The Ancient Library

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pears to have been chiefly used by women (Suid. s. v. (f>optiov\ and by men only when they were in ill health. (Anacr. ap Atlien. xii. p. 533, &c. ; Plut. PericL 27 ; Lysias, De Vuln. Praem. p. 172 ; Andocid. DeMyst. p. 30 ; Pint. Eumen. 14.) H a man without any physical necessity made use of a lectica, he dreAV upon himself the censure of his countrymen as a person of effeminate character. (Dinarch. c. Demoslh. p. 29.) But in the time subsequent to the Macedonian conquests in Asia, lecticae were not only more generally used in Greece, but were also more magnificently adorned. (Plu.t.Arat. 17.) The persons or slaves who car­ried their masters or mistresses in a lectica were called (jyopeatyopoi (Diog. Laert. v. 4. § 73), and their number was generally two or four. (Lucian, Epist. Saturn. 28 ; Somn. s. Gall. 10 ; Cyn. 9 • compare Becker, Charikles, ii. p. 71, &c.) When this kind of lectica was introduced among the Romans, it was chiefly used in travelling, and only very seldom in the city of Rome itself. The first trace of such a lectica is in a fragment of a speech of C. Gracchus, quoted by Gellius (x. 3). From this passage it seems evident that this article of luxury was introduced into Italy from Asia, and that at the time scarcely any other lectica than the lectica funebris was known to the country people about Rome. It also appears from this passage that the lectica there spoken of was covered ; other-xvise the countryman could not have asked whether they were carrying a dead body. (Compare Cic. Philip, ii. 45 ; Pint. Cic. 48 ; Dion Cass. xlvii. 10.) The resemblance of such a lectica used by the Ro­mans to that which the Greeks had received from Asia is manifest from the words of Martial (xi. 98): lectica tuta pelle veloque. It had a roof con­sisting of a large piece of skin or leather expanded over it and supported by four posts, and the sides also were covered with curtains (vela, plagae, or plagulae ; compare Senec. Suas. i. 6 ; Suet. Tit. 10). During the time of the empire, however, the cur­tains were not thought a sufficient protection for a lectica ; and, consequently, we find that lecticae used by men as well as women, were closed on the sides with windows made of transparent stone (lapis specularis), whence Juvenal (iv. 20) calls such a lectica an antrum clausum latis specularibus. (Com­pare Juv. iii. 239.) We sometimes find mention of a lectica aperta (Cic. Phil. ii. 24), but we have no reason to suppose that in this case it had no roof, for the adjective aperta probably means no­thing more than that the curtains were removed, i. e. either thrown aside or drawn up. The whole lectica was of an oblong form, and the per­son conveyed in it lay on a bed, and the head was supported by a pillow, so that he might read and write in it with ease. To what extent the luxury of having a soft and pleasant bed in a lectica was carried, as early as the time of Cicero, may be seen from one of his orations against Verres (v. 11). Feather-beds seem to have been very common. (Juv. i. 159, &c.) The frame­work, as well as the other appurtenances, were, with wealthy persons, probably of the most costly description. The lectica, when standing, rested on four feet, generally made of wood. Persons were carried in a lectica by slaves (lecticarii) by means of poles (asseres) attached to it, but not fixed, so that they might easily be taken off when neces­sary. (Sueton. Calig. 58 ; Juv. vii. 122, iii. 245 ; Martial, ix. 23. 9.) There can be no doubt that the


asseres rested on the shoulders of the lecticarii, and not on thongs which passed round the necks of these slaves and hung down from their shoulders, as some modern writers have thought. (Senec. Epist. 80. 110; Tertull. ad Uxor. i. 4; Clem. Alex. Paedag. iii. 4 ; Juv. iii. 240, ix. 142.) The act of taking the lectica upon the shoulders was called succollarQ (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 10 ; Sueton. Claud. 10), and the persons who were carried in this manner were said succollari (Sueton. Otho. 6). From this passage we also learn that the name lecticarii was sometimes incorrectly applied to those slaves who carried a person in a sella or sedan-chair. The number of lecticarii employed in cany-ing one lectica varied according to its size, and the display of wealth which a person might wish to make. The ordinary number was probably two (Petron. Sat. 56 ; Juv. ix. 142) ; but it varied from two to eight, and the lectica is called hexaphoron or octophoron, accordingly as it was carried by six or eight persons. (Juv. i. 64 ; Mart. ii. 81, vi. 77 ; Cic. c. Verr. v. 11, ad Quint, ii. 10.) Wealthy Romans kept certain slaves solely as their lecticarii (Cic. ad Fain. iv. 12) ; and for this purpose they generally selected the tallest, strongest, and most handsome men, and had them always well dressed. In the time of Martial it seems to have been cus­tomary for the lecticarii to wear beautiful red live­ries. The lectica was generally preceded by a slave called anteambulo,. whose office was to make room for it. (Martial, iii. 46 ; Plin. Epist. iii. 14 ; com­pare Becker, Gallus^i. p. 213, &c.)

Shortly after the introduction of these lecticae among the Romans, and during the latter period of the republic, they appear to have been very com­mon, though they were chiefly used in journeys, and in the city of Rome itself only by ladies and in­valids. (Dion Cass. Ivii. 17.) But the love of this as well as of other kinds of luxury increased so rapidly, that Julius Caesar thought it necessary to restrain the use of lecticae, and to confine the pri­vilege of using them to certain persons of a certain age, and to certain days of the year. (Sueton, Caes. 43.)

In the reign of Claudius we find that the privilege of using a lectica in the city was still a great dis­tinction, which was only granted by the emperor to his especial favourites. (Suet. Claud. 28.) But what until then had been a privilege became gra­dually a right assumed by all, and every wealthy Roman kept one or more lecticae, with the requisite number of lecticarii. The emperor Domitian, how­ever, forbade prostitutes the use of lecticae. (Suet. Domit. 8.) Enterprising individuals gradually be­gan to form companies (corpus lecticariontni), and to establish public lecticae, which had their stands (castra, lecticariorum) in the regio transtiberina, and probably in other parts also, where any one might take a lectica on hire. (Victor, De Regionib. Urb. Rom. in Graevii Thesaur. iii. p. 49 ; Martial, iii. 46.) The persons of whom these companies consisted, were probably of the lower orders or freedmen. (Compare Grater, Inscript. 599. 11, 600. 1.)

The lecticae of which we have hitherto spoken, were all portable, i. c. they were constructed in such a manner that the asseres might easily be fastened to them whenever it was necessary to carry a person in them from one place to another. But the name lectica, or rather the diminutive lec-ticula, was also sometimes applied to a kind of

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