciting entertainments of mimes, jesters, jugglers, and female singers, dancers and flute-players, who were mostly slaves of the family. Even the Campanian custom of witnessing gladiatorial combats during meals was adopted in a few Roman houses. The development of these baneful habits was all the more deplorable in its effects, as the women and children were present at the debauches of the table.

Medea (Gr. Medeia). The daughter of .(Betes of Colchis and of Idyia; skilled in witchcraft. For the legend of her being carried off by Jason, and how she revenged his perfidy at Corinth, see argonauts. From Corinth she fled to Athens, married king JSgeus, the father of Theseus, and had a son Medus by him. But she was again compelled to fly with her son, as she had plotted against the life of Theseus. She came to Colchis without being recognised, and there found her father deprived of the kingship by his brother Perses. She killed the latter, and restored Metes to the throne. According to a later legend, Medus comes to Colchis to seek his mother, and is im­prisoned by Perses, before whom he alleges that he is Hippotes, son of Creon of Corinth. Then Medea appears on a chariot drawn by serpents, and under pretence of being a

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