The Ancient Library

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On this page: Lampas – Lanarius – Lancea – Lanificium – Lanterna – Laphri a – Laqueatores – Lararium


(the Prometheia, Panathenaea, and Hephaesteia) three or four chains of competitors.

The place of running was, in these great celebra­tions, from the altar of the Three Gods (Prome­theus, Athena, and Hephaestos) in the outer Cerameicus to the Acropolis, a distance of near half a mile. (Pausan. i. 30. § 2 ; Schol. ad Ran. ] 085.) That in honour of Bendis was run in the Peiraeeus. (Plat. I c.)

The origin of these games must be sought, we think, in the worship of the Titan Prometheus. The action of carrying an unextinguished light from the Cerameicus to the Acropolis is a lively symbol of the benefit conferred by the Titan upon man, when he bore fire from the habitations of the gods, and bestowed it upon man.

aKa/JLaroio irvpbs TfjXeffKOTrov avyfy vdp6r]Ki. (Hesiod. Theog.566. Gaisf.)

But the gratitude to the giver of fire soon passed to the Olympian gods who presided over its use, — Hephaestos, who taught men to apply it to the melting and moulding of metal, and Athena, who carried it through the whole circle of useful and ornamental arts. To these three gods, then, were these games at first devoted, as the patrons of fire. And looking to the place it was run in — the Cerameicus or Potters' quarter—we are much in­ clined to adopt Welcker's suggestion (Aescliylische Trilogie, p. 121), viz. that it was the /cepa^ie?s or potters who instituted the Xauirao'iityopia. Athena (as we learn from the Kepa^u's) was their patron goddess ; and-who more than they would have reason to be thankful for the gift and use of fire ? Pottery would be one of the first modes in which it would be made serviceable in promoting the arts of life. In later times the same honour was paid to all gods who were in any way connected with fire, as to Pan, to whom a perpetual fire was kept up in his grotto under the Acropolis, and who was in this capacity called by the Greeks Phanetes, by the Romans Lucidus ; so also to Artemis, called by Sophocles 'Aptyiirvpos, and worshipped as the moon. (Creuzer, Symbolique, vol. ii. pp. 752, 764, French transl.) At first, however, it seems to have been a symbolic representation in honour of the gods who gave and taught men the use of material moulding fire (jravTrxyov Trup, SiSaovcaAo? T€%j>?7S, as Aeschylus calls it, Prom. 7. HO), though this special signification was lost sight of in later times. Other writers, in their anxiety to get a common signification for all the times and modes of the Aa/ATraS^opfa, have endeavoured to prove that all who were honoured by it were con­ nected with the heavenly bodies, Xa^irpol SvvacrTai, (so Creuzer, 1. c. ; Mliller, Minerva Polias, p. 5) ; others that it always had an inner signification, alluding to the inward fire by which Prometheus put life into man (so Bronsted, Voyages, vol. ii. p. 286, note 2). But tUs. legend of Prometheus was a later interpretation of the earlier one, as may be seen by comparing Plat. Protag. p. 321, d, with Hesiod. Tkeog. 561, &c. [H. G. L.]

LAMPAS. [lampadephoria.]

LANARIUS. [pileijs.]

LANCEA. [hasta, p. 588 a.]



LANTERNA. [laterna.] LANX, dim. LANCULA, a large dish, made of silver or some other metal, and sometimes em-



bossed, used at splendid entertainments to hold meat or fruit (Cic. ad Alt. vi. 1 ; Hor. Sat. ii. 2. 4, ii. 4. 41 ; Ovid, de Ponto^ iii. B. 20 ; Petron. 31) ; and consequently at sacrifices (Virg. Georg. ii. 194, 394, Aen. viii. 284, xii. 215 ; Ovid, de Ponto., iv. 8. 40) and funeral banquets (Propert. ii. 13. 23). The silver dishes, used by the Ro­mans at their grand dinners, were of a vast size, so that a boar, for example, might be brought whole to table. (Hor. /. c.) They often weighed from 100 to 500 pounds. (Plin. //. N. xxxiii. 52.)

The balance (libra lilanx., Mart. Cap. ii. 180) was so called, because it had two metallic dishes. (Cic. Acad. iv. 12, Tusc. v. 17 ; Virg. Aen. xii. 725 ; Pers. iv. 10.> [J. Y.]

LAPHRI A (Ad(f)pia\ an annual festival, cele­brated at Patrae in Achaia, in honour of Artemis, surnamed Laphria. The peculiar manner in which it was solemnised during the time of. the Roman empire (for the worship of Artemis Laphria was not introduced at Patrae till the time of Augustus), is described by Pausanias (viii. 18. §7). On the approach of the festival the Patraeans placed in a circle, around the altar of the goddess, large pieces of green wood, each being sixteen yards in length; within the altar they placed dry wood. They then formed an approach to the altar in the shape of steps, which were slightly covered with earth. On the first day of the festival a most magnifi­cent procession went to the temple of Artemis, and at the end of it there followed a maiden who had to perform the functions of priestess on the occa­sion, and who rode in a chariot drawn by stags. On the second day the goddess was honoured with numerous sacrifices, offered by the state as well as by private individuals. These sacrifices consisted of eatable birds, boars, stags, goats, sometimes of the cubs of wolves and bears, and sometimes of the old animals themselves. All these animals were thrown upon the altar alive at the moment when the dry wood was set on fire. Pausanias says that he often saw a bear, or some other of the animals, when seized by the flames, leap from the altar and escape across the barricade of green wood. Those persons who had thrown them upon the altar, caught the devoted victims again, and threw them back into the flames. The Patraeans did not re­member that a person had ever been injured by any of the animals on this occasion. (Comp. Paus. iv. 31. § 6; Sc}io\.ad'Eurip.Orest. 1087.) [L. S.] LAP1C1DINAE. [lautumiae.] LAPIS MILLLA/RIUS, [milliarium.] LAPIS SPECULA'RIS. [Donus, p. 432 a.] LA'QUEAR. [domus, p. 432, a.] LA'QUEUS, a rope, was used to signify the punishment of death by strangling. This mode of execution was never performed in public, but only in prison and generally in the Tullianum. Hence we find the words career and laqueus frequently joined together (see e.g. Tac. Ann. iii. 50). Per­sons convicted of treason were most frequently put to death by strangling, as for instance the Catilinarian conspirators (laqueo gulam fregere. Sail. Cat. 55). This punishment was frequently inflicted in the reign of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. v. 9, vi. 39, 40 ; Suet. Tib. 61), but was abolished soon afterwards (Tac. Ann. xiv. 48).

LAQUEATORES. [gladiatcres, p. 575, b.]

LARARIUM was a place in the inner part of a Roman house, which was dedicated to the Lares,

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