The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Compensatio – Comperendinatio – Competitor – Compitalia


his rivals and enemies. It also communicated so much information as was necessary to understand the story of the play. The prologue was com­monly spoken by one of the players, or, perhaps, by the manager of the troop. Occasionally the speaker of it assumed a separate mask and costume, for the occasion (Plaut. Poen. prol. 126 ; Terent. Pro/, ii. 1). Sometimes the prologue is spoken by one of the dramatis personae (Plaut. AmpJi.; MIL Glor. ; Merc.\ or by some supernatural or personified being, as the Lar familiaris in the Au-lularia of Plautus, Arcturus in the Rudens, Auxi-lium in the Cistellaria^ Luxuria and Inopia in the Trinimimus. (Baden, vcn dem Prologe im Rom. Lustsp. in Jahn's Archiv. i. 3. p. 441, &c. ; Bekker, de com. Roman. Fabulis, p. 89, &c. ; Wolff, de Pro-logis Plautinis.') The rest of the piece consisted (as Diomedes says, iii. p. 489) of diverbium and canticum. This division, however, must not be taken too stringently, as it was not every mono­logue which was a canticum. The composition of the music, which is spoken of in the didascaliae, appears to have had reference to these cantica. Respecting the use of masks, see the article per­sona. When they were first introduced, is a disputed point (Wolff. de Canticis, p. 22, &c. ; Holscher, de Personarum Usu in Ludis seen. ap. Rom. ; Stieve, de Rei scenicae ap. Rom. Oriyine.} The characters introduced were much the same as in the new comedy, and their costume was not very different. Donatus gives the following ac­count of it: " comicis senibus candidus vestis in-ducitur, quod is antiquissimus fuisse memoratur, adolescentibus discolor attribuitur. Servi comici amictu exiguo conteguntur paupertatis antiquae gratia, vel quo expeditiores agant. Parasiti cum intortis palliis veniunt. Laeto vestitus candidus. aerumnoso obsoletus, purpureus diviti, pauperi phoeniceus datur. Militi chlamys purpurea, puel-lae habitus peregrinus inducitur, leno pallio varii coloris utitur, meretrici ob avaritiam luteum datur." A word remains to be said on the Atellanae falulae. These were not of Roman, but of Italian origin, and were not introduced among the Romans till the latter came into contact with the Cam-panians. These pieces took their name from the town of Atella in Campania. From being always composed in the Oscan dialect, they were also called ludi Osci^ or ludicrum Oscum. At first, and amongst the Oscans, they appear to have been rude, improvisatory farces, without dramatic con­nection, but full of raillery and satire. So far they resembled the earlier scenic entertainments of the Remans. But the Oscan farces had not the dancing or gesticulation which formed a chief part of th2 latter, and those who took part in them personated characters representing various classes of the country people, like the Maschere of the modern Italians. These had regular names ; there was Maccus, a sort of clown or fool ; Buc-cones, i. e. babblers ; Pappus ; Simus or Simitis, the baboon. The Greek origin of some of these names would seem to indicate that the Greek settlers in Italy had some influence in the deve­lopment of this species of amusement. The Atel­lanae fabulae were distinguished from the mimes by the absence of low buffoonery. They were marked by a refined humour. (Cic. ad Fam. ix. 16; Val. Max. ii. 1.) They were commonly divided into five acts. (Macrob. Saturn, iii.) Re­specting the cacodia, see the article exodium.



The Oscan dialect was preserved, even when they were introduced at Rome. (Strabo, v. p. 356, a.') Though at first improvisatory, after the regular drama acquired a more artistic character, the Atellanae came to be written. Lucius Pomponius of Bononia and Q. Novius are mentioned as writers of them. Regular histriones were not allowed to perform in them. They were acted by free-born Romans, who were not subjected to any civil de­ gradation for appearing in them. In later times, they degenerated, and became more like the mimes, and were acted by histriones ; but by that time they had fallen into considerable neglect. (C. E." Schober, uber die Atellanen, Lips. 1825 ; Weyer, uber d. Atell. Mannheim 1826 ; Neukirch, de Fa- btda togata^ pp. 20, 51, &c. ; Bahr, Gesch. der Rom. Litteratur.} [C. P. M.]

COMPENSATIO is defined by Modestinus to be debiti et crediti inter se contributio. Compen- satio, as the etymology of the word shows (pe?id-o\ is the act of making things equivalent. A person who was sued, might answer his creditor's demand, who was also his debtor, by an offer of compen- satio (si paratus est compensate) j which in effect was an offer to pay the difference, if any, which should appear on taking the account. The object of the compensatio was to prevent unnecessary suits and payments, by ascertaining to which party a balance was due. Originally compensatio only took place in bonae fidei judiciis, and ex eadem causa ; but by a rescript of M. Aurelius there could be compensatio in stricti juris judiciis, and ex dis- pari causa. When a person made a demand in right of another, as a tutor in right of his pupillus, the debtor could not have compensatio in respect of a debt due to him from the tutor on his own account. A fidejussor (surety) who was called upon to pay his principal's debt, might have com­ pensatio, either in respect of a debt due by the claimant to himself or to his principal. It was a rule of Roman law that there could be no compen­ satio where the demand could be answered by an exceptio peremptoria ; for the compensatio admitted the demand, subject to the proper deduction, whereas the object of the exceptio was to state something in bar of the demand. Set-off in Eng­ lish law, and compensation in Scotch law, corre­ spond to compensatio. (Dig. 16. tit. 2 ; Thibaut, System, &c. § 606, 9th ed. contains the chief rules as to compensatio.) [G. L.]


COMPETITOR. [ambitus.]


COMPITALIA, also called LUDI COMPI-TALI'CII, a festival celebrated once a year in honour of the lares compitales, to whom sacrifices were offered at the places where two or more ways met (compact^ Varro, De Ling. Lat. vi. 25, ed. Miiller ; Festus, s. v.}. This festival is said by some writers to have been instituted by Tarquinius Prisons in consequence of the miracle attending the birth of Servius Tullms, who was supposed to be the son of a lar familiaris. (Plin. H. N~. xxxvi. 70.) Dionysius (iv. 14) ascribes its origin to Servius Tullius, and describes the festival as it was celebrated in his time. He relates that the sacri­fices consisted of honey-cakes (ireAawi), which were presented by the inhabitants of each house, and that the persons, who assisted as ministering servants at the festival, were not free-men, b»t slaves, because the lares took pleasure in the ser»

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of