The Ancient Library

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On this page: Robigus – Roma – Romance




Roman roads first received a foundation of rubble or breccia, on which rested a layer of flat stones 8 inches thick; above this was an equally thick layer of stones set in lime, which was covered by another layer of rubble about 3 inches deep ; above the rubble was laid down the pavement proper, consisting of either hard stone (sllex) or else irregular blocks of basaltic lava.

In the time of the emperor Hadrian, the cost of constructing such a road amounted to £900 per Roman mile (about 1'5 kilom. =about £ English mile). From the end of the 2nd century b.c. posts set up at distances of 1,000 paces from each other served to measure distances. (See miliarium.)

The making and maintenance of the roads in Italy were provided for at the expense of the cerdrlum, or State-treasury. During the republican age the roads were under the supervision of the censors. From the time of Augustus they were under imperial officials entitled curatdrSs vlilrum. In the provinces, in general, the cost of the mili­tary roads, and indeed of all public works, was defrayed out of the provincial taxes. In the imperial provinces soldiers were also frequently employed in constructing roads. In a few cases toll was levied by special imperial permission.

Kobigns, the male, Robigo, the female deity among the Romans who protected the corn from blight (robigo). On April 25th a festival called the RoblgCMa, sup­posed to have been instituted by Numa, was held in their honour in their grove, distant nearly five miles from Rome. The citizens marched to the spot in white festal attire, under the conduct of the flamen QuirlnaHs, Robigus having at first apparently repre­sented only a particular function of Mars (or Qulrlnus), as protector of the arable land. After a prayer, accompanied by offerings of incense and wine, for the pre­servation of the ripening seed, the flamen offered sacrifice with the entrails of a young sorrel dog and a sheep. Certain races were also held.

Roma (Did Roma), The personification of the world-ruling city, first worshipped as a goddess by some cities of Asia Minor in the 2nd century b.c. She was represented under the image of aTyche (q.v.), with the mural crown on her head and with all the attributes of prosperity and power. Under Augustus her cult in the Hellenic cities was united partly with that of Augustus, partly with that of the deified Ctesar, Dtvus


Julius. In Rome she was always repre­sented in military shape, sometimes like a Minerva, sometimes like an Amazon. On the obverse of silver coins she appears with a winged helmet (sec cuts).

Between the old Forum and the Colosseum Hadrian erected a handsome double temple in honour of Roma and of Venus, as ances­tress of the Roman people. This was consecrated on April 21st, the day of the foundation of Rome and the festival of the PdrUia. (See pales.) It was afterwards called the templum urbis. The ruins still remain. For the site, see plan of the Roman Fora under forum ; for a restoration of the interior, see architecture, fig. 13.

Romance. Romantic narratives, espe­cially of imaginary adventures of travel, appear among the Greeks with particular frequency after the time of Alexander the Great, owing to Greece having then been brought into contact with the East (see euhemerus) ; but these are known to us only by their titles and by fragments. Such ethnographical fables form, more­over, the oldest element in the romance respecting Alexander which is preserved under the name of callisthenes. By earlier writers love-stories are only inci­dentally introduced, although in the form of popular local legends they were dis­seminated in all the districts of Greece. From the time of Antlmachus they were adopted with particular predilection as themes for poetic treatment by the elegiac poets, especially in the Alexandrine age. There is extant a prose compilation of such legends collected from historians and poets by the poet parthenius in the time of Augustus.

The earliest example of prose narratives of the amatory type is the "Milesian Tales" (Mllsslaca) of aristides of Miletus (about 100 B.C.), which are regarded as forerunners of the later love-romances, Even in the earliest example of such a romance which is known to us (at least as to its general contents), the Wonders beyond Thule of Antonius diogenes (probably in the 1st century a.d.), there appears that combina-

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