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On this page: Agema – Ager

AGER,

, to accompany tliem to the chase, and to punish them when disobedient. He was ac­countable, however, to the state, which supported the agela at the public expense. All the members of an agela were obliged to marry at the same time. When they ceased to belong to an agela, they partook of the public meals for men (avSpeia) [syssitia]. These institutions were afterwards preserved in only a few states of Crete, such for instance as Lyctus. (Ephorus, ap. Strab. x. p. 480, &c.; Heracl. Pont. c. 3. ; Hock, Creta^ iii. p. 100, &c. ; Miiller, Dor. iv. 5. § 3 ; Hermann, Griech. Staatsaltertliumer, § 22 ; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterthumskunde, vol. i. p. 362, 2d ed.; Krause, Die Gymnastik u. Agonistik d. Ilellenen, p. 690, &c.) At Sparta the youths left their parents' houses at seven years of age and entered the fiovcu.

AGEMA (ftyrjfjia from &yw), the name of a chosen body of troops in the Macedonian army, consisting of horse-soldiers and foot-soldiers, but usually of the former. It seems to have varied in number; sometimes it consisted of 150 men, at other times of 300, and in later times it contained as many as 1000 or 2000 men. (Diod. xix. 27, 28: Liv. xxxvii. 40 ; xliii. 51. 58 ; Curt. iv. 13 ; Polyb. v. 25, 65, xxxi. 8 ; Hesych. and Suid. s. v.; Eustath. ad Od. i. p. ldi)9, 62.)

AGER is the general term for a district or tract of country, which has some definite limits, and be­longs to some political society. Ager Romanus is the old territory of the Romans. Agri, in the plural, often means lands in the country as opposed to town: " est in agris," means "he is in the country:" " mittere in agros," a phrase that occurs in speak­ing of the agrarian laws, means to assign portions of the Ager Publicus to individuals. (Liv. vi. 17, x.21.)

Terra is an indefinite term: it is a whole coun­try without reference to political limits^ as Terra Italia.

Ager Publicus was the property of the Roman state, part of the Publicum. Ager Privatus was the property of individuals. Some remarks on the general division of land into Publicus and Privatus, and on the nature of land that was Sacer and Reli-giosus, are contained in the article on the Agrarian Laws. Ager Occupatorius is land occupied by a victorious people when the conquered people had been driven out (Rei Agrariae Auctores, p. 45, ed. Goes.) : the possessiones [agrariae leges] were included in the Ager Occupatorius. Such land as was restored to those who had lost it by conquest, was called Redditus. The Ager Occu­patorius was also called Ager Arcifinius orArcifinalis, so denominated " ab arcendis hostibus " (p. 38. ed. Goes.). But the terms Ager Arcifinius and Occu­patorius do not appear to be exactly equivalent, though some of the writers on the Res Agraria make them so. Ager Arcifinius appears to express the whole of a territory, which had only some natural or arbitrary boundary, and was not defined by measurement (qui nulla, mensura continetur; Frontinus.) Such were the scattered portions of the Roman Ager Publicus. The Ager Occupatorius might signify so much of the public land included in the Arcifinius as was held by possessors (occu-patus), or, as Niebuhr explains it, the term Occu­patorius was confined to the public land, strictly so called, and designated the tenure under which it tvas held.

Frontinus divides lands into three heads (qitali-

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AGER.

tales) : Ager Divisus et Assignatus ; Ager mensura comprehensus ; Ager Arcifinius. He defines the Arcifinius, as above stated. The Ager mensura comprehensus appears to signify a tract, of which the limits were defined by measurement, which was given in the mass to some community (cujus modus universus civitat.i est assignatus), of which he mentions two examples.

Ager Divisus et Assignatus was public land that was assigned or granted to private persons. The verb divido^ or some form of it, is used by Livy (iv. 51, v. 30) to express the distribution of tho land. The word assigno indicates the fixing of the signa or boundaries. Ager Quaestorius was public land, which was sold by the quaestors (pp. 2, 14, ed. Goes.), in square patches, each side of which was the length of ten linear actus: the square consequently contained 100 quadrati actus or fifty jugera.

Ager Limitatus was public land marked out by lirnites for the purpose of assignment to coloni or others. The limites were drawn with reference to the heavens (p. 1505 ed. Goes.) ; and this mode of dividing the land was founded on the old Etruscan doctrine, for the Etruscans divided the earth into parts, following the course of the sun by drawing a line from east to west, and another from south to north. This was the foundation of the limites of a templum, a term which means the celestial vault, and also so much of the earth's surface as the augur could comprehend in his view. This was the foundation of the Roman Limitatio of land. A line (limes) was drawn through a given point from east to west, which was called the Decumanus, originally Duocinianus* (according to Hyginus), be­cause it divides the earth into two parts : another line was drawn from south to north, which was called Cardo, " a mundi cardine." The length of these two chief limites would be determined by the limits of the land which was to be divided. The points from which the two chief limites were drawn varied according to circumstances. Those which were pa­rallel to the Decumanus were Prorsi, direct ; those which were parallel to the Cardo were Transversi, transverse. The limes was therefore a term applied to a boundary belonging to a tract of land, and the centuriae included in it, and is different from finis, which is the limit of any particular property. The Decumani, Cardines, and other limites of a district form an unchangeable kind of network in the midst of the changeable properties which have their several fines (Rudorff ). The distance at which the limites were to be drawn, would depend on the magnitude of the squares or centuriae, as they were called, into which it was proposed to divide the tract. The whole tract might not be square: sometimes the Decumani Limites would be only half as long as the Cardines (p. 154. ed. Goes.). Every sixth limes, reckoning from the Decumanus and including it, was wider than the intermediate limites, and these wider limites served as roads, but they were not included under the term of Viae Publicae, though a limes and a via publica might sometimes coincide. (Hyginus. ed. Goes. p. 163.) The narrower limites were called Linearii in the provinces, but in Italy

* Duocimanus, according to Hyginus, was changed into Decimanus ; " Decumanus," says Niebuhr, " probably from making the figure of a cross, which resembles the numeral X, like decus-satus." Neither explanation is satisfactory. -

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