The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Telonae – Temples



consequence of an earthquake in the time of war). She was also invoked in solemn oaths as the common grave of all things, toge­ther with the Manes and with Jupiter, the god of heaven. Like the Greek Demeter, she was also the goddess of marriage, but was most revered in conjunction with CSres as goddess of fraitfulness. Thus in her honour were held the festival of the sowing (fence sementlvce), celebrated in January at the end of the winter seed time, fixed by the pontifex to be held on two consecutive market days. The pagdntHia were celebrated at the same time in the country, when a pregnant sow was sacrificed to Tellus and Ceres. Besides these, there was the feast of fordicldla or hordiclcKa, at which cows in calf (fordce) were sacri­ficed to her. This was held on the 15th of April to insure plenty during the year, and was celebrated under the management of the pontiflces and the Vestal Virgins, partly on the Capitol in the thirty curice, and partly outside the town. The ashes of the unborn calves were kept by the Vestal Virgins till the feast of the Pdrilia (see pales), when they were used for the pur­pose of purification. Besides the female deity, a god TellumS was also worshipped. Tgloaae (Gr. tZlonai, lit. "buyers of the taxes "). Among the Athenians, these were the farmers of the taxes and imposts, which were not collected by State officers, but were sold at certain times by auction to the highest bidder. Smaller taxes were taken up by single persons who collected the money themselves. For larger taxes demanding a large capital, companies were often formed, represented by one person called the tZldnarches, who concluded the contract with the State. Sureties had also to be produced on this occasion. Such companies employed subordinate officers to collect the taxes. The payments were made by the farmers at certain periods at the senate-house, or bouleuteridn, and one pay­ment was usually made in advance when the contract was made. In default of pay­ment, the farmer became dtlmds, and in certain circumstances might be imprisoned. If the debt was not paid by the expiration of the 9th prytaneia, it was doubled, and the property of the debtor and his sureties confiscated. The dtlmtH descended to the children until the debt was paid. On the other hand, the farmer was protected by the State against fraud by severe laws. He was also exempt from military service, so that he might not be hindered in perform-

ing his duties. For the similar institution among the Romans, see publican:.

Temples. In ancient times temples were regarded as the dwelling-places of the gods to whom they were dedicated. They might contain an image or not, but the latter case was exceptional. As they were not houses of prayer intended for the devotion of a numerous community, they were usually of very limited extent. There were, however, temples of considerable size, among which was that of Artemis in Ephesus, 438 feet long by 226 broad ; that of Hera in Same's ; that begun by Pisistratus and finished by Hadrian, and dedicated to Zeus Olympms in Athens (see olympieum); and the temple of Zeus of Agrlgentum, which was never quite completed. All of these were al­most as large as the first-mentioned. Only temples like that at Eleusis, in which the celebration of mysteries took place, were intended to accommodate a larger number of people. The great sacrifices and ban­quets shared by all the people were cele­brated in the court of the temple (Gr. pIrl-bOlds), which included the altars for sacri­fice, and was itself surrounded by a wall with only one place of entrance. It was a feature common to all temples that they were not built directly on the surface of the ground, but were raised on a sub-struc­ture which was mounted by means of an uneven number of steps, so that people were able as a good omen to put their right foot on the first and last step.

The usual shape of Greek temples was an oblong about twice as long as wide, at the front and back of which was a pedi­ment or gable-roof (Gr. aetSs or netomd; Lat. fastiglum). Round temples with dome-shaped roofs were quite the excep­tion. The principal part of the temple was the chamber containing the image of the god. This stood on a pedestal, which was often placed in a small niche, and usually stood facing the east, opposite folding-doors which always opened out­wards. Before the image stood an altar used for unbloody sacrifices. This cham­ber, called in Greek nd5s, and in Latin cella, generally received its light through the door alone, but sometimes there was also an opening in the roof. There were also temples designated hypcethrctl (from hjjpaithros, " in the open air ");1 in these there was no roof to the middle chamber

1 [Vitruvius, iii 1 § 22. The Attic form is kypai-thriw.]

About | First | Index



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