The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Septerion – Septimius – Serapis – Serenus Sammonicus – Seria – Servius Honoratus – Sestertius



that of the ancient dramatists, such as Ennius and Pacuvius]. In their pointed expression they exhibit the same talent for style as his prose works, the same copiousness, philosophical bent, and rhe­torical manner (the last frequently carried beyond the limits of taste). They seem to have been designed more as declamatory exercises than for actual performance on the stage.

SepterI8n. A festival celebrated every nine years at Delphi, in memory of the slaying of the serpent Python by Apollo. [Plutarch, Qucestiones Gr. 12 (where some texts have StepterfOri), and Def. Orac. )5.]

Septlmlus (Luclus). The translator into Latin of the spurious work of Dictys (q.v., 2) on the Trojan War.

Serapis (or Sarapis, Egyptian Asarhapi = Osiris-Apis). The Egyptian god Osiris (q.v.), in the character of god of the lower world; his corresponding incarnation as god of the upper world was the bull Apis. His worship was first independently de­veloped in the time of the Ptolemies in

BUST OF SERAPIS. (Rome, Vatican.)

Alexandria, the most beautiful ornament of which city was the magnificent temple of Serapis, the Sgrapeion. By the elimi­nation of foreign elements, the conception of the god was so widely extended as to include the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Pluto, the Greek -god of healing, Asclepius, and Zeus-Iupiter (see below). This new

worship (together with the cult of Isis) rapidly spread from Egypt over the Asiatic coast, the Greek islands, and Greece itself, and found a firm footing even in Rome and Italy, in spite of repeated interference on the part of the State. Under the Empire [particularly in the time of Hadrian] it extended throughout the Roman world.

Serapis was especially worshipped as a god of healing, and with his temples were connected dream-oracles that were much resorted to. He was represented, like Pluto, with an animal by his side, having the head of a dog, lion, or wolf, and a serpent coiled round its body. As Zeus-Serapis he is to be seen in the colossal bust in the Vatican (see cut), with a mOdius, or corn-measure, the symbol of the lower world, xipon his head.

Serenus Sammonlcus. A Roman physi­cian and author who lived in the time of Severns and Caracalla. The latter caxised him to be put to death in 212 a.d. To him, or more probably to his son Quintus Serenus, the instructor of the second Gordianus, must be attributed a didactic poem on medicine (De Mfdiclna Praicepta), in 1,115 well-written hexameters, a collection of domestic prescriptions much used in the Middle Ages. It mostly follows Pliny.

Seria. A cask used by the Romans. (See vessels.)

Servlus HSnoratus (Marlus). A Roman grammarian, who lived towards the end of the 4th century a.d. He taught gram­mar and rhetoric at Rome, and composed (besides a commentary on the grammar of Donatus, and some short treatises on gram­mar) a commentary on Vergil remarkable for its copious historical, mythological, and antiquarian notes [most of which are pro­bably derived from the writings of much earlier scholars]. It has not, however, reached us in its original form.

Sestertius (contracted from semis tertius, i.e. 2^, expressed by the Roman symbol usually printed HS., i.e. II + S(emis), two units and a half). A coin, during the Republic of silver, under the Empire of copper, or more usually brass = ^ denarius, originally 2| asses (whence the namel, later [i.e. after 217 b.c.] six asses. It was then worth 2' Id. Under the early Empire it was worth about 2'4d. After 209 b.c., when the Romans instituted a silver coinage, the copper as was suddenly reduced to 4 oz., and the sestertius (2| x 4 oz.) became equivalent to one old as of 10 oz., instead of the original pound of 12

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.