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On this page: Frenum – Frenum – Frigid Arium – Fritillus – Frontale – Fructus – Frumentariae Leges




FRENUM (xaA^rfy), -a bridle. That Belle-rophon might be enabled to perform the exploits required of him by the king of Lycia, he was pre­sented by Athena with a bridle as the means of subduing the winged horse Pegasus, who submitted to receive it whilst he was slaking his thirst at the fountain Peirene. See the annexed woodcut, from

an antique which represents this event, and com­pare Pindar, Olymp. xiii. '85—115. Such was the Grecian account of the invention of the bridle, and in reference to it Athena was worshipped at Corinth under the titles "liriria, and XaAiviris. (Paus. ii. 4. §§1, 5.) The several parts of the bridle, more especially the bit, are engraved from ancient authorities in the treatises of Invernizi (De Frenis\ Ginzrot (Ueber W'dgen\ and Bracy Clark (Clmlinology, Lond. ] 835).

The bit (orea, Festus, s. v.; drjypa, Brunck, Anal. ii. 237.; a"rJ/aoz/, Aesc'hyl. Prom. 1045) was somnaonly made of several pieces, and flexible, so as not^to hurt the horse's mouth ; for the Greeks considered a kind and gentle treatment the best discipline, although, when the horse was intract­able, they taught it submission by the use of a bit which was armed with protuberances resembling wolves'-teeth, and therefore called lupatum. (Xen. De Re Eg. vi. 13, x. 6 ; Virg. Georg. iii. 208 ; Hor. Carm. i. 8. 7 ; Ovid, Amor. i. 2. 15.) The bit was held in its place by a leathern strap passing under the chin, and called u7ro%aA^iSia, for which a chain (^aTuov) was often substituted ; a rope or thong, distinct from the reins, was sometimes fast­ened to this chain or strap by means of a ring, and was used to lead the horse (pvrayceyevs, Xen. /. c. vii. 1 ; Aristoph. Pac. 154). The upper part of the bridle, by which it was fixed round the ears, is called by Xenophon Kopvfyaia (iii. 2), and it in­cluded the ampyx, which was often ornamental. The cheek-pieces (irap-fjiov, Horn. II. iv. 142; Eustath. ad /oc.), which joined this upper portion to the bit, were also in some cases richly adorned, especially among the nations of Asia. Those who took delight in horsemanship bestowed, indeed, the highest degree of splendour and elegance upon every part of the bridle, not ex­cepting the bit, which, though commonly of bronze or iron, was sometimes silver or gold (fulvum mandunt sub dentibus aumm, Virg. Aen. vii. 279). These precious metals were also either embossed (frena caelata, Apul. De Deo Soc.} or set with jewels, (Claud Ejrig. 34, 3-6.)


Not only was the bridle dispensed with in the management of creatures invented by the imagi­ nation of the poet (Aeschyl. Prom. 294), but of some which were actually trained by man to go without it. Thus the Numidian desultor guided his two horses by the whip, and the Gallic esse- darius, on the banks of the Rhone, directed and animated his mules entirely by the voice. (Claud. Epig. 4.) [J. Y.]

FRIGID ARIUM.' [balneae, pp. 189,190.]

FRITILLUS (<j>tf*.6s), a dice-box of a cylin­ drical form, and therefore called also turricida (Mart. xiv. 1-6), 01 pyrgus (Sidon. Epist. viii. 12), and formed with parallel indentations (gradus) on the inside, so as to make a rattling noise when the dice was shaken it. (Mart. iv. 14, xiv. 1 ; Hor. Sat. ii. 7. 17, who uses the Greek form pliimus.) (Becker, Gallus, vol. ii. p. 222.) [J. Y.]

FRONTALE. [ampyx.]

FRUCTUS. [ususfructus.]

FRUMENTARIAE LEGES. From the earliest times the supply of corn at Rome was con­sidered one of the duties of the government. Not only was it expected that the government should take care that the corn-market (a.nnpna) was pro­perly supplied, but likewise that in all seasons of scarcity, they should purchase corn in the sur­rounding countries, and sell it to the people at a moderate price (Liv. ii. 9, 34, iv. 12, 52, x. 11, &c. xxvi. 40; Cic. pro Dom. 5.) This price, which is spoken of as annona vetus (Liv. ii. 34), could not rise much, without exciting formidable discon­tent ; and the administration was in all such cases considered to have neglected one of its most im­portant duties. The superintendence of the corn-market belonged in ordinary times to the aediles, but when great scarcity prevailed, an extraordi­nary officer was appointed for the purpose under the title of Praefectus Annonae (Liv. iv. 12). With the decay of agriculture in Italy, which fol­lowed the importation of corn from the provinces, and the decrease of the free population, the govern­ment had to pay still further attention to the supply of corn for the city. In addition to this, an in­digent population gradually increased in Rome, which could not even purchase corn at the moderate price at which it was usually sold, and who de­manded to be fed at the expence of the state. Even in early times it had been usual for the state on certain occasions, and for wealthy individuals who wished to obtain popularity and influence, to make occasional donations of corn to the people (donatio, largitio, divisio ; subsequently called frmnentatio). But such donations were only casual; and it was not till the year b.-c. 123, that the first legal provision was made for supplying the poor at Rome with corn at a price much below its market value. In that year C. Sempronius Gracchus brought forward the first LexFrumentaria, by which each citizen was entitled to receive every month a certain quantity of wheat (triticum) at the price of 6^ asses for the mo-dius, which was equal to 1 gallon and nearly 8 pints English.* (Liv, Epit. 60 ; Appian, B.C. i. 21 ;

* The price of 6^ asses (senos aeris et trientes) oc­curs in the Schol. Bob. ad Cic. Seost. c. 25. p. 300. c. 48, p. 300 ; but in the editions of Livy (Ep. 60), we find ut semisse et trientefrumentumplebi daretur^ that is, at -f ths of an as. But instead of semisse^ the manuscripts have semis., sexis, sesis, evidently for

iS) and therefore there can be little doubt that

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