The Ancient Library

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On this page: Nomen – Nomenclator – Nomophylaces – Nomos – Nomothetae – Nonae – Nonius Marcellus – Nonnus – Notitia Dignitatum – Novius



now existing, they almost completely ex­cluded from the higher magistracies all citizens who had neither wealth nor noble relatives to support them. It was quite exceptional for a man who did not belong to the nobility to be fortunate enough to attain to them If he did so, he was styled a homo novus (a new man, an upstart). It was one of the privileges of the nobility that they enjoyed the right to possess images of their ancestors. (See imagines.)

Nomen. Sec name.

Nomenclator. The Roman term for a slave who had the duty of reporting to his master the names of his slaves (often very numerous), of those who waited on him in the morning, of other visitors, and of those who met him when he was walking abroad. The latter duty was especially important if his master was a candidate for office, and, in order to gain votes, was anxious to canvass many of the electors in the public streets. [The word is properly written nomenculator, as is proved by the evidence of glosses and MSS. Cp. Martial, x 30, 30; Suetonius, Aug. 19, Calig. 41, Claud. 34.]

NfimfiphjplacSs (Guardians of the Laws). A board found in different states of Greece, which had to see to the observance of the requirements of the law, especially in the deliberative assemblies. At Athens, after the abolition of the Areopagus as a board of supervision (about 461 b.c.) a college of seven nomophylaces was introduced as a check upon the senate, the public assembly, and the magistrates.

Ndmds (Greek). (1) Originally, an ancient kind of solo in epic form in praise of some divinity. It was either " aulodic" or " cithSrodic "; that is, it was sung to the ac­companiment of the flute or the cithara. The citharodic nomos was from ancient times used at the festivals of Apollo, whom the Dorians especially worshipped. It received its artistic form from Terpander' (about 675 b.c.) principally by a systematic distribution into five or seven parts, of which three were the essential portions, the middle one forming the cardinal point of the whole. It formed an important element in tlie Delphian festival of the Pythian Apollo. On the other hand, the aulodic nomos, which ClOnas of Tegea had introduced in imitation of the nomos of Terpander, was early excluded from this festival. By the side of the ancient nomoi, in which the words were sung to an instrumental accompaniment, there arose another variety formed on the same model. In this the song was

dramatically recited to the tone of the flute or cithara, according as the nomos was "aulodic" or "citharodic." Of the former kind was the nomos introduced by the flute-player Sacadas of Argos (about 580) at the Pythian games, and hence called the Pythian nomos, a musical representation of the de­struction of the dragon Pytho by Apollo. At a later period the province of the nomos was more and more extended and secularized, until it became the most important part of the musician's profession. (Plutarch, De Musica, cap. iii-x, pp. 1132-4.]

(2) " Law." See ecclesia

N6moth6tse. At Athens a commission for the examination of proposed laws. (See ecclesia, 1.)

Nonas. The Roman name for the 5th or 7th day of the month (see calendar, 2).

Nonius Marcellns. A Latin scholar, born at Thuburslcum in Africa, who composed in the beginning of the 4th century a.d. a manual of miscellaneous information on points of lexicography, grammar, and anti­quities, bearing the title of De Compen-diosa Doctnna. It consisted originally of twenty books, One of which is lost. It is-evidently founded on the works of earlier scholars, and in some parts exhibits verbal coincidences with Auhis Gellius. Though not showing the least genius or critical acu­men, the work is of great importance owing to its numerous quotations from lost authors, especially of the archaic period. [See. Prof. Nettleship's Lectures and Essays, pp. 277-331.]

Nonnns. A Greek poet of PanfipSlis in Egypt, belonging to the 5th century a.d. As a pagan, he wrote with poetic talent, and in a spirited though highly rhetorical style, a vast epic, called the Dlonyslaca, in forty-eight books, one of the chief sources for our knowledge of the Dionysiac cycle of legends. As a Christian, he composed a paraphrase of the Gospel of St. John in Greek hexameters.

Ndtltla Dignltatnm. A list of the officers of the court, and the civil and military magistrates. This official manual belongs to the end of the 4th century B.C., which is of great value for the statistics of the Roman empire at that time. It contains also the insignia of each magistrate repre­sented in drawings.

Novius. A writer of Atellana> (q.v.) flourishing about 90 b.c. Like his con­temporary and rival Pomponius, he was a master of ready speech of a coarse and droll description. Some of his witty verses

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