The Ancient Library

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On this page: Spinning – Spolia – Stadium – Staesinus – Stata Mater – Stater – Statius



Hesiod, Sphinx was the daughter of the Chimsera and Orthrus ; according to others, of Echidna and_Typhon. Hera (or, accord­ing to others, Ares or Dionysus) in anger at the crimes of Laius, sent her to Thebes from Ethiopia. She took up her abode on a rock near the city and gave every passer by the well-known riddle: "What walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening ? " She flung from the rock all who could not answer it. When (Edipus explained the riddle rightly as referring to man in the successive stages of infancy, the prime of life, and old age, she flung herself down from the rock.

Spinning. Sec weaving.

SpOlia. The Roman term for the arms taken from an enemy defeated in single combat, and also for those portions of the captured armour which were promised by the general to soldiers who distinguished themselves. They were hung up in a temple with a dedicatory inscrip­tion [Vergil, sEn. iii 288] or in the vestibule of the house, where they remained, even if the house passed into other hands. Spolia oplma were the arms taken from the hostile general by a Roman leader com­manding under his own auspices, and were consecrated to Jupiter Feretrius on the Capitol. This is f-aid to have been first done by Romulus, who is the traditional founder of the sanctuary of Fere­trius [Livy, i 10 § 6]. They were legitimately won on only two sub­sequent occasions [by Aulus Cor­nelius Cossus from the king of Veii, and by M. Claudius Marcel lus from the king of the Gsesatse, Plutarch, llarci-llus 8],

Stadium (Gr. stadldn). The course for foot-races amongst the Greeks ; the usual length of it was GOO Greek feet, a measure which Heracles, according to the myth, had appointed for the course at Olympia. (See olympian games, fig. 4.) Subsequently this became the standard unit for measuring dis­tances. On both of the longer sides of the course were natural or arti­ficial elevations with terraced seats for the spectators. At one end there was generally a semicircular space especially intended for wrestling, and this was the place for the umpires. Near this was the pillar which marked the goal.

The starting-point was also [sometimes] indi­cated by a pillar at the other end, which was originally straight, and in later times curved like the end near the goal. For the different kind of races, see gymnastics. Staslnus. A Greek epic poet. (See Epos.) Stata Mater. An Italian goddesa who gave protection in cases of fires and conflag­rations. (See volcan.) [Cicero, De Legibus ii 28; she is sometimes identified with Vesta.}

Stater (lit. "a standard" coin). (1) The principal gold coin of Greece. The Attic stater of gold, a gold piece of two gold drachma; = twenty silver drachma!, = 13s. 4rf., in intrinsic value of silver. To the same standard of currency belonged the Macedonian gold stater first struck by Philip II and Alexander the Great. (2) The silver stater is a term applied in later times to the Athenian tetradrachm, of four

* THE PANATHENAIC STADIUM. (Curtius and Kaupert, Atlas of Athens, p. 13.)

silver drachmas ( = 2s. Sd. in intrinsic value). (See coinage.)

Statlus. (1) See c/ecii.ius.

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.