The Ancient Library

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On this page: Foederatae C – Mos – Moth Aces – Mu – Muciana Cautio – Mulleus – Mulsum – Multa – Munerator – Munus – Muralis Corona – Murex – Muries – Murrhina Vasa – Murus


manner represented in a painting on the tomb of Hemeses III. at Thebes (see woodcut, left-hand figure taken from Wilkinson, vol. ii. p. 383) ; for there is no reason to doubt that the Egyptians and the Greeks fashioned and used their mortars in the same manner. (See also Wilkinson, vol. iii. p. 181, showing three stone mortars with metal pes­tles.) In these paintings we may observe the thickening of the pestle at both ends, and that two men pound in one mortar, raising their pestles alternately as is still the practice in Egypt. Pliny (ff. N. xxxvi. 43) mentions the various kinds of stone selected for making mortars, according to the purposes to which they were intended to serve. Those used in pharmacy were sometimes made, as he says, "of Egyptian alabaster." The annexed woodcut shows the forms of two preserved in the

Egyptian collection of the British Museum, which exactly answer to this description, being made of that material. They do not exceed three inches in height: the dotted lines mark the cavity within each. The woodcut also shows a mortar and pestle, made of baked white clay, which were dis­covered, a. d. 1831, among numerous specimens of Roman pottery in making the northern approaches to London-bridge (Archaeologia, vol. xxiv. p. 199, plate 44.)

Besides the uses already mentioned, the mortar' was employed in pounding charcoal, rubbing it" with glue, in order to make black paint (atramen- turn., Vitruv. vii. 10. ed. Schneider) ; in making plaster for the walls of apartments (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 55) ; in mixing spices and fragrant herbs and flowers for the use of the kitchen (Athen. ix. 70 ; Brunck, Anal. iii. 51) ; and in metallurgy, as in triturating cinnabar to obtain mercury from it by sublimation. (Plin. //. N. xxxiii. 41, xxxiv. 22.) [J. Y.]

MOS. [Jus, p. 657, a.]

MOTH ACES, MOTHO'NES (/^toes, juo'&o-yes), [CiviTAS, p. 290, b.]


MULLEUS. [patricii,]

MULSUM. [vinum.]

MULTA. [poena.]

MUNERATOR. [gladiatores, p. 574, a.]



MUNUS. [gladiatores, p. 574, a.] MUNY'CHIA Ouowux'a), a festival cele­brated in honour of Artemis Munychia. Plutarch (de Glor. Ath. p. 349, p.) says that it was insti­tuted to commemorate the victory over the Per-



sians at Salamis, and that it was held every year on the sixteenth of Munyehion. (Compare Suidas and Harpocrat. 5. v. Movwxi&v.') The sacrifices which were offered to the goddess on this day consisted of cakes called d/u<£i0cD»'Tes, either be­cause at this season the full moon was seen in the west at the moment the sun rose in the east, or, as is more probable, and also confirmed by most authorities, because these cakes were adorned all round with burning candles. (Athen. xiv. p. 645 ; Suidas, s. v. 'Avdo-Taroi: Hesych. and Etymol. Mag. s. v. 'A/x^i^coi/.) Eustathius (ad Iliad, xviii.) says that these cakes were made of cheese. [L. S.]


MUREX. [tribulus.]

MURIES. [vestales.]

MURRHINA VASA, or MU'RREA VASA, were first introduced into Rome by Pompey, who dedicated cups of this kind to Jupiter Capitolinus. (Plin. H. N. xxxvii, 7.) Their value was very great. (Sen. de Benef. vii. 9, Epist. 119 ; Mar­tial, iii. 82. 25 ; Dig. 33. tit. 10. s. 3. § 4.) Pliny (L c.) states that 70 talents were given for one holding three sextarii, and speaks of a murrhine trulla, which cost 300 talents. Nero gave even .300 talents for a capis or drinking cup.

Pliny (xxxvii. 8) says that these murrhine vessels came from the East, principally from places within the Parthian empire, and chiefly from Cara-mania. He describes them as made of a substance formed by a moisture thickened in the earth by heat, and says that they were chiefly valued on account of their variety of colours. Modern writers differ much respecting the material of which they were composed. Some tehihk that they were va­riegated glass, and others that they were made of onyx, since that stone presents a variety of colours ; but the latter conjecture is overthrown by a pas­sage of Lampridius (Heliogab. 32), who speaks of onyx and murrhine vases. Most recent writers, however, are inclined to think that they were true Chinese porcelain, and quote in support of their opinion the words of Propertius (iv. 5. 26) : —

" Murreaque in Parthis pocula cocta focis."

This opinion would be rendered still more probable if we could place dependence on the statement of Sir W. Gell (Pompeiana, vol. i. pp. 98, 99), " that the porcelain of the East was called Mirrha di Smyrna to as late a date as 1555." (Becker, Gallus, vol. i. p. 143.)

MURUS, MOENIA (re?xos), the wall of a city, in contradistinction to paries (to?%os), the wall of a house, and Maceria, a boundary wall. Both the Latin and Greek words appear to contain, as a part of their root meaning, the idea of a firm, strong wall ; and they are nearly always used for walls of stone or some other massive construction. Murus and Te?x<>* are also used for the outer wall of a large building.

We find cities surrounded by massive walls at the earliest periods of Greek and Roman history, of which we have any records. Homer speaks of the chief cities of the Argive kingdom as " the walled Tiryns," and " Mycenae the well-built city " (II. ii. 559, 569), not only thus, as in other passages, proving the common use of such struc­tures in the Homeric period, but also attesting the great antiquity of those identical gigantic walls which still stand at Tiryns and Mycenae, and other cities of Greece and Italy. In Epirus, in


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