The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Moenia – Moicheias Graphe – Mola

MOLA.

depends, of course, on the dimensions of the edi­fice : thus Vitruvius directs that, in a Doric tetra-style portico, 1-28th, and in a hexastyle l-44th of the whole width should be taken as the module, if diastyle, or l-23rd and l-35th respectively, if systyle. (Vitruv. i. 2, iv. 3, v. 9). [P-S.J

MOENIA. [Munus.]

MOICHEIAS GRAPHE. [adulterium.]

MOLA (/uuAos), a mill. All mills were an­ciently made of stone, the kind used being a vol­canic trachyte or porous lava (pyrites, Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 30 ; silices, Virg. Moret. 23—27 ; pumiccas, Ovid. Fast. vi. 318), such as that which is now obtained for the same purpose at Mayen and other parts of the Eif'el in Rhenish Prussia. This species of stone is admirably adapted for the pur­pose, because it is both hard and cavernous, so that, as it gradually wears away, it still presents an infinity of cutting surfaces.

Every mill consisted of two essential parts, the upper mill-stone, which was moveable (catillus, oj/oy, rb eVtyivAioj', Deut. xxiv. 6), and the lower, which was fixed and by much the larger of the two. Hence a mill is sometimes called molae in the plural. The mills mentioned by ancient authors are the following: —

I. The hand-mill, or quern, called mola manu-aria, versatilis, or trusatilis. (Plin. //. N. xxxvi. 29 ; Gell. iii. 3 ; Cato, de Re Rust. 10.)

The islanders of the Archipelago use in the pre­sent day a mill, which consists of two Hat round

«/ 7

hour-glass, consisting of two hollow cones, jointed

stones cibout two feet in diameter. The upper stone is turned by a handle (tfwTrr;, Schol. in Tlieocrit. iv. 58) inserted at one side, and has a hole in the middle into which the corn is poured. By the process of grinding the corn makes its way from the centre, and is poured out in the.state of flour at the rim. (Tournefort, Voyage., Lett. 9.) The description of this machine exactly agrees with that of the Scottish quern, formerly an indispensable part of domestic furniture. (Pennant, Tour in Scot­land, 1769, p. 231 ; and 1772, p. 328.) There can be no doubt that this is the flour-mill in its most ancient form. In a very improved state it has been discovered at Pompeii. The annexed wood­cut shows two which were found standing in the ruins of a bakehouse. In the left-hand figure the lower millstone only is shown. The most essential part of it is the cone, which is surmounted by a projection containing originally a strong iron pivot. The upper millstone, seen in its place on the right hand of the woodcut, approaches the form of an

MOLA. rfiS

together at the apex, and provided at this point with a socket, by which the upper stone was sus­pended upon the iron pivot, at the same time touching on all sides the lower stone, and with which it was intended to revolve. The upper stone was surrounded at its narrowest part with a strong band of iron ; and two bars of wood were inserted into square holes, one of which appears iii the figure, and were used to turn the upper stone. The uppermost of the two hollow cones served the purpose of a hopper. The corn with which it was filled, gradually fell through the neck of the upper stone upon the summit of the lower, and, as it pro­ceeded down the cone, was ground into flour by the friction of the two rough surfaces, and fell on all sides of the base of the cone into a channel formed for its reception. The mill here represented is five or six feet high.

The hand-mills were worked among the Greeks and Romans by slaves. Their pistrinum was con­sequently proverbial as a place of painful and de­grading labour ; and this toil was imposed princi­pally on women. (Horn. Od. vii. 104 ; Exod. xi. 5; Matt. xxiv. 41.)

In every large establishment the hand-mills were numerous in proportion to the extent of the family. Thus in the palace of Ulysses there were twelve, each turned by a separate female, who was obliged to grind every day the fixed quantity of corn before she was permitted to cease from her labour. (Od. xx. 105—119 ; compare Cato, de Re Rust. 56.)

II. The cattle-mill, mola asinaria (Cato, de Re Rust. 10 ; Matt, xviii. 6) in which human labour was supplied by the use of an ass or some other animal. (Ovid, Fast. vi. 318.) The animal devoted to this labour was blind-folded. (Apul. Met. ix,) The mill did not differ in its construction from the larger kinds of hand-mill.

III. The water-mill (mola aquaria, v^paXerf]s}. The first water-mill, of which any record is pre­served, was connected with the palace of Mithri-dates in Pontus. (Strabo, xii. 3. § 30.) That water-mills were used at Rome is manifest from the description of them by Vitruvius (x. 5. ed, Schneider). A cogged wheel, attached to the axia of the water wheel, turned another which was attached to the axis of the upper mill-stone: the corn to be ground fell between the stones out of a hopper (infundibulum\ which was fixed above them. (See also Brunck, Anal. ii. 119 ; Pallad. do Re Rust. i. 42.) Ausonius, as quoted below, mentions their existence on the Ruwer near Treves ; and Venantius Fortunatus, describing a castle built in the sixth century on the banks of the Mo­selle, makes distinct mention of a tail-race, by which " the tortuous stream is conducted in a straight channel." (Poem. iii. 10.)

IV. The floating-mill. When Rome was be­sieged by the Goths, A. d. 536, and when the stop­page of the aqueducts rendered it impossible to use the public corn mills (ol rrjs TroAecos jitivAcoi/es) in the Janiculum, so that the citizens were in danger of starvation, Belisarius supplied their place by erecting floating-mills upon the Tiber. Two boats being moored at the distance of two feet from each other, a water-wheel, suspended on its axis between theni} was turned by the force of the stream, and put in motion the stones for grinding the corn, by which the lives of the besieged were preserved* (Procop. de Bello Gothico, i. 15.)

V. The saw mill. Ausonius mentions milb

Pages
About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index

764

765

766
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.