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On this page: Ager Sanctus – Agetoria – Agger – Agitatores – Agmen – Agnomen – Agonalia


tions of modern times bear some resemblance to this Roman usage.

It has "been observed that finis, a term which expresses the boundary of separate properties, must not be confounded with limes; nor must fundus be confounded with locus. A fundus has determinate boundaries (fines): a locus is indeterminate, and may be part of a fundus or comprise more than a fundus. A dispute about a fundus is a question of property ; a dispute about a locus or finis is a dis­pute about boundaries.

Niebuhr conjectures " that a fundus assigned by the state was considered as one entire farm, as a whole, the limits of which could not be changed.1' But he adds, " This did not preclude the division of estates, nor even the sale of duodecimal parts of them;" and further, " The sale or transfer of them, when the whole was not alienated, was in parts according to the duodecimal scale." But to this it is replied by Bureau de la Malle, that when there were five, seven or nine heredes, there must be a fractional division. A fundus generally had a par­ticular name which was not changed, and it is stated that both in Italy and France many of these properties still have Roman names. But the fact of a fundus generally having a name, and the fact of the name being often preserved, does not prove that all fundi retained their original limits accord­ing to Roman usage ; nor does the fact, that there were sometimes two, sometimes three owners of one fundus (Dig. 10. tit. 1. s. 4.), prove that a fundus never had its limits changed, while it disproves Niebuhr's assertion as to duodecimal parts, unless the halves and thirds were made up of duodecimal parts, which cannot be proved. It seems probable enough, that an original fundus would often retain its limits unchanged for centuries. But it is certain that the bounds (fines) of private properties often changed. Rudorff remarks • " The boundary of a property is changeable. It may by purchase, ex­change, and other alienation, be pushed further, and be carried back." The localities of the great Cardines, Decumani, and other Limites, as the same writer has been already quoted to showj are un­changeable.

The difficulty of handling this subject is very great, owing to the corrupted text of the writers on the Res Agraria. The latest edition of these writers is by Goesius, Amsterdam, 1674 Anew and corrected edition of these writers with a suit­ able commentary would be a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the Roman land system* (Rei Agrariae Auctores, ed. Goes. ; Rudorff Zeitsctifift fur GescUclit. Reclitsw. Ueber die Granzscheidungs- klage, vol. x, ; Niebuhr, vol. ii. appendix 1; Bureau de la Malle, Economic Politique des Romains^ vol. ii. p. 166, &c.) [G.L.]

AGER SANCTUS (renews). For an account of the lands in Greece devoted to the service of religion, see temenos : for an account of those in Rome, see sacerdos.

AGETORIA (aynrSpia.} [carneia.]

AGGER (^Sjua)^ from ad and gero^ was used in general for a heap or mound of any kind which might be made of stones, wood, earth or any other substance. It was more particularly applied to a ffloiind, usually composed of earth, which was raised round a besieged town, and which was gradually increased in breadth and height, till it equalled or tivertopped the walls. Hence we find the expres­sions aggere oppidum oppugnare, aggere oppidum



cingere ; and the making of the agger is expressed by the verbs exstruere^ construere., jacere^ facere, &c. Some of these aggeres were gigantic works, flanked with towers to defend the workmen and soldiers, and surmounted by parapets, behind which the soldiers could discharge missiles upon the besieged towns. At the siege of Avaricum, Caesar raised in twenty-five days an agger 330 feet broad, and 80 feet high. (B. G. vii. 24.) As the agger was sometimes made of wood, hurdles, and similar materials, we sometimes read of its being set on fire. (Liv. xxxvi. 23 ; Caes. B. G. vii. 24, B. C. ii. 14, 15.) The word agger was also applied to the earthen wall surrounding a Roman encampment, composed of the earth dug from the ditch (fossa), which was usually nine feet broad and seven feet deep ; but if any attack was apprehended, the depth was increased to twelve feet, and the breadth to thirteen feet. Sharp stakes, &c., were usually fixed upon the agger, which was then called vallum. When both words are used (as in Caesar, B. G. vii. 72, agger ac vallum}^ the agger means the mound of earth ; and the vallum the sharp stakes (vatti), which were fixed upon the agger.

At Rome, the formidable rampart erected by Servius Tullius to protect the western side of Rome was called agger. It extended from the further extremity of the Quirinal to that of the Esquiline. It was fifty feet broad, having a wall on the top, defended by towers, and beneath it was a ditch a hundred feet wide and thirty feet deep. (Cic. de Rep. ii. 6 ; Dionys. ix. 68.) Pliny (H. N. iii. 5. s. 9) attributes the erection of this rampart to Tar-quinius Superbus, but this is in opposition to all the other ancient writers who speak of the matter.


AGMEN. [exercitus.]


AGNOMEN. [nomen.]

AGONALIA, or AGO'NIA (Ov. Fast. v. 721), one of the most ancient festivals at Rome, celebrated several times in the year. Its institu­tion, like that of other religious rites and cere­monies, was attributed to Numa Pompilius. (Ma-crob. Saturn, i. 4.) We learn from the ancient calendars that it was celebrated on the three fol­lowing days, the 9th of January, the 21st of May, and the llth of Becember (a. d. V. Id. Jan.; XII. Kal. Jun.j III. Id. Dec.} ; to which we should probably add the 17th of March (a. d. XVI. Kal. Apr.},, the day on which the Liberalia was cele­brated, since this festival is also called Agonia or Agonium Martiale. (Varr. L. L. vi. 14, ed. Miil-ler ; Macrob. I. c. ; Kalendarium Vaticanum.} The object of this festival was a disputed point among the ancients themselves ; but as Hartung has ob­served (Die Religion der Romer, vol. ii. p. 33), when it is recollected that the victim which was offered was a ram^ that the person who offered it was the rex sacrificulus, and that the place where it was offered was the regia (Var. L. L. vi. 12; Ov. Fast. i. 333 ; Fest. s. v. Agonium)^ we shall not have much difficulty in understanding the significance of this festival. The ram was the usual victim presented to the guardian gods of the state, and the rex sacrificulus and the regia could be em­ployed only for such ceremonies as were connected with the highest gods and affected the weal of the whole state. Regarding the sacrifice in this light, we see a reason for its being offered several times in the vear.

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