Scanned text contains errors.
overpower their crews in hand to hand encounter. In the battle of Actium (31 b.c.) the lightly built triremes of Octavian, which were named llburnce, after the Liburnians of Dalmatia, from whom this shape was borrowed, were matched with distinguished success against the eight, nine, and ten-banked vessels of Antonius. Under the Empire the fleets were, as a general rule, no longer intended for great naval battles, but for the safeguard of the seas and coasts, for the convoy of transports and for purposesof administration. The consequence was that vessels of excessive height were continually becoming rarer, and triremes, and especially Wntrna^, were almost exclusively employed. In later times the name liburna came to denote simply a ship of war. Augustus organized a Mediterranean fleet with two headquarters, Misenum in the Tyrrhenian Sea and Ravenna in the Adriatic. These two fleets were called classes prwtdrice, because, like the cOhortes pmtoriai, they were under the immediate command of the emperor. Other stations for the fleets were afterwards established in all parts of the sea, and the great rivers and inland seas of the empire. Their commanders were called prirfecti, and were nominated by the emperor, as a rule, from among the military officers of equestrian rank. On the crews of the navy, see classiarii.
Besides regular men of war, the navies also contained various ships of the line to act as spies and carry despatches (Gr. hells and lembon ; Lat. c.eiox and lembus), or to convoy transport vessels, light cutters (acdtOs, aratlOn), privateers (mijdpdro), etc. Fire-ships were used as early as 414 b.c. by the Syracusans against the Athenians.
Of merchantmen there existed in antiquity various kinds and sizes. In the time of the Empire the art of shipbuilding was developed with extraordinary success at the great trading city of Alexandria, where ships were built of great seaworthiness, remarkable sailing powers, and immense tonnage. [See Terr's Ancient Ships, 1894.]
Shoe. See calceus.
SIbyllse [in the singular, Lat. slbyllu; Gr. sibulla, from Doric sid-bolla = theou-baule, " the will of God"]. The name given in antiquity to inspired prophetesses of some ! deity, in particular Apollo. They were : usually regarded as young maidens dwelling I in lonely caves or by inspiring springs, who were possessed with a spirit of divination, and gave forth prophetic utterances while
under the influence of enthusiastic frenzy. They were described sometimes as priestesses of Apollo, sometimes as his favourite wives or daughters. We have no certain information as to their number, names, country, or date. Though Plato [Phcedrus, 294 B] knew of only one, others mention two, three, four [the Erythraean, the Samian, the Egyptian, and the Sardian], and even ten or twelve : [the Babylonian, the Libyan, the (elder and younger) Delphian, the Cimmerian, the (elder and younger) Erythraean, the Samian, the Cumaian, the Hellespontine, the Phrygian, and the Ti-burtine]. In the earliest times they are mentioned as dwelling in the neighbourhood of the Trojan Ida in Asia Minor, later at Erythrse in Ionia, in Samos, at Delphi, and at Cumse in Italy. The most famous was the Erythraean Sibyl, Hero-phlle, who is usually considered identical with the Cumaian, as she is represented as journeying by manifold wanderings from her home to Cumse. Here she is said to have lived for many generations in the crypts beneath the temple of Apollo, where she had even prophesied to JSneas. In later times the designation of Sibyl was also given to the prophetic Nymph Albunfa near Tibur [Lactantius, i 6 § 12].
The Sibylline books, so often met with in Roman history, had their origin in a collection of oracular utterances in Greek hexameters, composed in the time of Solon and Cyrus at Gergis on Mount Ida, and ascribed to the Hellespontic Sibyl, buried in the temple of Apollo at Gergis. This collection was brought by way of Erythrse to Cumae, and finally, in the time of the last king, to Rome. According to the legend, the Cumaean Sibyl offered to Tarqulnius Superbus nine books of prophecy; and as the king declined to purchase them, owing to the exorbitant price she demanded, burnt all but three of them, which the king purchased for the original price, and had them preserved in a vault beneath the Capitoline temple of Jupiter. When they were destroyed in the burning of the Capitol in 83 b.c., the Senate sent envoys to make a collection of similar oracular sayings distributed over various places, in particular Ilium, Erythrge, and Samos. This new collection was deposited in the restored temple, together with similar sayings of native origin; e.g. those of the Sibyl at Tibur, of the brothers Marcius, and others. From the Capitol they were transferred by Augustus as pontlfex, in 12 b.c., to the temple of