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On this page: Aenum – Aecxra – Aeinautae – Aeiphugia – Aenigma – Aera – Aerarii



AEINAUTAE (aetvavrcu), magistrates at Miletus, consisting of the chief men in the state, who obtained the supreme power on the deposition of the tyrants, Thoas and Darnasenor. Whenever they wished to deliberate on important matters, they embarked on board ship (hence their name), put out at a distance from land, and did not return to shore till they had transacted their business.


(Pint. Quaest. Graec. 32.)

AEIPHUGIA (atiQvyia). [ExsiLiuivi.] AEISITI (aefo-trot). [prytaneium.] AENEATO'RES (ahenatores, Amm. Marc. xxiv. 4), were those who blew upon wind instru­ments in the Roman army, namely, the buc-cinatores, cornicines^ and tubicines, and they were so called because all these instruments were made of aes or bronze. (Suet. Caes. 32.) Aeneatores were also employed in the public games. (Sen. Ep. 84.) A collegium aeneatorum is mentioned in in­scriptions. (Orelli, Inscr. No. 4059.)

AENIGMA (afrry/xa), a riddle. It appears to have been a very ancient custom among the Greeks, especially at their symposia, to amuse themselves by proposing riddles to be solved. Their partiality for this sort of amusement is at­ tested by the fact that some persons, such as Theodectes of Phaselis and Aristonymus, acquired considerable reputation as inventors and writers of riddles. (Athen. x. pp. 451, 45*2, xii. p. 538.) Those who were successful in solving the riddle proposed to them received a prize, which had been pre­ viously agreed upon by the company, and usually consisted of wreaths, taeniae, cakes, and other sweetmeats, or kisses, whereas a person unable to solve a riddle was condemned to drink in one breath a certain quantity of wine, sometimes mixed with salt water. (Athen. x. p. 457 ; Pollux, vi. 107 ; Hesych. s. v. yptipos.) Those riddles which have come down to us are mostly in hexameter verse, and the tragic as well as comic writers not unfre- quently introduced them into their plays. Pollux (/. c.) distinguishes two kinds of riddles, the ctfviypa and ypityos, and, according to him, the former was of a jocose and the latter of a serious nature; but in the writers whose works have come down to us, no such distinction is observed ; and there are passages where the name yotyos is given to the most ludicrous jokes of this kind. (Aristoph. Vesp. 20 ; comp. Becker, Charicles, vol. i. p. 473.) The Romans seem to have been too serious to find any great amusement in riddles ; and when Gellius (xviii. 2) introduces some Ro­ mans at a banquet engaged in solving riddles, we must remember that the scene is laid at Athens ; and we do not hear of any Romans who invented or wrote riddles until a very late period. Appu- leius wrote a work entitled Liber Ludicrorum et GripJiorum, which is lost. After the time of Ap- puleius, several collections of riddles were made, some of which are still extant in MS. in various libraries. [L. S.]

AENUM, or AHE'NUM (sc. vas), a brazen vessel, used for boiling, is defined by Paullus to be a vessel hanging over the fire, in which water was boiled for drinking, whereas food was boiled in the cacabus. (Dig. 33. tit. 7. s. 18. § 3.) This distinction is not, however, always observed; for we read of food being cooked in the a'enum. (Juv. xv. 8L; Ov. Met. vi. 645.) The word is also frequentl}'- used in the sense of a dyer's copper; and, il? purple was tli3 most celebrated dye of


antiquity, we find the expressions Sidonium Tyrium acnum, &c. (Ov. Fast. iii. 822; Mart, xiv. 133.)

AECXRA, or EO'RA (alc&pa, ecfya), a festival at Athens, accompanied with sacrifices and ban­ quets, whence it is sometimes called evStnrvos. The common account of its origin is as follows : — Icarius was killed by the shepherds to whom he had given wine, and who, being unacquainted with the effects of this beverage, fancied in their intoxication that he had given them poison. Erigone, his daughter, guided by a faithful dog, discovered the corpse of her father, whom she had sought a long time in vain; and, praying to the gods that all Athenian maidens might perish in the same manner, hung herself. After this oc­ currence, many Athenian women actually hung themselves, apparently without any motive what­ ever ; and when the oracle was consulted respect­ ing it, the answer was, that Icarius and Erigone must be propitiated by a festival. (Hygin. Poet. Astron. ii. 4.) According to the Etymologicum Magnum, the festival was celebrated in honour" of Erigone, daughter of Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra, who came to Athens to bring the charge of matri­ cide against Orestes before the Areiopagus ; and, when he was acquitted, hung herself, with the same wish as the daughter of Icarius, and with the same consequences. According to Hesychius, the festival was celebrated in commemoration of the tyrant Temaleus, but no reason is assigned. Eustathius (ad Horn. pp. 389, 1535) calls the maiden who hung herself Aiora. But as the festival is also called 'a\tjtis (apparently from the wan­ derings of Erigone, the daughter of Icarius), the legend which was first mentioned seems to be the most entitled to belief. Pollux (iv. 7. § 55) men­ tions a song made by Theodoras of Colophon, which persons used to sing whilst swinging them­ selves (ez/ tcus al&pats). It is, therefore, probable that the Athenian maidens, in remembrance of Erigone and the other Athenian women who had hung themselves, swung themselves during this festival, at the same time singing the above- mentioned song of Theodorus. (See also Athen. xiv. p. 618.) [L. S.]

AERA. [chronologia.]

AERARII, a class of Roman citizens, who are said not to have been contained in the thirty tribes instituted by Servius Tullius. It is, how­ever, one of the most difficult points in the Roman constitution to determine who they were ; since all the passages in which they are mentioned refer only to the power of the censors to degrade a citizen, for bad conduct, by removing him from his tribe and making him an aerarian; but we nowhere find any definition of what an aerarian was. The Pseudo-Asconius (ad Cic. divin. in Caecil. p. 103, ed. Orelli), says that a plebeian might be degraded by being transferred to the tabulae Caeritum and becoming an aerarius. The error in this state­ment is, that not only a plebeian, but a senator and an eques also might become an aerarian, while for a plebeian there was no other punishment ex­cept that of becoming an aerarian. From the Pseudo-Asconius we collect that to have one's name transferred to the tables of the Caerites was equivalent to becoming an aerarian; secondly, that an aerarian no longer belonged to a century ; and, thirdly, that he had to pay the tribute in a dif­ferent man:i?r from the other citizens. These state-

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