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826

OLEA.

oil obtained from the fruit when green (oleum acer-lum s. aestivum), when half ripe (oleum viride), and when fully ripe (oleum maturum}, and while he considers the manufacture of the first as inex­pedient, in consequence of the scanty produce, he strongly recommends the proprietor to make as much as possible of the second, because the quantity yielded was considerable, and the price so high, as almost to double his receipts.

Under ordinary circumstances, the ripe fruit when gathered was carefully cleaned, and conveyed in baskets to the farm house, where it was placed in heaps upon sloping wooden floors (in tabulato), in order that a portion of the amurca might flow out, and a slight fermentation takes place (itt ibi mediocriter fracescaf), which rendered them more tender and more productive, and exactly the same system is pursued for the same reason in modern times. The gatherings of each day (coactura unius-cujusque diei} were kept separate, and great care was taken to leave them in this state for a very limited period, for if the masses heated, the oil soon be came rancid (Olea lecta si nimium diu fuit in acer-vis, caldore fracescit, ei oleum foetidum fit}. If, therefore, circumstances did not allow of the oil being made soon after the fruit was gathered, the olives were spread out and exposed to the air so as to check any tendency towards decomposition. It is the neglect of these rules and precautions which renders the oil now made in Spain so offensive, for there the olives are frequently allowed to remain in cellars for months before they are used. Although both ancient and modern experience are upon the whole in favour of a slight fermentation, Cato, whose great practical knowledge entitles him to respect, strongly recommends that it should be altogether dispensed with, and affirms that the oil would be both more abundant in quantity and superior in quality: " Quam citissime confides maxime expediet."

The olives when considered to be in a proper state were placed in bags or flexible baskets (fiscis), and were then subjected to the action of a machine consisting partly of a bruising and partly of a squeezing apparatus, which was constructed in various ways, and designated by various names : Trapetum, Mola olearia, Canalis et Solea, Torcular, Prelum, Tudicula. The oil as it issued forth was received in a leaden pot (cortina plumbed}., placed in the cistern (lacus) below the press. From the cortina it was ladled out by an assistant (capulator\ with a large flat spoon (conclia), first into one vat (labrum fictile), and then into another, thirty being placed in a row for this purpose. It was allowed to rest for a while in each, and the operation was repeated again and again (oleum frequenter capiant) until the amurca and all impurities had been com­pletely removed. In cold weather when the oil remained in union with the amurca notwithstanding these transferences, the separation was effected by mixing a little parched salt with the combined fluids, but when the cold was very intense, dry carbonate of soda (nitrum} was found to answer better. The oil was finally poured into jars (dolia olearia\ which had been previously thoroughly cleaned and seasoned, and glazed with wax or gum to prevent absorption, the lids (operculd) were carefully secured, and they were then delivered to the overseer (custos) by whom they were stored up in the vault reserved for their reception (cella otearid}.

OLIGARCHIA.

After a moderate force had been applied to the press, and a considerable quantity of oil had flowed forth, the bruised cake (sampsd) was taken out of the bags, mixed with a little salt, replaced and subjected to the action of the press a second, and again a third time. The oil first obtained (oleum primae pressurae) was the finest, and in proportion as additional force was applied by the press-men (factores, torcidarii\ the quality became gradually worse (longe melioris saporis quod minore vi preli quasi lixivium defluxerit}. Hence, the product of each pressing was kept distinct, the marketable value of each being very different ( plurimum refert non miscere iterationcs multoque minus tertiationem cum prima pressurd}. The lowest quality of all (oleum cibariuin) was made from olives which had been partially damaged by vermin, or which had fallen from the trees in bad weather into the mud, so that it became necessary to wash them in warm water before they could be used.

The quantity of fruit thrown at one time into the press varied from 120 to 160 modii, according to the capacity of the vessels: this quantity was termed Factus, the amount of oil obtained from one factus was called Hostus, but these words are not unfre-quently confounded. (Cat. R. R, 7, 64, 65, 66 ; Varr. R. R. i. 24, 55 ; Columell. xii. 52 ; Plin. H. N. xv. 3. 6, 7 ; Geppon. ix; 17.) [W. R.]

OLIGARCHIA (b\iyapxi&), the government; of a few^ is a term, the application of which by writers on political science is less wide than its etymological signification might have warranted. (See Polyb. vi. 4 ; Arist. Pol. iv. 3, from whom we learn that some writers used Oligarchia as a generic name, including Aristocratia as one of its species.) It is shown elsewhere [aristocratia] under what conditions the limitation of political power to a portion of the community was regarded as a proper and regular constitution (opO^j TroAtreia, Arist. Pol. iii. 4, iv. 2.) The term Oligarchia was applied to that perversion (7rape/c£a<ns) of or Aris­tocratia into which the latter passed, when, owing to the rise of the demus [democratia], and the vanishing of those substantial grounds of pre-emi­nence which rendered an Aristocratia not unjust, the rule of the dominant portion of the community ceased to be the exponent of the general interests of the state, and became the ascendancy of a fac­tion, whose efforts were directed, chiefly towards their own aggrandisement and the maintenance of their own power and privileges (Arist. I.e. Eth. Nicom. viii. 12 ; Polyb. vi. 8. § 4). The pre­servation of power under such circumstances of course depended chiefly upon the possession of superior wealth and the other appliances of wealth which were its concomitants. Thus it came to be regarded as essentially characteristic of an oligar­chy, that the main distinction between the dominant faction and the subject portion of the community was the possession of greater wealth on the part of the former. Hence the term Oligarchia would not have been applied, if a small section of the community, consisting of poor persons, by anv means got the reins of go\ernment into their hands. (Arist. Pol. iv. 3, stj/jlos fj.4v e<mj> orav ol e'Aeufle-poi Kvpioi &ctus, 6\iyapx'ia Se orav ol TrXovaioi. A little further on he says : oXiyapx'iai §e orav ol irXovffioi /cat. etryei/eVrepoj, 6\iyoi iWes, Kvpioi rrts apxw &viv. Comp. iv. 6 ; P;at. de Rep. viii. pp. 550, c. 553, a.) The case of the wealthy portion being also the more numerous would be a very

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