The Ancient Library

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On this page: Sella – Sella Curulis – Selli – Semele – Sementivae Feriae – Semnae – Semones – Sempronius Asellio – Senate




shed a mild light [Homeric Hymn xxxii 7], riding in a car drawn by two white horses or mules or cows. The horns of the latter symbolised the crescent moon. In later times she was identified with Artemis (or else with Hecate and PersephSne), as was Helios with Phoabus Apollo, and therefore was herself called PhcebS. After this she was also regarded as a huntress and archer, recognisable by her crescent as the goddess of the moon. She was worshipped on the days of the new and fall moon. She bore to Zeus a daughter Pandia, worshipped at Athens with her father at the festival of Pandia [Dem., Or. 21 § 9]. On her love for Endymion, see endymion.

Sella. A seat. On its use as a chair and a litter, see those articles.

Sella Curulis. The Latin term for the chair of office belonging to the curule magistrates (consuls, praetors, curule sediles, dictator, magister Hquitum, and flamen Dldlis], and also to the emperors. It was of ivory, without a back, and with curved legs, like those of a camp-stool, so arranged that it could be folded up. The seat was of plaited leather straps. The curule magistrates sat on this seat while engaged in all official business, and also took it with them in war.

Selli. See dodona.

Sgmele. Daughter of Cadmus and Har-mSnia, beloved of Zeus. Hera, jealous of her, took the form of her nurse BerSe, and induced her to obtain of Zeus a solemn promise to fulfil her wish, and then to request him to show himself to her in all his divine splendour. When Zeus appeared amid thunder and lightning, Semele was consumed by the flames, and, dying, gave birth to a six months' child, Dionysus, whom Zeus saved from the fire and hid in his thigh till the due time of birth. Her son, on being made a god, raised her up from the world below, and set her in the heavens under the name of ThyOne. See dionysus ; and for Dionysus and Semele sec mirhohs.

Sementivae FerJae. A festival of seed­time, celebrated in honour of Tellus (q.v.).

Semnae. A name of the Erinyes (q.v.).

Sememes. The Latin name for certain supernatural beings. They appear to have been, like the Lares, a kind of Genii, or demigods, and guardian deities of the State. [The word has often been connected with se-, to sow (cp. se-mln); and would thus mean "sowers."] On Sememes and Semo Sancus, see sancus.

Sempronius Asellio. A Roman anna­list. (Sec annalists.)

Senate (sgnat&s, from senex, an old man). The Roman State council, consisting in the earliest times of one hundred members, but before the expulsion of the Tarquins in­creased to three hundred, which for a long time remained its normal number. Origi­nally none but patricians (patres) were eligible for membership; but (if tradition may be trusted) in the time of the last kings, plebeians, especially those of eques­trian rank, were admitted, and on this account the senators were called by the collective title of patres (et) conscript i.

Under the Republic the plebeians were eligible for membership from the outset, though they only acquired by degrees the right to wear the distinguishing dress. The election of senators (lectio senat&s) rested during the regal period as a rule with the king and the curlm; during the Republic, at first with the consuls, after­wards with the censors, who also had power to expel unworthy members; otherwise, the office was held for life. Admission to the Senate could be claimed by the curule magistrates, who, after laying down their office, possessed the right of expressing their opinion in the Senate (ius sentential dlcendce) until the next census, at which the censors could only pass them over on stating special grounds for so doing. Next to these were considered the claims of the plebeian aediles, the tribunes, and the qusestors, who lost this right with the expiration of their office, and the most wealthy class of citizens, the knights, who, however, if they had not yet been elected

! to any office, took a lower rank under the name of pcdaril, and were only entitled to express their assent to the opinion of others. When the qusestors also were

regularly added to the Senate, the minimum age legally qualifying for membership was fixed at twenty-eight years. In course of

j time a legal claim to admission was gained

j by the tribunes and plebeian aediles, and finally also by the quaestors, through the enactment of Sulla, who increased the

1 Senate by the number of three hundred

I knights elected by the people, and con­ferred on the quaestors, now increased to

j twenty, the right of admission to the Senate immediately after the expiration of their office. Caesar raised the number of sena­tors to 900, and under the triumvirs it even rose beyond 1,000. Augustus, however, limited it to 600, fixed the senatorial age

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