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On this page: Columnarium – Colus – Coma

COLUMNARIUM.

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capitol. The inscription upon it, in great part effaced, is written in obsolete Latin, similar to that of the Twelve Tables. (Quinctil. i. 7.) When statues were raised to ennoble victors at the Olympic and other games, or to commemorate persons who had obtained any high distinction, the tribute of public homage was rendered still more notorious and decisive by fixing their statues upon pillars. They thus appeared, as Pliny observes (If. N. xxxiv. 12), to be raised above other mortals.

But columns were much more commonly used to commemorate the dead. For this purpose they varied in size, from the plain marble pillar bearing a simple Greek inscription (Leon. Tarent. in Br. Anal. i. 239) to those lofty and elaborate columns which are now among the most wonderful and in­ structive monuments of ancient Rome. The column on the right hand in the last woodcut exhibits that which the senate erected to the honour of the Emperor Trajan, and crowned with his colossal statue in bronze. In the pedestal is a door which leads to a spiral staircase for ascending to the summit. Light is admitted to this staircase through numerous apertures. A spiral bas-relief is folded round the pillar, which represents the emperor's victories over the Dacians, and is one of the most valuable authorities for archaeological inquiries. Including the statue, the height of this monument, in which the ashes of the emperor were deposited, was not less than 130 feet. A similar column, erected to the memory of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, remains at Rome, and is com­ monly known by the appellation of the Antonine column. This sort of column was called cochlis or columna cochlis. [cochlis.] After the death of Julius Caesar, the people erected to his memory a column of solid marble, 20 feet high, in the forum, with the inscription parenti patriae. (Suet. Jul. 85.) Columns still exist at Rome, at Con­ stantinople, arid in Egypt, which were erected to other emperors. [P. S.]

COLUMNARIUM, a tax imposed in.the time of Julius Caesar upon the pillars that supported a house. (Cic. ad Ail. xiii. 6.) It was probably im-

COMA.

posed by the lex sumtuaria of Julius Caesar, and was intended to check the passion for the building of palaces, which then prevailed at Rome. The Oslianum was a similar tax. [ostiarium.]

The columnarium levied by Metellus Scipio in Syria in b. c. 49—48, was a tax of a similar kind, but had nothing to do with the tax to which Cicero alludes in the passage quoted above. This columnarium was simply an illegal means of ex­torting money from the provincials. (Cacs. B. C. iii. 32.)

COLUS, a distaff. [Fusus.]

COMA (/cti/xq, /coupa), the hair. 1. greek. In the earliest times the Greeks wore their hair long, and thus they are constantly called in Homer KapfiKo^oowres 'Axcucn. This ancient practice was preserved by the Spartans for many centuries. The Spartan boys always had their hair cut quite short (eV XP$ Keipovres, Plut. Lye. 16) ; but as soon as they reached the age of puberty (e<p?i-£01), they let it grow long." They prided them­selves upon their hair, calling it the cheapest of ornaments (r&v K^ff^v dSaTrcwwraTos), and be­fore going to battle they combed and dressed it with especial care, in which act Leonidas and his followers were discovered by the Persian spy be­fore the battle of Thermopylae (Herod, vii. 208, 209). It seems that both Spartan men and women tied their hair in a knot over the crown of the head (comp. Aristoph. Lys. 1316, ko\jmv trap-ajUTru/aSSe, with Hor. Carm. ii. 11, in compium Lacenae more comas religata nodum: Miiller, Dor. iv. 3. § 1). At a later time the Spartans aban­doned this ancient custom, and wore their hair short, and hence some writers erroneously attribute this practice to an earlier period. (Pans. vii. 14. § 2 ; Philostr. Vit. Apoll. iii. 15. p. 106, ed. Olear.; Pint. Ale. 23.)

The custom of the Athenians was different. They wore their hair long in childhood, and cut it off when they reached the age of puberty. The cutting off of the hair, which was always done when a boy became an e<£7?§os, was a solemn act, attended with religious ceremonies. A libation was first offered to Hercules, which was called oijfia-T'fipm or olvtaffT'fipia (Hesych. and Phot. s. v.) ; and the hair after being cut off was dedi­cated to some deity, usually a river-god. (Aeschyl. Chotpli. 6; Paus. i. 37. §2.) It was a very ancient practice to repair to Delphi to perform this ceremony, and Theseus is said to have done so. (Plut. Tlies. 5; Theophr. Char. 21.) The ephebi are always represented on works of art with their hair quite short, in which manner it was also worn by the Athletae (Lucian, Died. Mer. 5). But when the Athenians passed into the age of manhood, they again let their hair grow. In ancient times at Athens the hair was rolled up into a kind of knot on the crown of the head ; and fastened with golden clasps in the shape of grass­hoppers. This fashion of wearing the hair, which was called /cpwguAos, had gone out just before the time of Thucydides (i. 6) ; and what succeeded it in the male sex we do not know for certain. The Athenian females also wore their hair in the same fashion, which was in their case called Kopviu€os, and an example of which is given in the follow­ing figure of a female taken from Miillngen (Peintvres Antiques, plate 40). The word Corym-bium is used in a similar sense by Petroniug (c. 110).

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