The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Hasta


that the haruspices were instituted by Romulus, and that one was chosen from each tribe, is op­posed to all the other authorities, and is manifestly incorrect. In the time of the emperors, we read of a collegium or order of sixty haruspices (Tacit. Ann. xi. 15 ; Orelli, Inscr. i. p. 399) ; but the time of its institution is uncertain. It has been sup­posed that such a collegium existed in the time of Cicero, since he speaks of a summus magister (de Div. ii. 24) ; but by this we are probably to un­derstand not a magister collegii, but merely the most eminent of the haruspices at the time.

The art of the haruspices, which was called liaruspicina, consisted in explaining and interpret­ing the will of the gods from the appearance of the entrails (exta) of animals offered in sacrifice, whence they are sometimes called extispices, and their art exiispieium (Cic. de Div. ii. 11 ; Suet. Ner. 56) ; and also from lightning, earthquakes, and all extraordinary phenomena in nature, to which the general name ofportenta was given. (Valer. Max. i. 1. § 1.) Their art is said to have been invented by the Etruscan Tages (Cic. deDiv. ii. 23 ; Festus, s. v. Tages), and was contained in certain books called libri Jiaruspicini, fulgurates, and tonitmales. (Cic. de Div. i. 33 ; compare Macrob. Saturn, iii.

This art was considered by the Romans so im­portant at one time, that the senate decreed that a certain number of young Etruscans, belonging to the principal families in the state, should always be instructed in it. (Cic. deDiv. i. 41.) Niebuhr appears to be mistaken in supposing the passage in Cicero to refer to. the children of Roman families. (See Orelli, ad loc.) The senate sometimes con­sulted the haruspices (Cic. de Div. i. 43, ii. 35 ; Liv. xxvii. 37), as did also private persons. (Cic. de Div. ii. 29.) In later times, however, their art fell into disrepute among well-educated Romans ; and Cicero (de Div. ii. 24) relates a saying of Cato, that he wondered that one haruspex did not laugh when he saw another. The Emperor Clau­dius attempted to revive the study of the art, which had then become neglected; and the senate, under his directions, passed a decree that the pontifices should examine what parts of it should be retained and established (Tacit. Ann. xi. 15) ; but we do not know what effect this decree pro­duced.

The name of haruspex is sometimes applied to any kind of soothsayer or prophet (Prop. iii. 13. 59) ; whence Juvenal (vi. 550) speaks of Anne-nius vel Commagenus liaruspex.

The latter part of the word haruspex contains the root spec; and Donatus (ad Ter. Phorm. iv. 4. 28) derives the former part from haruga, a victim. Compare Festus, s. v. Plarviga, and Varro, De Ling. Lot. v. 98, ed. Mtiller. (Gottling, Gesch. der Rom. Staatsv. p. 213 ; Walter, Gesch. des Rom. Rechts, §§ 142, 770, 2nd ed.; Brissonius, De For-midis, i. '29, &c.)

HASTA (eyx05", TaAroz/), a spear. The spear is defined by Homer, §6pv x«A/c7?pes, " a pole fitted with bronze" (//. vi. 3), and $6pv xa^lco^^Pes^ " a pole heavy with bronze " (Od. xi. 531). The bronze, for which iron was afterwards substituted, was indispensable to form the point (cux/*^? a/cw/c^, Homer ; Acfyx??, Xenophon ; acies, cuspis, spicu-lum, Ovid, Met. viii. 375) of the spear. Each of these two essential parts is often put for the whole, $o that a spear is called $6pv and Sopdriov, al


and Acfyx??. Even the more especial term ,ueAm, meaning an ash-tree, is used in the same manner, because the pole of the spear was often the stem of a young ash, stript of its bark and polished. (//. xix. 390, xx. 277, xxii. 328, Od. xxii. 259 ; Plin. //. AT. xvi. 24 ; Ovid, Met. xii. 369.) In like manner the spear is designated by the term /ra/.ia£ (Aesch. Ag. 65; Eurip. Hec. 1155, Plioen. 1421 ; Brunck, Anal. i. 191, 226 ; Ant. Sid. 34), meaning properly the strong tall reed of the south of Europe, which served both for spears and for various other uses. (Hes. Scut. 298 ; Schol. in loc. ; Xen. de Re Equest. xii. 12.)

The bottom of the spear was often inclosed in a pointed cap of bronze, called by the Ionic writers ffavptorrip (Horn. //. x. 153 ; Herod, vii. 40, 41 ; also Polyb. vi. 23), and ovpiaxos (II. xiii. 443, xvi. 612, xvii. 528), and in Attic or common Greek crrvpa^. (Xen. Hellen. vi. 2. § 19 ; Athen. xii, p. 514, b ; TTvpditLov, Time. ii. 4 ; Aen. Tact. 18.) By forcing this into the ground the spear was fixed erect. (Virg. Aen. xii. 130.) Many of the lancera (dopv(f)6poi^ alx/J-otySpoi, Aoyx0^/3^) woodcut, p. 237), who accompanied the king of Persia, had, instead of this spike at the bottom of their spears, an apple or a pomegranate, either gilt or silvered. (Herod.; Athen.; II. cc.) With this, or a similar ornament, the spear is often terminated both on Persian and Eg)rptian monuments. Fig. 1. in the annexed woodcut shows the top and bottom of u spear, which is held by one of the king's guards in the sculptures at Persepolis. (Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. i. p. 601.) It may be compared with those in the hand of the Greek warrior at p. 135, which have the spike at the bottom. The spike at the bottom of the spear was used in fighting by the Greeks and Romans, when the head waa broken off. (Polyb. vi. 25.)

A well-finished spear was kept in a case (Sopa-To0r)K?}), which, on account of its form, is called by Homer a pipe (arvpiy£, II. xix. 387).

The spear was used as a weapon of attack in three different ways : — 1. It was thrown from cata­pults and other engines [tohmentum]. 2. It was thrust forward as a pike. In this manner Achiilea


killed Hector by piercing him with his spear through the neck. (//. xxii. 326.) The Euboeans

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