The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Cothurnus – Cottabos



The slaves were divided into two classes, the public bondsmen {7} koiv)} SouAeta), and the slaves of individuals. The former were called the ^ui/cva, fjLi/oia, {jLVw'ia, or Mivw'i'a ffvvofios: the latter, atya-fucorai, or KAapwrcu. The d^ayutwra: were so named from the cultivation of the lots of land, or d(/>a,uicu, assigned to private citizens, and were therefore agricultural bondsmen (ol /car' aypoV, Athen. vi. p. 263). The ^voia, was distinguished, by more precise writers, both from the perioeci and the aphamiotae ; so that it has been concluded that every state in Crete possessed a public do­main, cultivated by the mnotae, just as the private allotments were by the bondsmen of the individual proprietors. The word /xi/ota, as Thiiiwall has remarked, is more probably connected with 8/xws than Minos.

The origin of the class called jj-voia, and the KAapwrcu, was probably twofold ; for the analogy of other cases would lead us to suppose that they consisted partly of the slaves of the conquered freemen of the country, and partly of such freemen as rose against the conquerors, and were by them reduced to bondage. But besides these, there was also a class of household servants employed in menial labours, and called xpu(r(^J/'nroL '• they were, as their name denotes, purchased, and imported from foreign countries. [R. W.]

COTHURNUS (ic6eopvos\ a boot. Its essen­tial distinction was its height; it rose above the middle of the leg, so as to surround the calf (alte suras vincire cotkurno, Virg. Aen. i. 337), and sometimes it reached as high as the knees. (Millin, Vases Ant. vol. i. pi. 20 and 72.) It was worn principally by horsemen, hunters, and by men of rank and authority. The ancient marbles, repre­senting these different characters* show that the cothurnus was often ornamented in a very tasteful and elaborate manner. The boots of the ancients were laced in front, and it was the object in so doing to make them fit the leg as closely as pos­sible. It is evident from the various represent­ations of the cothurnus in ancient statues, that its sole was commonly of the ordinary thickness. But it was sometimes made much thicker than usual, probably by the insertion of slices of cork. (Serv. in Virg. Ed. II. cc.) The object was to add to the apparent stature of the wearer ; and this was done either in the case of women who were not so tall as they wished to appear (Juv. Sat. vi. 507), or of the actors in Athenian tragedy, who assumed the cothurnus as a grand and dignified species of cal-


ceamentum, and had the soles made unusually thick, as one of the methods adopted in order to magnify their whole appearance. (Virg. Eel. viii. 10 ; Hor. Sat. i. 5. 64 ; Ars Poet. 280.) Hence tragedy in general was called cotliurnus. (Ov. Trist. ii. 1. 393 ; Juv. vi. 633, xv. 29.)

As the cothurnus was commonly worn in hunt­ ing, it is represented both by poets and statuaries as part of the costume of .Diana. It was also attributed to Bacchus (Veil. Pat. ii. 82), and to Mercury (Hamilton's Vases, vol. iii. pi. 8). The preceding woodcut shows two cothurni from sta­ tues in the Museo Pio-Clementino (vol. ii. pi. 15, and vol. iii. pi. 38). [J. Y.]

COTTABOS (Ionic, K6o-(ra§os or orragos), a social game which was introduced from Sicily into Greece (Athen. xv. p. 666), where it became one of the favourite amusements of young people after their repasts. The simplest way in which it ori­ginally was played was this : — One of the com­pany threw out of a goblet a certain quantity of pure wine, at a certain distance, into a metal basin, endeavouring to perform this exploit in such a manner as not to spill any of the wine. While he was doing this, he either thought of or pronounced the name of his mistress (Etymol. Mag. s. v. KoTra£i'£co), and from the more or less full and pure sound with which the wine struck against the metal basin, the lover drew his conclusions respect­ing the attachment of the object of his love. The sound, as well as the wine by which it was pro­duced, were called Aara£ or K6rra€os: the metal basin had various names, either KOTTdGiov, or kot-Ta£e?ov, or Xarayz'iov, or %^AK€ior, or Ae/cdv?;, or cruder]. (Pollux, vi. 109 ; Etymol. Mag. I. c. \ Athen. xv. p. 067. sub fin.} The action of throw­ing the wine, and sometimes the goblet itself, wag called ajKv\t]9 because the persons engaged in the game turned round the right hand with great dexterity, on which they prided themselves. Hence Aeschylus spoke of K6rraSoi ajKvXrjrot. (Athen. xv. p. 667.) Thus the cottabus, in its simplest form, was nothing but one of the many methods by which lovers tried to discover whether their love was returned or not. But this simple amuse­ment gradually assumed a variety of different cha­racters, and became, in some instances, a regular contest, with prizes for the victor. One of the most celebrated modes in which it was carried on is described by Athenaeus (I. c.} and in the Etymol. Mag., and was called 6Y btygatyfav. A basin was filled with water, with small empty bowls swim-ming upon it. Into these the young men, one after another, threw the remnant of the wine from their goblets^ and he who had the good fortune to drown niost of the bowls obtained the prize (/corra^io*/), consisting either'of simple cakes, sweet-meats, or sesame-ca'kes.

A third and more complicated form of the cot-tabus is thus described by Suida's (s. v. Korra§i{co). — A long piece of wood being erected on the ground, another was placed upon it in an hori­zontal direction, with two dishes hanging down from each end; underneath each dish a vessel full of water was placed, in each of which stood a gilt brazen statue, called f^dv^s. Every one who took part in the game stood at a distance, holding a cup full of wine, which he endeavoured to throw into one of the dishes, in order that, struck down by the weight, it might knock against the head of the statue which was concealed under the water, H$

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