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On this page: Centuria – Centuriata Comitia – Centurio – Centussis – Cera – Cerealia – Cerevfsia – Cernere Hereditatem – Ceroma – Certamina – Certi



in early times, for the special purpose of deciding questions of quiritarian ownership ; and the im­portance of such questions is apparent, when we consider that the Roman citizens were rated ac­cording to their quiritarian property, that on their rating depended their class and century, and con­sequently their share of power in the public as­semblies. No private judex could decide on a right which might thus indirectly affect the caput of a Roman citizen, but only a tribunal selected out of all the tribes. Consistently with this hypothesis we find not only the rei vindicatio within the jurisdiction of the centumviri, but also the heredi-tatis petitio and actio confessoria. Hollweg is of Opinion that, with the Aebutia Lex a new epoch in the history of the centumviri commences ; the legis actiones were abolished, and the formula [AcTio] was introduced, excepting, however, as to the causae centumviralcs. (Gaius, iv. 30, 31 ; Gell. xvi. 10.) The formula is in its nature adapted only to personal actions; but it appears that it was also adapted by a legal device to vindicationes ; and llollweg attributes this to the Aebutia Lex, by which he considers that the twofold process was introduced : — 1. per legis actionem apud centum-viros; 2. per formulam or per sponsionem before a judex. Thus two modes of procedure in the case of actiones in rem were established, and such actions were no longer exclusively within the juris­diction of the centumviri.

Under Augustus, according to Hollweg, the functions of the centumviri were so far modified that the more important vindicationes were put under the cognizance of the centumviri, and the less important were determined per sponsionem and before a judex. Under this emperor the court also resumed its former dignity and importance. (Dial, de Cans. Corrupt. Eloq. c. 38.)

The younger Pliny, who practised in this court (Ep. ii. 14), makes frequent allusions to it in his letters. (Ep. i. 5, v. 1, ix. 23.) The centumviri are mentioned in two excerpts in the Digest (5. tit. 2. s. 13, 17) and perhaps elsewhere ; one ex­cerpt is from C. Scaevola and the other from Paulus.

The foregoing notice is founded on Hollweg's ingenious essay ; his opinions on some points, how­ ever, are hardly established by authorities. Those who desire to investigate this exceedingly obscure matter may compare the two essays cited at the head of this article. [G. L.]

CENTURIA. [comitia ; exercitus.]


CENTURIO. [exercitus.]


CERA (/C7?pds), wax. For its employment in painting, see pictura, No. 7 ; and for its ap­plication as a writing material, see tabulae and testamentum.

CEREALIA, a festival celebrated at Rome in honour of Ceres, whose wanderings in search of her lost daughter Proserpine were represented by women clothed in white, running about with lighted torches. (Ov. Fast. iv. 494.) During its continuance, games were celebrated in the Circus Maximus (Tacit. Ann. xv. 53), the spectators of which appeared in Avhite (Ov. Fast. iv. 620) ; but on any occasion of public mourning the games and festivals were not celebrated at all, as the ma­trons could, not appear at them except in white. (Liv. xxii. 56, xxxiv. 6.) The day of the Cerealia


is doubtful; some think it was the ides or 13th of April, others the 7th of the same month. (Ov. Fast.iv. 389.) [R.W.]

CEREVFSIA, CERVFSIA (frffcw), ale or beer, was almost or altogether unknown to the ancient, as it is to the modern inhabitants of Greece and Italy. But it was used very generally by the surrounding nations, whose soil and climate were less favourable to the growth of vines (in Gallia, aliisque provinciis, Plin. H. N. xxii. 82 ; Theophrast. De Causis Plant, vi. 11 ; Diod. Sic. iv. 2, v. 26 ; Strab. xvii. 2. 5 ; Tacit. Germ. 23). According to Herodotus (ii. 77), the Egyptians commonly drank " barley-wine," to which custom Aeschylus alludes (e/c ttpiQ&v /xe'0v, Suppl. 954 ; Pelusiaci pocula zytlii^ Colnm. x. 116). Diodorus Siculus (i. 20, 34) says, that the Egyptian beer was nearly equal to wine in strength and flavour. The Iberians, the Thracians, and the people in the north of Asia Minor, instead of drinking their ale or beer out of cups, placed it before them in a large bowl or vase (Kparrlp\ which was sometimes of gold or silver. This being full to the brim with the grains, as well as the fermented liquor, the guests, when they pledged one another, drank to­ gether out of the same bowl by stooping down to it, although, when this token of friendship was not intended, they adopted the more refined method of sucking up the fluid through tubes of cane. (Archil. Frag. p. 67, ed. Liebel ; Xen. Anab. iv. § 5, 26 ; Athen. i. 28 ; Virg. Georg. iii. 380 ; Serv. ad loc.) The Suevi, and other northern nations, offered to their gods libations of beer, and expected that to drink it in the presence of Odin would be among the delights of Valhalla. (Keysler, Antiq. Septent. p. 150—156.) Epvrov, one of the names for beer (Archil. I. c.; Hella- nicus, p. 91, ed. Sturtz ; Athen. x. 67), seems to be an ancient passive participle, from the verb to bretu. [J. Y.]


CEROMA (K^p&yta) was the oil mixed with wax (Krjp6s~) with which wrestlers were anointed. After they had been anointed with this oil, they were covered with dust or a soft sand ; whence Seneca (Ep. 57) says — A ceromate nos liaplie (gh^ij) eoccepil in crypta, Neapolitana.

Ceroma also signified the place where wrestlers were anointed (the elaeothesium, Vitrav. v. 11), and also, in later times, the place where they wrestled. This word is often used in connection with palaestra (Plin. //. N. xxxv. 2), but we do not know in what respect these places differed. Seneca (De JBrcv. Vit. 12) speaks of the ceroma as a place which the idle were accustomed to frequent, in order to see the gymnastic sports of boys. Ar-nobius (Adv. Gent. iii. 23) informs us that the ceroma was under the protection of Mercury. (Krause, Gymnastik und Agonistik dor Hellencn, vol. i. p. 106, &c.)

CERTAMINA. [athletae.]

CERTI, INCERTI ACTIO, is a name which has been given by some modern writers to those actions in which a determinate or indeterminate sum, as the case may be, is mentioned in the for­mula (condemnatio certae pecuniae vel incerlae, Gaius, iv. 49, &c.).

The expression incerta formula, which occurs in Gaius (iv. 54), implies a certa formula. With respect to the intentio, it may be called certa when the demand of the actor is determinate,

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