The Ancient Library

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On this page: Abactus Venter – Abalienatio – Abdicatio – Abolla – Abortio – Abrogatio – Absolutio – Abstinendi Beneficium – Abusus – Acaena – Acatium – Accensi – Acceptilatio – Acna



(Cic. Verr. iv. 16, Tusc. v. 21 ; Liv. xxxix. 6 ; I Plin. H.N. xxxvii. 6 ; Petron. 73 ; Sid. Apoll. xvii. 7, 8.) These abaci are sometimes called mensae DelpUcae. (Cic. Verr. iv. 59 ; Mart. xii. 67 ; Becker, Gallus, vol. i. p. 140.)

7. A part of the theatre on or near the stage.

8. The diminutive abaculus (aSaiciffKos) de­ noted a tile of marble, glass, or any other substance used for making ornamental pavements. They were of various colours. (Plin. If. N~. xxxvi. 67 ; Mos- chion, ap. AtJi. v. 207, d.) [J. Y.]

ABACTUS VENTER. [abortio.]

ABALIENATIO. [mancipium]

ABDICATIO. [magistrates.]

ABOLLA, the Latin form of a^goAAa, i. e. az/a§oA7j, a loose woollen cloak. Nonius quotes a passage of Varro to show that it was a garment worn by soldiers (vestis militaris), and thus op­ posed to the toga. Its form and the mode of wearing it are seen in the figures annexed, taken from the bas-reliefs on the triumphal arch of Sep- timius Severus at Rome.

It was, however, not confined to military occa­sions, but was also worn in the city. (Suet, Col. 35.) It was especially used by the Stoic philoso­phers at Rome as the pallium philosophicum, just as the Greek philosophers were accustomed to dis­tinguish themselves by a particular dress. (Juv. iv. 75; Mart. iv. 53, viii. 48.) Hence the expres-^ sion of Juvenal (iv. 75) facinus majoris abottae merely signifies, " a crime committed by a very deep philosopher;" (Heinrich, ad Juv. L ct; Beeker? Gallus, vol. ii. p. 99.)

ABORTIO. This word and the cognate word abortivus, abortus, were applied to a child pre­maturely born, whence it appears that they wefe also applied to signify a premature birth brought about designedly. The phrase abactus venter in Paulus (Sent. Recep. iv. 9) simply means a pre­mature birth. That abortion in the secondary sense of the word was practised among the Romans, appears from various passages and from there being an enactment against it. (Dig. 48. tit. 19. s. 38.) It is not stated at wliat time a penalty against pro­curing abortion was established. It is maintained by some modern writers that the practice of abor­tion became so common among the Romans, that combined with celibacy and other causes it mate-


daily diminished the population of Rome. But this general assertion is not sufficiently proved. The practice of abortion appears not to have been viewed in the same light by the Greeks and Romans as by the Christian nations of modern times. Aris­ totle in his Politik (vii. 14), recommends it on the condition that the child has not yet got sensation and life, as he expresses it. In Plato's Republw (v. p. 25), it is also permitted. At Athens, a per­ son who had caused the abortion of a child by means of a potion (o^c£A<y0p£&o*'), was liable to an action (a/^Ac6(Te&>s 7pa^), but we do not know what was the penalty in case of conviction : it was certainly not death. There was a speech of Lysias on this subject, which is lost. (Frag. p. 8. ed. Reiske.) [G. L.]


ABSOLUTIO. [judex.]


ABUSUS. [Usus fructus.]

ACAENA ('A/mtVrj, &kcuj/oc, or in later Greek in one place &Kaivov) is a very ancient Greek word, for it is said to have been derived from the Thessalians or from the Pelasgians. It seems ori­ginally to have meant a pointed stick : thus it was applied both to a goad and to a shepherd's staff. Afterwards it came (like our pole and perch, and the German stange) to mean a measuring rod of the length of ten Greek feet, or, according to Hesychius, 9§ 7T77%6is, which is the same thing. It was used in measuring land, and thus it resembles the Ro­man decempeda. It is doubtful whether there was a corresponding square measure. (SSchol. in Apoll. Rhod. ill. 1326 ; Suid. s. v. ; Hesych. s. v.; Schow, Hesych. Restit. p. 648 ; Olympiodor. ad Aristot. Meteorolog. p. 25 ; Heron, ap. Salmas. ad. Solin. p. 481 ; Wurm, de Pond. p. 93.) Compare

ACNA. [P. S.]

ACATIUM. [Navis]

ACCENSI. 1. Public officers who attended on several of the Roman magistrates. They sum­moned the people to the assemblies, and those who had lawsuits to court; they preserved order in the assemblies and the courts, and proclaimed the time of the day when it was the third hour, the sixth hour, and the ninth hour. An accensus anciently preceded the consul who had not the fasces, and lictors without fasces walked behind him, which custom after being disused was restored by Julius Caesar in his first consulship. (Varr. L. L. vii. 58, ed. Miiller ; Plin. H. N. vii. 60; Suet. Jul. 20 ; Liv* iii. 33.) Accensi also attended on the governors of provinces (Cic. ad Fratr. i. 1. §4), and were commonly freedmen of the magistrate on whom they attended.

2. A "body of reserve troops^ who followed the Roman army without having any military duties to perform, and who were taken one by one to supply a'ny vacancies that might occur in the legions. They were according to the census of Serviua Tullius taken from the fifth class of citizens. They were placed in battle in the rear of the army, be­hind the triarii, and seem to hare acted sometimes as orderlies to the officers. They were also called Adscripticii and in later times Supernumerarii. (Fest. s. v. Accensi, Adscripticii; Liv.i. 43, viii. 8, 10 ; Veget. ii. 19 ; Niebuhr, Rom. Hist. vol. i. p. 449, &c.)

ACCEPTILATIO is denned to be a release by mutual interrogation between debtor and creditor, by which each party is exonerated from the same

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