The Ancient Library

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the greater part of Italy, and were kept in a guarded work-house (ergastulum) at night; some of them were branded, or had one half of their heads shaven. It was therefore a severe punishment for a town-slave to be sent into the country.

The usual mode of killing slaves was crucifixion, which was put down by the Christian emperors. If a slave dared to wreak vengeance on his master, every slave who was under the same roof at the time was put to death with him. This cruelty of treatment, which grew continually in the last centuries of the Republic, brought on repeated and terrible insurrections of ihe slaves. Under the Empire they received some legal protection; in its very beginning, the master's right to condemn his slaves to fight with wild beasts was taken away from him and transferred to a regular judge: the prefect of the city at Rome, and the procurator in the provinces. These officials were also empowered, by Antoninus Pius, to receive the complaints of slaves about cruel treatment, and to sell the slaves to another master, in case their complaints were found to rest on truth. Hadrian deprived the owners of the right of killing and torturing slaves at their pleasure, or of selling them to keepers of gladiatorial schools or to procurers; and, finally, Con-stantine placed the intentional killing of a slave on a level with murder. A kind of married relation between slaves, called contubernlum, was permitted at an early time. Under the Empire, it became a rule to regard it as lasting and indissoluble, and even to celebrate the marriage of slaves by wedding festivities. Having no legal rights, the slave could not give evidence in a law court, and, as in Greece, only what he said when under torture was deemed worthy of credit. The Roman, like the Athenian, government had public slaves (servi pubttci), who, on the whole, had the same legal position as the private slaves. They lived in public buildings assigned to them by the censors, and received from the public chest a yearly sum to pay for their board (cibHrla). They were partly em­ployed as custodians of temples and public buildings (cedttui), partly as servants to the various priesthoods and to those magis­trates who had duties relating to the police, namely, the censors and sediles (who under Augustus had under their control a familia of 600 scrvi publici for the prevention of fires), the overseers of the water supply, and of the prisons, and those who had to

see capital sentences carried out. The slaves of the latter included the hangman (carnifcx) who was entrusted with the special duty of executing slaves, and who had to live outside the Esquiline Gate. {See also feeedmen.)

Sleep (Gr. Hypnos ; Lat. Somntis). The son of Night and twin-brother of Death (q.v.) [It. xiv 231; xvi 672]. With his brother Death, according to Hesiod, he dwells in the eternal darkness of the farthest West [ Theog. 759]. Thence he sweeps over land and sea, bringing sleep to men and gods, since he has power over all alike, and could lull to sleep even Zeus himself. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympia, both brothers were depicted as boys sleeping in the amis of their mother, Death being painted in black and Sleep in white [Pausanias, v 18 § 1]. Sleep was represented in art in very various forms and situations, and frequently with the wings of an eagle or a butterfly on his forehead, and a poppy-stalk and a horn, from which he dropped slumber upon those whom he lulls to rest. The earlier con­ception made Dreams the sisters of Sleep, but in later times the dream-god figures as his son. Hermes was also a god of sleep.

SLINQEH. (Trajan's Column, Rome.)

Sling (Gr. sphenddne; Lat. funda). A weapon for hurling missiles, consisting of a thong, broad in the middle and growing narrower towards the ends. The missile was either a round stone of the size of a hen's egg, a ball of baked clay, or a leaden bolt cast in the shape of an acorn. It was placed in the broad part of the thong, and the slinger (Gr. spliendtinetSs; Lat. fun-dltor), holding the thong by both ends in in one hand, swung it several times round his head, and discharged the ball at the mark by means of letting go one end of the thong. The most famous slingers of anti­quity were the inhabitants of the Balearic Isles; they carried three slings, made of plaited rushes, hair, and the sinews of wild beasts, for long, short, and intermediate shots respectively. Various leaden slingbolts, bearing marks or characteristic inscriptions, have been pre­served. Under the Empire there came into use the sling-staff (Lat. fustibalus), a staff

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