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On this page: Alabarches – Alabastrites – Alabastrum – Alaea – Alauda – Albogalerus – Album – Alcathoea – Alea


4. Lastly, under the empire, the term ala was applied to regiments of horse, raised it would seem with very few exceptions in the provinces, serving apart from the legions and the cavalry of the le­gions. It is to troops of this description that Tacitus refers when (Ann. xv. 10) he mentions Alares Pannonii robur equitatus.

Some further details on this subject are given under exercitus. [W. R.]

ALABARCHES (aAa^apx^s)? appears to have been the chief magistrate of the Jews at Alexandria; but whose duties, as far as the government was concerned, chiefly consisted in raising and paying the taxes. (Joseph. Ant. xviii. 18. § 1, xix. 5. § 1, xx. 5. § 2; Euseb. H. E. ii. 5.) Hence, Ci­cero (ad Ait. ii. 17) calls Pompey alabarches from his raising the taxes. The etymology of this word is altogether uncertain, and has given rise to great disputes ; some modern writers propose, but with­out sufficient reason, to change it, in all the pas­sages in which it occurs, into arabarches. The question is fully discussed by Sturzius. (De Dia­lect. Macedon. et Alexandrin. p. 65, &c.)

ALABASTRUM and ALABASTER (a\d-£acrrpoi/, aA^^atrrpos), a box or vase for holding perfumes and ointments; so called because they were originally made of alabaster, of which the variety, called onyx-alabaster, was usually em­ployed for this purpose. (Plin. H. N. xiii. 2. s. 3, xxxvi. 8. s. 12.) They were, however, subse­quently made of other materials, as, for instance, gold (xpvcreia a\d€acrrpa). Such vases are first mentioned by Herodotus (iii. 20), who speaks of an " alabaster-box of perfumed ointment " (pvpov aAagatrrpov), as one of the presents sent by Cambyses to the Ethiopian king ; and after his time they occur both in Greek and Roman writers. (Aristoph. Acfiarn. 1053 ; Aelian, V. H. xii. 18 ; Martial, xi. 8 ; Matth. xxvi. 7; Mark, xiv. 3 ; Luke, vii. 37.) These vessels were of a tapering shape, and very often had a long narrow neck, which was sealed; so that when the woman in the Gospels is said to break the alabaster-box of oint­ment for the purpose of anointing Christ, it ap­pears probable that she only broke the extremity of the neck, which was thus closed.

ALABASTRITES. [alabaster.]

ALAEA ('AAcua), games which were annually celebrated at the festival of Athena, surnamed Alea, near Tegea, in the neighbourhood of the magnificent temple of the same goddess. (Paus. viii. 47. § 3.) [L. S.]


ALAUDA, a Gaulish word, the prototype of the modern French Alouette^ denoting a small crested bird of the lark kind which the Latins in allusion to its tuft denominated Galerita. The name alauda was bestowed by Julius Caesar on a legion of picked men, which he raised at his own expence among the inhabitants of Transalpine Gaul, about the year b. c. 55, not as erroneously asserted by Gibbon, during the civil war ; which he equipped and disciplined after the Roman fashion ; and on which in a body, he at a sub­sequent period bestowed the freedom of the state. This seems to have been the first example of a regular Roman legion levied in a foreign country and composed of barbarians. The designation was, in all probability, applied from a plume upon the helmet, resembling the " apex " of the bird in question, or from the general shape and appearance


of the head-piece. Cicero in a letter to Atticus, written in b. c. 44, states that he had received in­telligence that Antonius was marching upon the city " cum legione alaudarum," and from the Philippics we learn that by the Lex Judiciaria of Antonius even the common soldiers of this corps (Alaudae——manipulares ex legione Alaudarum) were privileged to act as judices upon criminal trials, and enrolled along with the veterans in the third decuria of judices, avowedly, if we can trust the orator, that the framer of the law and his friends might have functionaries in the courts of justice upon whose support they could depend.

That the legion Alauda, was numbered V. is proved by several inscriptions, one of them be­longing to the age of Domitian in honour of a cer­tain Cn. Domitius, who among many other titles is

Styled TRIE. MIL. LEG. V. ALAUDAE. It had

however disappeared from the army list in the time of Dion Cassius, that is, in the early part of the third century, for the historian, when giving a cata­ logue of such of the twenty-three or twenty-five legions which formed the establishment of Augustus, as existed when he wrote, makes no mention of any fifth legion except the Quinta Macedonica. (Sueton. Jttl. 24 ; Caesar, B. C. i. 39 ; Plin. //. N. xi. 44 ; Cic. Philip, i. 8. § 20, v.5. § 12, xiii. 2. § 3, 18. § 37 ; Gruter, Corp. Inscrip. Lot. ccccm. 1, dxliv. 2, dxlix. 4, dlix. 7 ; Orelli, Inscrip. Lat. n. 773.) [W. R.}


ALBUM is defined to be a tablet of any mate­rial on which the praetor's edicts, and the rules relating to actions and interdicts, were written. [Edictum.] The tablet was put up in a public place in Rome, in order that all persons might have notice of its contents. According to some authorities, the album was so called, because it was either a white material, or a material whitened, and of course the writing would be a different colour. According to other authorities, it was so called because the writing was in white letters. If any person wilfully altered or erased (raserit, corruperit) mutaverit) any thing in the album, he was liable to an action albi corrupti^ and to a heavy penalty. (Dig. 2. tit. i. s. 7, 9.)

Probably the word album originally meant any tablet containing any thing of a public nature. Thus, Cicero informs us that the Annales Maximi were written on the album by the pontifex maxi-mus. (De Orat. ii. 12.) But, however this may be, it was in course of time used to signify a list of any public body ; thus we find the expression, album sanatorium, used by Tacitus (Ann. iv. 42), to express the list of senators, and corresponding to the word leucoma used by Dion Cassius (Iv. 3). The phrase album decurionum signifies the list of decuriones whose names were entered on the album of a municipium, in the order prescribed by the lex municipalis, so far as the provisions of the lex extended. (Dig. 50. tit. 3.) Album ju~ dicum is the list of judices. (Suet. Claud. 16.)

[JUDEX.] [G. L.]

ALCATHOEA (aA/ca0o?a). The name of games celebrated at Megara, in commemoration of the Eleian hero Alcathous, son of Pelops, who had killed a lion which had destroyed Euippus, son of King Megareus. (Pind. Isthm. viii. 148 ; Paus. L 42. §1.) ^ [L.S.]

ALEA, gaming, or playing at a game of chance of any kind. Hence, alea, aleator, a gamester, a

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