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706

LIBRA.

and the descendants of libertini were sometimes taunted with their servile origin. (Hor. Serin, i. 6, 46.)

The law which concerns the property (bona) of Libertini may be considered under patronus ; see also ingenui and lex junia. [G. L.] LIBITINA'RII. [funus, p. 558, a.] LIBRA or AS, a pound, the unit of weight among the Romans and Italians. Many ancient specimens of this weight, its parts and multiples, have come down to us ; but of these some are im­perfect, and the rest differ so much in weight that no satisfactory conclusion can fee drawn from them. The difference between some of these specimens is as much as two ounces. An account of some of the most remarkable of them is given by Hussey (Ancient Weights., &c. ix. § 3), and Bockh (Metro-log. Untersuch. p. 170). This variety is to be ac­counted for partly by the well-known carelessness of the Romans in keeping to their standards of weight, and partly by the fact that many of the extant weights are from provincial towns-, in which this carelessness was notoriously greater than in the metropolis.

The computation of the weight of the libra has been attempted in two ways, which are more fully discussed under pond era. The method which has been .followed by most writers is that of deducing it from the weights of the silver coins — a process which gives, according to Hussey, 5040 grains, and according to Wurm and Bockh, a little more than 5053. The other plan is that of weighing the quantity of water held by the Congius of Vespasian, which originally contained 10 Roman pounds, which gives a result of about 5200 grains. According to the former computation, it was some­what less than !!•£, according to the latter, some­what more than 11^ ounces avoirdupois ; .and, according to either, its value may fee roughly stated as a little less than 3-4th of a pound avoirdupois.

The uncial division., which has been noticed in speaking of the coin As-, was also applied to the weight. (See the Tables.) The divisions of the ounce are given under uncia. Where the word pondO) or its abbreviations £. or pond., occur with a simple number, the weight understood is the libra*

The name fybra was also given to a measure of horn divided into twelve equal parts (unciae) by lines marked on it, and used for measuring oil. (Suet. Caes. c. 38 ; Galea, de Comp. Med. Gen. i. 17, vi. 8 ; Horat. Sat. ii. 2. £9—61.) [P. S.]

LIBRA, dim. LIBELLA («rofyibs), a balance, a pair of scales. The principal parts of this instru­ment were, 1. The beam [J-irGUM], whence any­thing which is to be weighed is said vivb £vybv ava§\'f)d'r)vai) literally,, " t'6 be thrown under the beam." (Aelian, V. H. x. 6.) 2. The two scales, called in Greek rd\avra (Horn. //. viii. 69, xii. 433, xvi. 659, xix. 223, xxii. 209 ; Aristoph. Ranae, 809) and ir\d<TTi.yyf= (Aristoph. Ranae, 1425), and in Latin lances (Virg. Aen. xii. 725 ; Pers. iv. 10 ; Cic. Acad. iv. 12). [lanx.] Hence the verb Ta,Xai>T£v<*> is employed as equivalent to <rra0/*c£co, and to the Latin libro, and is applied as descriptive of an eagle balancing his wings in the air. (Philostrat. Jim. Imag. 6 ; Welcker, ad loc.~) The beam was made without a tongue, being held by a ring or other appendage (ligula^ pv(.ia)9 fixed in the centre. (See the woodcut.) Specimens of

LIBRARII.

bronze balances may be seen in the British Museum and in other collections of antiquities, and also of the steel-yard [statera], which was used for the same purposes ;as the libra. The woodcut to the article catena shows some of the chains by which the scales are suspended from the beam. In the works of ancient art, the balance is also introduced emblematically in a great variety of ways. The annexed woodcut is taken from a beautiful bronze patera, representing Mercury and Apollo engaged in exploring the fates of Achilles and Memnon, by weighing the attendant genius of the one against

that of the other. (Winckelmann, Mon. Tncd. ] 33; Millin, Peintures de Vases Ant* i. pi. 19. p. 39.) A balance is often represented on the reverse of the Roman imperial coins ; and to indicate more distinctly its signification, it is frequently held by a female in her right hand,, while she supports a cornucopia in her left, the words aeqvitas avgvsti being inscribed on the margin, so as to denote the justice and impartiality with which the emperors dispensed their bounty.

The constellation Libra is placed in the Zodiac at the equinox, becailse it is the period of the year at which day and night are equally balanced. (Virg. Georg. i. 208 ; Pirn. H.tf. xviil 69 ; Schol. in Arat. 89.)

The mason's or carpenter's level Was called libra or libetta (whence the English name),, on account 'of its resemblance in many respects to a balance. (Varro, de Re Rust. i. 6; Columella, iii. 13; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 52.) Hence the verb libro meant to level as well as to weigh. I'h'e woodcut to the article circinus shows a libellafabfilis having the form of the letter A (Veget. iii. 20), and the line and plummet (perpendiculuiri) depending from the apex. ' [J. Y.]

LIBRAMENTUM, klBRATIO AQUA-RUM. [AQtJAEDUCTUS, p. 113-, k]

LIBRARII, the name of slaves, who were em­ployed by their masters in writing or copying in any way. They must be distinguished from the Scfibae publici, who were freemen [ScRiBAE], and also from the booksellers [ liber], to both of whom this name is occasionally applied. The slaves, to whom the name df libfarii was given, may be divided into three classes t —-

1. Librarii who were employed in copying books, called Scriptores Librarii by Horace (Ars PoeY. 354). These librarii were called in later times antiquarii. (Cod. 12. tit. 19. s. 10 ; Cod. Theod. 4. tit. 8. s. 2; Isid. Orig. vi. 14.) Isidore

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