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On this page: Parilflia – Parma – Parochi – Paropsis


splendid edifices, and was decorated with an end­less variety of tasteful devices in bas-relief. Of these ornaments, wrought in Bi\icco(opusalbarmm)^ specimens remain in the " Baths of Titus " at Rome. When the plasterer (tector, /coz/iarTjs) had finished his work (trullissatio, i. e. trowelling ; opus tecto-rium), in all of which he was directed by the use of the square [NoRMA],the rule, and the line and plummet [perpendiculum], and in which he aimed at producing a surface not only smooth and shining, but as little as possible liable to crack or decay (Vitruv. vii. 3), he was often succeeded by the painter in fresco (iido teetorio^ Vitruv. I. c.). In many cases the plaster or stucco was left without any additional ornament; and its whiteness and freshness were occasionally restored by washing it with certain fine calcareous or aluminous earths dissolved in milk (paraetonium., Plin. H. N. xxxv. 6. s. 18 ; terra Selinusia, 16. s. 56). A painted wall was commonly divided by the artist into rectangular compartments, which he filled accord­ing to his taste and fancy with an endless variety of landscapes, buildings, gardens, animals, &c. (Vitruv. vii. 5.)

Another method of decorating walls was by en­ crusting them with slabs of marble (crustae). The blocks, designed for this purpose, were cut into thin slabs by the aid of saw-mills. [MoLA.] Vari­ ous kinds of sand were used in the operation, ac­ cording to the hardness of the stone ; emery (naxia, Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 6. s. 9) being used for the hardest. This art was of high antiquity, and pro­ bably Oriental in its origin. The brick walls of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, built as early as 355 b. c., were covered with slabs of Proconnesian marble (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 6) ; and this is the most ancient example upon record. In the time of Pliny (H. N. xxxv. 1) slabs of .a uniform .colour were sometimes inlaid with variously coloured ma­ terials in such a way as to represent animals and other objects. In short the beautiful invention now called Florentine Mosaic was then in use for the decoration of the walls of apartments. [E&i- blema.] The common kind of Mosaic was also sometimes used in walls as well as in floors and ceilings. The greatest refinement was the attempt to produce the effect of mirrors, which was done by inserting into the wall pieces of black glass manufactured in imitation of obsidian. (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 26. s. 67.) [DoMus p. 431 ; pictura, § XV.] [J.Y.]

PARILFLIA. [palilia.]

PARMA, dim. PARMULA (Hor. Carm. ii. 7. 10), a round shield, three feet in diameter, carried by the velites in the Roman army. Though small, compared with the clipeus, it was so strongly made as to be a very effectual protection. (Polyb. vi. 20.) This was probably owing to the use of iron in its frame-work. In the Pyrrhic dance it was raised above the head and struck with a sword so as to emit a loud ringing noise. (Claud, de vi. Cons. Honor. 628.) The parma was also worn by the equjtes (Sallust, Frag. Hist. iv.) ; and for the sake of state and fashion it was sometimes adorned with precious stones. (Propert. iv. 2. 21.)

We find the term parma often applied to the target [cetra], which was also a small round shield, and therefore very similar to the parma. (Propert. iv. 2. 40 ; Mela, i. 5. § 1 ; Virg. Aen. X; 817.) Virgil, in like manner, applies the term


to the clipeus of the Palladium, because, the status being small, the shield was small in proportion, (Aen. ii. 175.)

The annexed woodcut represents a votive parma,

embossed (cr^vpriXarov') [malleus] and gilt, re­ presenting on its border, as is supposed, the taking of Rome by the Gauls under Brermus and its re­ covery by Camillus. It belonged formerly to the Woodwardian Museum, and is supposed by anti­ quaries to have been made in the time of Claudius or Nero. The boss (umlo] is a grotesque face, surrounded with ram's horns, foliage, and a twisted beard. (Dodwell, de Parma Woodwardiana., Oxoru 1713.) Compare Bernd, Das Wappemvesen der Gh'iechen und Romer, Bonn, 1841. [J. Y.]

PAROCHI, were certain people who were paid by the state to supply the Roman magistrates, ambassadors, and other official persons, when they were travelling, with those necessaries which they could riot conveniently carry with them. They existed on all the principal stations on the Roman roads in Italy and the provinces, where persons were accustomed to pass the night. But as many magistrates frequently made extortionate demands from the parochi, the lex Julia de Repetundis of Julius Caesar, b. c. 59, defined the things which the parochi were bound to supply, of which hay, fire-wood, salt, and a certain number of beds ap­pear to have been the most important (Hor. Sat. i. 5. 46 ; Cic. ad Att. v. 16, xiii. 2 ; Heindorf, ad Hor. I.e.)

PAROPSIS (vapors). Two different mean­ings are given to this word by the Greek gramma­rians ; some interpret it as meaning any food eaten with the o-fyov [opsonium], as the juct£a, a kind of frumenty or soft cake, broth, or any kind of con­diment or sauce (Pollux, vi. 56, x. 87 ; Hemsterh. ad loc.) ; and others a saucer, plate, or small dish. (Hesych. and Suidas, s. v.) It is plain, however, from the numerous passages collected by Athenaeus (ix. pp. 367, 368), that the word was used in both significations, and was the name of the dish or plate as well as of its contents. (Compare Xen. Cyr. i. 3. § 4 ; Plut. de Adul. et Amic. 9 ; St. Matth, xxiii. 26.) The Roman writers seem always to use it in the sense of a dish or plate (Juv. iii. 142 ; Mart. xi. 27. 5) ; and according to Charisius it was so called, " quia in eo reponuntur obsonia, et ex eo in mensa comeduntur." The word is also written Parapsis. (Hesych. s. v. ; Suet. Galb. 12 ; Petron, 34; Dig. 34.-tit. 2. s.19. §9.)

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