The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

362

CORONA.

parties, were still subjected to certain legal re­strictions in respect of the time, place, and mode in which they were conferred. They could not be presented but in the public assemblies, and with the consent, that is by suffrage, of the people, or by the senators in their council, or by the tribes to their own members, or by the 5^/xoraz to mem­bers of their own st/^os-. According to the state­ment of Aeschines, the people could not lawfully present crowns in any place except in their as­sembly, nor the senators except in. the senate-house ; nor, according to the same authority, in the theatre, which is, however, denied by De­mosthenes ; nor at the public games, and if any crier there proclaimed the crowns he was subject to arijuia. Neither could any person holding an office receive a crown whilst he was virevOwos, that is, before he had passed his accounts. But crowns were sometimes presented by foreign cities to particular citizens, which were termed (rretydvoi ^vlkoi, coronae hospitales. This, however, could not be done until the ambassadors from those cities had obtained permission from the people, and the party for whom the honour was intended had un­dergone a public investigation, in which the whole course of his life was submitted to a strict inquiry. (Aesch. Dem. II. cc.)

We now proceed to the second class of crowns, which were emblematical and not honorary, at least to the person who wore them, and the adop­tion of which was not regulated by law, but custom. Of these there were also several kinds.

I. corona sacerdotalis, so called by Am-mianus Marcellinus (xxix. 5. § 6). It was worn by the priests (sacerdotes), with the exception of the pontifex Maximus and his minister (camillus), as well as the bystanders, when officiating at the sacrifice. It does not appear to have been confined to any one material, but was sometimes made of olive (see the preceding woodcut; Stat. Thel>. iii. 466), sometimes of gold (Prudent. Tlepl 2re0. x. 1011 ; Tertull. De Idol. 18), and sometimes of the ears of corn, then termed corona spicea, which kind was the most ancient one amongst the Romans (Plin. If. N. xviii. 2), and was consecrated to Ceres (Hor. Carm. Sec. 30 ; Tibull. ii. 1. 4, i. 1. 15), before whose temples it was customarily suspended. (Tibull. i. 1. 16 ; compare Apul. Met. vi. p. 110. Varior.) It was likewise regarded as an emblem of peace (Tibull. i. 10. 67), in which character it appears in the subjoined medal, which comme­morates the conclusion of the civil war between Antony and D. Albiims Brutus.

II. corona funebris amd sepulchralis. The Greeks first set the example of crowning the dead with chaplets of leaves and flowers (Eur. Phoen. 1647 ; Schol. ad loc.\ which was imitated by the Romans. It was also provided by a law of the Twelve Tables, that any person who had

CORONA.

acquired a crown might have it placed upon Lis head when carried out in the funeral procession. (Cic. De Leg. ii. 24 ; Plin. H. N. xxi. 5.) Gar­lands of flowers were also placed upon the bier, or scattered from the windows under which the pro­cession passed (Plin. H.N. xxi. 7 ; Dionys. xi. 39), or entwined about the cinerary urn (Pint.MaruelL 30, Demeir. 53), or as a decoration to the tomb (Plin. H. N. xxi. 3 ; Ovid, Trist. iii. 2. 82 ; Tibull. ii. 4. 48). In Greece these crowns were commonly made of parsley (veXivov). (Suidas, s. v.; Plut. Timol. 26.)

III. corona convivialis. The use of chap-lets at festive entertainments sprung likewise from Greece, and owe their origin to the practice of tying a woollen fillet tight round the head, for the purpose of mitigating the effects of intoxication. (Comp. Plaut. Amph. iii. 4. 16.) But as luxury increased they were made of various flowers or shrubs, such as were supposed to prevent intoxica­tion ; of roses (which were the choicest), violets, myrtle, ivy, phityra, and even parsley. (Hor. Carm. ii. 7. 24, et alibi.) The Romans were not allowed to wear these crowns in public, " in usu promiscuo," which was contrary to the practice of the Greeks, and those who attempted to do so were punished with imprisonment. (Plin. H. N. xxi. 6 ; compare Hor. Sat. ii. 3. 256 ; Val. Max. vi. 9. ext. 1.)

IV. corona nuptialis. The bridal wreath ((TTetyos ya.[jd]\iov, Bion. Idyll, i. 88) was also of Greek origin, among whom it was made of flowers plucked by the bride herself, and not bought, which was of ill omen. Among the Romans it was made of verbena, also gathered by the bride herself, and worn under iheflammeum (Festus, s. v. Corolla) with which the bride was always en­veloped. (Catull. Ixi. 6. 8 ; Cic. De Orat. iii. 58.) The bridegroom also wore a chaplet. (Plant. Cas. iv. 1. 9.) The doors of his house were likewise decorated with garlands (Catull. Ixiv. 294; Juv. Sat. vi. 51, 227), and also the bridal couch.

V. corona natalitia, the chaplet suspended over the door of the vestibule, both in the houses of Athens and Rome, in which a child was born. (Juv. Sat. ix. 85; Meursius, Attic. Led. iv. 10.) At Athens, when the infant was male, the crown was made of olive ; when female, of wool (Hesych. s. v. 'S.TtfyG.vos) ; at Rome it was of laurel, ivy, or parsley (Bartholin. De Puerp. p. 127).

Besides the crowns enumerated, there were a few others of specific denominations, which re­ceived their names either from the materials of which, or the manner in which, they were com­posed. These were —

I. corona longa (Cic. De Leg. 24; Ovid, Fast. iv. 738), commonly thought to resemble what we call festoons, and as such seem to have been chiefly used to decorate tombs, curule chairs, triumphal cars, houses, &c. But the word must have had a more precise meaning, and was pro­bably called longa from its greater size, and meant a circular string of anything, like the " rosary " used by the lower orders in Catholic countries to reckon up their prayers, which in Italy is still called la corona, doubtless tracing its origin to the corona longa of their heathen ancestors, to which description it answers exactly.

II. corona etrusca, a golden crown made to imitate the crown of oak leaves, studded with gems, and decorated with ribbons (lemnisci) or

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

361

362

363
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.