The Ancient Library

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On this page: Rorarii – Rostra – Rudis – Rumina and Ruminus



tion of fantastic adventures of travel with a tale of love which is common to all the later romances, almost without ex­ception. This branch of literature came to maturity in the age of the later Sophists, who, among their other literary exercises, wrote amatory compositions in the form of narratives and letters. We possess works of this kind by philobtratds, alciphron, and his imitator arist.enetus. One of the oldest of the romances which spring from this time is that of the Syrian iam-BLlCHUS (in the 2nd century), entitled BabylonlacA. This is extant only in an epitome. The romances of xenophgn of Ephesus, HfiLloDORUS of Ernesa, longus, achilles tatius of Alexandria, and chariton of Ephesus are extant in a com­plete form. Among these that of Helio-dorus is distinguished for its artistic and skilful plot, and the pastoral romance of Longus for its poetical merit. The treat­ment of these romances is to a considerable extent sketched out in accordance with a fixed pattern, and consists of a simple mul­tiplication of successive adventures. Two lovers are separated by untoward chances, generally robbers by land and sea; and it is only after manifold trials and wonderful experiences in slavery and in strange lands that they are finally once more united. In the pourtrayal of love they deliberately endeavour to catch the spirit of the Alex­andrine elegy; the language is the artificial and affected language of the sophistic age. Such " dramas," as the later writers call them, were also frequently composed in the Byzantine period ; e.g. by eustathius.

Among the Romans the earliest work of the kind was the translation of the Mile-siaca of Aristides by Sisenna (about 70 B.C.); for this reason the Roman epithet for a romance is Milesia. The most important and the only original production is the sati­rical romance of manners of petronius (middle of the 1st century a.d.). This work, which is unfortunately preserved only in fragments, is of a kind which has no parallel in Greek literature. The Meta­morphoses q% apuleius, which are likewise of the highest value for the history of manners at the time (2nd century), and are interesting on account of the novel-like narratives inserted in them, are derived from a Greek model. Besides these works, this form of composition is still represented in extant Latin literature by the translation of the Alexander-romance of the pseudo-Callisthenes by lalius valerius (about 200).

Similarly, the wrjtings of the pretended dictys and dares (4th and oth centuries), which are examples of the literature of forgery relating to the destruction of Troy, are probably to be referred to Greek sources. Lastly, there is the wonderful history of apollonius of Tyre, a revised version of a Greek romance (6th century), which was much read in the Middle Ages.

Rorarli. The name given in the old Roman legion to the citizens of the lowest property-class, who were armed only with a dart and a sling. These had to open the i fighting in the capacity of skirmishers, and, when the close combat began, to withdraw behind the line. In later times their place was taken by the vtlttes (q.v.).

Rostra (properly the ships' prows, from rostrum, the iron-bound prow, lit. " beak," of a ship). The orators' platform in the Forum at Rome, so called because it was embellished with the bronze prows of the ships of the Latin fleet captured at Antium in 338 b.c. [Livy, viii 14]. Besides these it was also decorated with other monuments of the greatness of Rome, such as the Laws of the Twelve Tables, the cdlumna rostrata of Duilius, and numerous statues of men of mark. Originally it stood between the part of the Forum called the Comltlum and the Forum proper, opposite the Curia [no. 18a in Plan s.v. forum] ; but in 44 b.c. Caesar moved it to the north end of the Forum under the Capitol [no. 6 in same Plan ; cp. Cic., Phil, ix 2], and here built up part of it by the employment of the old materials. It was not completed until after his death, by Antonius. This new platform, which was afterwards repeatedly restored, appears by the existing remains to have consisted of an erection 11 feet higher than the pave­ment of the Forum, about 78 feet in length, and 33 feet in depth [Cp. Middleton's Remains of Ancient Rome, 244, 246.] The front was decorated with two rows of ships' prows. The way up to the platform was at the back. This platform also was used down to the latest times of the Empire as a place for setting up honorary statues. [The Rostra lulia, so called to distinguish it from the other rostra, was the projecting podium of the herSOn of Julius Ccesar, built by Augustus, (no. 21 in plan). Affixed to this were the prows of the vessels captured at Actium: Dion Cassius, li 19 (Middleton, I.e., pp. 252-8).]

Rudis. The wooden foil of the gladia­tors. (See gladiatores.)

Rumina and Ruminus [der. rumis or

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