The Ancient Library

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On this page: Scorpio – Scribae – Scribonius Largus – Scriptores Historiae Augustae – Sculponea – Sculpture



type for such representations as that exem­plified in the gem of Agave (q.v.) with the head of Pentheus.]

Scorpio. A kind of engine for projec­tiles, in earlier times identical with the cata­pult, and in later times with the Onager. (See artillery.)

Scribae (writers). The highest class among the inferior paid officials at Rome (see apparitor). They did not perform ordi­nary writers' services, which were usually assigned to slaves, but occupied the position of clerks, registrars, accountants, and secre­taries. Of special importance were the scribes qu&storii attached to the trfbuni cerarii. They formed three commissions of ten members each, and kept the accounta of the treasury. Two of their number were also attached to each provincial quaestor as accountants. The saribce also of the different sediles and tribunes ap­pear to have formed a commission of ten members, while those taken from among them by the consuls, praetors, and censors seem to have been employed only during their term of office. The pontlfices also had their scribce.

Scribonius Largus. A Roman physician who accompanied the emperor Claudius to Britain in 43 a.d. Between that year and 48 he compiled a treatise on medicine (Compdsltiones MgdlcQmentorum), which we possess in a somewhat imperfect form. It contains 271 prescriptions, arranged according to the parts of the body, from the head downwards.

Scriptores Historlse Augusts. The name given to the six authors of biographies of the Roman emperors, united at an un­certain date into a single collection. The biographies extend from Hadrian to Nume-rian, 117-284 a.d. (with the exception of the years 244-253). Of the six biographers, JElianus Spartianus, Volcdtius GallfcCtnus, and Trebellius PolllO wrote under Diocle­tian ; Flavins Vdpiscus SijrCtcitsius, jElius Lampridius, and Julius CdpttOllnus under Constantius Chlorns and Constantine the Great. The biographies are merely dry compilations from the lost writings (1) of Marlus MaxTmus (who at the beginning of the 3rd century, under Alexander Severus, continued the work of Suetonius by writing the lives of the emperors from Nerva to Elagabalus) ; and (2) of his con­temporary Junius Cordus, who wrote bio­graphies of the less famous emperors. In spite of their deficiencies in style and spirit, they are of value as authorities for history.

Sculpone'a. The wooden shoe of the Roman peasants and slaves.

Sculpture. The origin of painting as an art in Greece is connected with definite historical personages. That of sculpture is lost in the mists of legend. It was regarded as an art imparted to men by the gods; for such is the thought expressed in the assertion that the earliest statues fell from heaven. The first artist spoken of by name, daedalus, who is mentioned as early as Homer, is merely a personifica­tion of the most ancient variety of art, that which was employed solely in the construction of wooden images of the gods. This is clearly proved by his name (= " the cunning artificer "). To him were attributed a series of inventions certainly separated far from each other in respect of time and place, and embracing important steps in the development of wood-carving and in the representation of the human form. Thus he is said to have invented the saw, the axe, the plummet, the gimlet, and glue [Pliny, ff. H. vii 198], to have been the first to open the eyes in the statues of the gods, to separate the legs, and to give freer motion to the arms, which had before hung close to the body [Diodorus iv 76]. After him the early school of sculptors at Athens, his reputed native city, is sometimes called the school of Daedalus [Pausanias v 25 § 18}. During a long residence in Crete he is said to have instructed the Cretans in making wooden images (xOttnd) of the gods [ib. viii 53 § 8].

The invention of modelling figures in clay, from which sculpture in bronze originated, is assigned to the Sicyonian potter bctades at Corinth [Pliny, xxxv 151]. The art of working in metals must have been known early in Greece, as appears from the Homeric poems [esp. 11. xviii 468-608, " the shield of Achilles "]. An important step in this direction was due to glauccs of Chios, who in the 7th century b.c. in­vented the soldering of iron [Herodotus, i 25 ; Pausanias, x 16 § 1], and the softening and hardening of metal by fire and water [Plutarch, De Defectu Orac. 47]. The dis­covery of bronze-founding is attributed to rhoscus and theodorus of SamQs about 580 [Pausanias, viii 14 § 8], The high antiquity of Greek sculpture in stone may be inferred from a work of the very earliest period of Greek civilization, the powerful relief of two upright lions over the gate of the castle at Mycenae. (See architecture, fig. 2.)

Sculpture in marble, as well as in gold

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