The Ancient Library

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latter of which works the following cuts have been taken.

The clothes were first washed, which was done in tubs or vats, where they were trodden upon and stamped by the feet of the fullones, whence Seneca (Ep. 15) speaks of saltus fullonicus. The following woodcut represents four peraons thus em­ployed, of whom three are boys, probably under the superintendence of the man. Their dress is tucked up, leaving the legs bare ; the boys seem to have done their work, and to be wringing the articles on which they had been employed.

The ancients were not acquainted with soap, but they used in its stead different kinds of alkali, by which the dirt was more easily separated from the clothes. Of these,, by far the most common was the urine of men and animals, which was mixed with the water in which the clothes were washed. (Plin. //. N. xxviii. 18. 26 ; Athen. xi. p. 484.) To procure a sufficient supply of it, the fullones were accustomed to place at the corners of the streets vessels, which they carried away after they had been filled by the passengers. (Martial, vi. 93 ; Jvlacrob. Saturn, ii. 12.) We are told by Suetonius ( Vesp. 23) that Vespasian imposed a urinae vectigal^ which is supposed by Casaubon and others to have been a tax paid by the fullones. Nitrum, of which Pliny (H. N. xxxi. 46) gives an account, was also mixed with the water by the scourers. Fullers' earth (creta fullonia^ Plin.//". JV. xviii. 4), of which there were many kinds, was employed for the same purpose. We do not know the exact nature of this earth, but it appears to have acted in the same way as our fullers' earth, namely, partly in scouring and partly in absorbing the greasy dirt. Pliny (PL N. xxxv. 57) says that the clothes should be washed with the Sardinian earth.

After the clothes had been washed, they were hung out to dry, and were allowed to be placed in the street before the doors of the fullonica. (Dig. 43. tit. 10. s. 1. §4.) When dry, the wool was brushed and carded to raise the nap, sometimes with the skin of a hedgehog, and sometimes with some plants of the thistle kind. The clothes were then hung on a vessel of basket-work (viminea cavea\ under which sulphur was placed in order to whiten the cloth ; for the ancient fullers appear to have known that many colours were destroyed by the volatile steam of sulphur. (Apul. Met. ix. p. 208, Bipont ; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 50, 57 ; Pol­lux, vii. 41.) A fine white earth, called Cimolian by Pliny, was often rubbed into the cloth to in­crease its whiteness. (Theophr. Char. 10 ; Plaut. Aulul. iv. 9. 6 ; Plin. H.N. xxxv. 57.) The pre­ceding account is well illustrated by the following woodcut.

On the left we see a fullo brushing or carding a white tunic, suspended over a rope, with a card or

brush, which bears considerable resemblance to a modern horse-brush. On the right, another man carries a frame of wicker-work, which was without doubt intended for the purpose described above; he has also a pot in his hand, perhaps intended for holding the sulphur. On his head he wears a kind of garland, which is supposed to be an olive garland, and above him an owl is represented sitting. It is thought that the olive garland and the owl indicate that the establishment was under the patronage of Minerva, the tutelary goddess of the loom. Sir W. Gell imagines that the owl is probably the picture of a bird which really existed in the family. On the left, a well-dressed female is sitting, examining a piece of work which a younger girl brings to her. A reticulum [see p. 329, a] upon her head, a neck­lace, and bracelets denote a person of higher rank than one of the ordinary work-people of the es­tablishment.

In the following woodcut we see a young man in a green tunic giving a piece of cloth, which ap­pears to be finished, to a woman, who wears a green under-tunic, and over it a yellow tunic with

red stripes. On the right i« another female in a white tunic, who appears to be engaged in cleaning one of the cards or brushes. Among these paint* ings there was a press, worked by two upright screws, in which the cloth was placed to be smoothened. A drawing of this press is given on p. 300.

The establishment or workshop of the fullers was called Fullonica (Dig. 39. tit. 3. s. 3)} Fuilonicum

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