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On this page: Caput – Caput Extorum – Caracalla – Carbatina – Carcer



A judicium capitale, or poena capitalis, was one which affected a citizen's caput. The subject of the Capitis deminutio is fully discussed by Becker, JJandbnch tier Romischen Alter thumer, vol. ii. p. ] 00 ; and by Savigny, System^ &c. vol. ii. p. 68, &c. [G.L.]

CAPUT. [fenus.t

CAPUT EXTORUM. ' The Pvoman sooth­ sayers (Jiaruspices) pretended to a knowledge of coming events from the inspection of the entrails of victims slain for that purpose. The part to which they especially directed their attention was the liver, the convex upper portion of which seems to have been called the caput extorum. (Plin. PI. N. xi. 87. s. 73.) Any disease or deficiency in this organ was considered an unfavourable omen ; whereas, if healthy and perfect, it was believed to indicate good fortune. The haruspices divided it into two parts, one called familiaris, the other hostilis: from the former, they foretold the fate of friends ; from the latter, that of enemies. Thus we read (Liv. viii. 9), that the head of the liver was mutilated by the knife of the operator on the " familiar " part (caput jecinoris a familiari parts caesum\ which was always a bad sign. But the word " caput " here seems of doubtful application ; for it may designate either the convex upper part of the liver, or one of the prominences of the various lobes which form its lower and irregularly concave part. It is, however, more obvious and natural to under­ stand by it the upper part, which is formed of two prominences, called the great and small, or right and left lobes. If no caput was found, it was a bad sign (niliil tristius accidere potuif) ; if well de­ fined or double, it was a lucky omen. (Cic. De Div. ii, 12, 13 ; Liv. xxvii. 26.) [R. W.]

CARACALLA was an outer garment used in Gaul, and not unlike the Roman laccrna. [LA-cerna.] It was first introduced at Rome by the emperor Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus, who com­pelled all the people who came to court to wear it, whence he obtained the surname of Caracalla. (Aurel. Vict. Epit. 21.) This garment, as worn in Gaul, does not appear to have reached lower than the knee, but Caracalla lengthened it so as to reach the ankle. It afterwards became common among the Romans, and garments of this kind were called caracallae Antonianae, to distinguish them from the Gallic caracallae. (Aurel. Vict. .De Caes. 21 ; Spartian. Sev. 21. Anton. Car. 9.) It usually had a hood to it, and came to be worn by the clergy. Jerome (Ep. 128) speaks ofpalliolum mirae pulcliritudinis in modum caracallarum sed absgue cucullis.

CARBATINA. [pero.]

CARCER (kerker, German ; yopyvpa, Greek), n prison. This word is connected with ep/co? and ei'pyo?, the guttural being interchanged with the aspirate.

1. greek. — Imprisonment was seldom used among the Greeks as a legal punishment for offences ; they preferred banishment to the expense of keeping prisoners in confinement. We do, in­deed, find some cases in which it was sanctioned by law; but these are not altogether instances of its being used as a punishment. Thus the farmers of the duties, and their bondsmen, were liable to imprisonment if the duties were not paid by a specified time; but the object of this was to pre­vent the escape of defaulters, and to insure regu­larity of payment, (Bockh, Publ, E<:on, of Athens,


p. 339, &c.) Again, persons who had been mulcted in penalties might be confined till they had paid them. (Dem. c. Mid. p. 529. 26.) The ar^uoi also, if they exercised the rights of citizenship;, were subject to the same consequences. (Dem. c. Timoer. p. 732. 17.) Moreover, we read of a Ss(Tfj,6s for theft; but this was a 7rpo<rTi'/.i77,ua, or additional penalty, the infliction of which was at the option of the court which tried the case ; and the Secr/xos itself was not an imprisonment, but a public exposure in the TroSo/ca/ocr/, or stocks, for five days and nights—the to eV £uA/*> SeStcrticx. Still the idea of imprisonment per se, as a punish­ment, was not strange to the Athenians. Thus we find that Plato (Leg. x. p. 908) proposes to have three prisons: one of these was to be a crax^poj/icrTTjptoy, or penitentiary, and another a place of punishment — a sort of penal settlement away from the city.

The prisons in different countries were called by different names: thus there was the "Avayiccuov^ in Boeotia ; the Ke'/m/xos, at Cyprus ; the Ko>s, afc Corinth ; and, amongst the lonians, the yopyvpa* as at Samoa. (Herod, iii. 145; Pollux, ix. 45.) The prison at Athens was in former times called SstTjUwr/iproz/, and afterwards, by a sort of euphe­mism, o'lKy/jia. It was chiefly used as a guard-house, or place of execution, and was under the charge of the public officers called the eleven, of e^Ss/ca. One gate in the prison, through which the con­demned were led to execution, was called r5 Xap&vt'iois. (Pollux, viii. 103 ; Wachsmuth, Hell, Alterthumsk. vol. ii. pp. 141, 201, 2d ed.)

The Attic expression for imprisonment was §e?i>. Thus in the oath of the ftovXevrai, or senators, occurs the phrase oy§e S^trw *&.Qv]vai<av ovfieva, Hence we have the phrase &$ecr/xos c^yAaK^ (Time, iii. 34), the "libera custodia " of the Romans, sig­nifying that a party was under strict surveillance and guard, though not confined within a prison.

2. roman.—A career, or prison, Avas first built at Rome by Ancus Martins, overhanging the forum. (Liv. i. 33.) This was enlarged by Servius Tullius, who added to it a souterrain, or dungeon, called from him the Tullianum. Sallust (Cat. 55) describes this as being twelve feet under ground, walled on each side, and arched over with stone work. For a long time this was the only prison at Rome (Juv. Sat. iii. 312), being, in fact, the " Tower," or state prison of the city, which was sometimes doubly guarded in times of alarm, and was the chief object of attack in many con­spiracies. (Liv. xxvi. 27, xxxii. 26.) Varro (L. L. v. 151, ed. Muller) tells us that the Tul­lianum was also named " Lautumiae," from some quarries in the neighbourhood ; or, as others think in allusion to the " Lautumiae " of Syracuse, a prison cut out of the solid rock. In later times the whole building was called the " Mamertine." Close to it were the Scalae Gemoniae, or steps, down which the bodies of those who had been executed were thrown into the Forum, to be ex­posed to the gaze of the Roman populace. (Cram or, Ancient Italy^ vol. i. p. 430.) There were, how­ever, other prisons besides this, though, as we might expect, the words of Roman historians gene­rally refer to this alone. One of these was built by Appius Claudius, the decemvir, and in it he was himself put to death. (Liv. iii. 57; Plin. H. N, vii. 36.)

The career of which we are treating, was chiefly used as a place of confinement for persons under

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