The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Hecat – Hecatombe


.. -Besides the- terms jaculum and spiculum a.!i6vT.iov\ which probably denoted darts, resem­bling in form the lance and javelin, but much smaller,..adapted consequently to the light-armed (..jacidatores), .and. used in hunting as w ell .as in battle (Tlmcyd. ii. 4; Virg. Aen. ix. 52 ; Serv. in. toe,; -Ovid,. Met. viii. 411 ; Cic. ad Fain. v. 12 ; liar. ii. 7), we find in classical authors the names of various-other spears, which were characteristic of. particular nations. .Thus,.S.ervius states (in Aen. vii,-664), that, as ths pilum was proper .to the Ilsmons, and the ..gaesum to the Gauls, so the sofrlssa -was the spear peculiar to the Macedonians. Tins-was. used both,to throw and as a pike. It exceeded in length all other missiles.. [See p. 488Va,-] It was made of cornel, the tall dense stem of-which also served to make spears of other kinds. (Theoplv//. P. iii. 12. 2 ; &dp si era, Arrian, Tact.; icpaveiva, Xen. de Re Equest. xii. 12.) The Thracian romphea^ which had a very long point,, like the blade of a sword .(Val. Flac. vi. 98; rumpia, Qz\\..l. c.; pe^cJa, Apoc. i. 16), was pro­bably not unlike the sarissa ; since Livy asserts (xxxi.. 39), that in a country partly covered with wood the Macedonian phalanx was ineffective on account of - their praelongae hastae, and that the rompimea of the Thracians was a hindrance for the sains reason. With these weapons we may also class the Illyrian sibina* which resembled a hunting-pole. ••• (Festus, s. v.; ffiSvviov, P.olyb. vi. 21; sibon, Gel'1; f. c.; Ant. Sid. 13.)

The iron head of the German spear, called framea, was short and narrow, but very sharp. The Germans used it with great effect either as a lance or a pike : they gave to each youth a frainea and a shield on coming of age. (Tacit. Germ. C,"13, 18, 24 ; Juv. xiii. 79.) The L\darica or Phalq.riaa was-the spear of the Saguntines, and was impelled-by the aid of twisted ropes ; it was large and ponderous, having a head of iron a cubit in length, and a ball of lead at its .other end ; it some­times carried (laming pitch and tow. (Liv. xxi. 8, xxxiv. 18 ; Virg. Aen. ix. 706 ; Lucan, vi. 198 ; Sil. ItaL i. 351 ; Gell. /. c. ; Isid. Orig. xviii. 7 ; Grat. Fuljsc. Cyneg. 342.) The matara and traynla- were c-hieily used in Gaul and Spain: the tragula was probably barbed, as it required to be cut out of the wound. (Plant. Cas. ii. 4. 18, Epid. v. 2. 25.;. Caes. B. G. i. 26, v. 35 ; Gell. I. c.) The Adis and- Cateia were much smaller missiles. (Virg. Aen. vii. 730, 741.;

, Among the decorations which the Roman gene­rals bestowed on their soldiers, more especially for saving the life of a fellow-citizen, was a spear without a head, called hasta pura. (Virg. Aen. vi. 760 ; 3 tv. -in loc. ; Festus, s. v. Hasta; Sueton. Claud. 28 ; Tacit. Ann. iii. 21.) The gift of it is sometimes recorded in funereal inscriptions.

The celibaris hasta- (Festus, s..«.), having been fixed into the body of a gladiator lying dead on the arena, was used at marr'ages to part the hair of the bride. (Ovid, Fast. ii. 560.)

A spear was erected at auctions [AucTio], and when tenders were received for public offices (loca-tiones}. it served both to announce, by a conven­tional sign conspicuous at a distance, that a sale was going on, and to show that it was conducted under the authority of the public functionaries. (Cic. Offic. ii. 8 ; Nepos, Attic. 6 ; Festus, s. v. ffastaj) Hence an auction was called hasta, and an auction-room liastarium. (Tertull. Apol. 13.)


It was also the practice to set up a. spear in the-court of the centumviri.

. The throwing of spears (clko^tkt^s) ,\vas one of the gymnastic exercises of -the Greeks, and is de-. scribed at length by Krause (Gymnastih und Ayon?.. istik der Hellene^ vol. i. p. 465, &c.). [J. Y,] HASTA'TI. [exercitus, pp. 494—496.501, 502.]

HECAT.OMBAEA. [heraea.] HECATOMBAEON. , [calendarium, greek.]

HECATOMBE. [sacrificium.] HECATOMPEDON. [?es ; templum.] HECATOSTE (l/carofTT^). [pentecoste.] HECTE or HECTEUS .(cktij e/creys), and.: its half, Flemiecton or Hemiecteon (•fyuie/CTW, Tjfvie/c-. T£c^), are terms which occur, in more than one, sense, in the Greek metrical system, and are inter­esting on account of the examples they furnish of the duodecimal division.

1. In dry measures, the Jiecteus was the sixth part of the medimnus^ and the hemiecteon, of .course, the twelfth-part. (Aristoph. EccL. 547, AfyO38, 645.) The hecteus was equal to the Roman modiusr. as each contained 16 '£€<rrcu or sextarii. (Bockh, Metrol. Untersuch.'Tp]). 33, 200.)

. 2. The Hecte or-Hecteus and Plemiedon were also the names of coins, but the accounts we have of their value are very various. The only consistent explanation is, that there were different hectae, de­rived from different units ; in fact, that these coins were not properly denominations of money, lout sub­divisions of the recognised denominations. This. view is confirmed by the statement of Hesychitls, that the words e'/tr?;, rpirr]^ and rerdpT?) were ap­plied to coins of gold, silver, and copper ; that is, we think, that the various denominations of money were subdivided for convenience into thirds, fourths,; and sixths, which would be of gold, silver, and copper, according to the value of their respective, units. (Hesych. s. v. eVr??.) Now, since the drachma was the unit of the silver coinages, which chiefly prevailed in Greece, we might expect, a priori, that the common hecteus would be the sixth of a:. drachma, that is, an obol ; and that there was such a hecteus, is expressl}r stated by Hesychius, who gives ^cucogeAioy as the equivalent of ^//.je/croj/: (s. v.). But then from a passage of the comic poet Crates (Pollux, ix, 374), we learn that the hemiecton of gold was eight obols, the natural in­terpretation of which is, that it was equal in value to eight silver obols or (according to Mr. Hussey's computation of the drachma), a little more than 13i/., which is certainly a very small value for a gold coin. This objection Bockh meets by supposing that the gold had a very large mixture of alloy ; and the probability of this will appear further pre­sently. This stater could not have been an Attic coin, for at that time Athens gold money: the question therefore arises, to what foreign state did it belong ? Now, among the foreign staters, which were current at Athens in the fifth century b. c., that of Phocaea is frequently mentioned, and an inscription exists (found in the Acropolis) in which, among certain offerings, we find Phocaean staters^ and eicrai <£co/ca!'5es (Bockh, Corp. Inscr. No. 150, lines 41, 43, vol. i. pp. 231, 236. §§ 19, 22 : the hasty conjecture that these e/crcu must have been of silver^ is corrected by Bb'ckh himself, in his Metrologische Untersuchungen^ p. ] 35). Little doubt can remain that these e/crat were the sixtht

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