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On this page: Rex Sacriffculus – Rheda – Rhetor – Rhetorice Graphe – Rhetrae


For further information respecting the Roman kings, see Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome, vol. i. p. 338, &c. ; Walter, Gcschiclite des Romisclten Rechts, §17, 2d ed. ; and especially Rubino, Untersuch-nngen uber Romisclie Verfassung, passim ; and Backer, Handbucli der Romisclien Altertliumer, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 291, &c.

REX SACRIFFCULUS, REX SACRI'FI-CUS, or REX SACRO'RUIVL When the civil find military powers of the king were transferred to two praetors or consuls, upon the establishment of the republican government at Rome, these ma­gistrates were not invested with that part of the royal dignity by virtue of which he had been the high priest of his nation and had conducted several of the sacra publica, but this priestly part of his office was transferred to a priest called Rex Sacri­ficulus or Rex Sacrorum. (Liv. ii. 2 ; Dionys. iv. 74, v. 1.) The first rex sacrorum was designated, at the command of the consuls, by the college of pontiffs, and inaugurated by the augurs. He was always elected and inaugurated in the comitia ca-latci under the presidency of the pontiffs (Gell. xv. 27), and as long as a rex sacrificulus was ap­pointed at Rome, he was always a patrician, for as ne had no influence upon the management of political affairs, the plebeians never coveted this dignity. (Liv. vi. 41 ; Cic. pro Dom. 14.) But for the same reason the patricians too appear at last to have attributed little importance to the office ; whence it sometimes -occurs that for one, or even for two successive years no rex sacrorum was ap­pointed, and during the civil wars in the last pe­riod of the republic, the -office appears to have fallen altogether into disuse. Augustus however seems to have revived it, for we find frequent mention of it during the empire, until it was pro­bably abolished in the time of Tmeodosius. (Orelli, fjiscr. n. 2280, 2282,, 22.83.)

Considering that this priest was the religious representative of the kings, he ranked indeed higher than all other priests, and even higher than the pontifex maximus (Festus. s. v. Of do sacerdo-tum\ but in power and influence he was far inferior to liim. (Id sacerdotium pontifici subjeccrc, Liv. ii. 2.) He held his office for life (Dionys. iv. 74), was not allowed to hold any civil or military dig­nity, and was at the same time exempted from all military and civil duties. (Dionys. L -c. ; Pint. Quaest. Rom. 60 ; Liv. xl. 42.) His principal func­tions were: 1. To perform these sacra publica which had before been performed by the kings 5 and his wife, who bore the title of regina sacrorum, had like the queens of former days also to perform certain priestly functions. These sacra publica he or his wife had to perform on all the Calends, Ides, and the Nundines ; he to Jupiter., -and she to Juno, in the regia. (Varrj, de Ling. Lat. vi. 12, 13 ; Macrob. Sat. i. 15.) 2. On the days called regi-i'ugium he had to offer a sacrifice in the comitium. [regifugium.] 3. When extraordinary portenta seemed to announce some general calamity^ it was his duty to try to propitiate the anger of the gods. (Fest. 5. v. Regiae feriae*) 4. On the mindines when the people assembled in the city,, tke rex sa­crorum announced (ed.icebaf) to them the succession of the festivals for the month. This part of his functions however must have ceased after tho time of Cn. Flavins. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. vi. 13; Serv. ad Aen. viii. 654.) He lived in a domus publica on the via sacra, near the regia and the


house of the Vestal virgins. (Ambrosch, Sfudicn a, Andeutungen^^. 41—76.) [L. S.J

RHEDA or REDA was a travelling carriage with four wheels. Like the covinus and the essedum it was of Gallic origin (Quintil. List. Orat. i. 5. § 68 ; Caes. .Bell. Gall. i. 51), and may perhaps contain the same root as the German reiien and our ride. It was the common carriage used by the Romans for travelling, and was fre­quently made large enough not only to contain many persons, but also baggage and utensils of va­rious kinds. (Cic. pro Mil. 10, 20 ; Juven. iii. 10 ; Mart. iii. 47.) The word Epirhedium, which wag formed by the Romans from the Greek preposition eVl and the Gallic rheda (Quint. L c.), is explained by the Scholiast on Juvenal (viii. 66) as : " Orna-mentum rhedarum aut plaustrum."

RHETOR, [rhetorice graphe.]

RHETORICE GRAPHE (^ropiK^ ypa^). The best interpretation of this expression is per­haps that given by Harpocration and Suidas, s. v. ?] Kara, pyropos yevouevi], ypd^avr6s n -?) €lir6vros 2} irpdfavTos Trapd.vof.iov. There was not any par­ticular class of persons called pTjropes, invested with a legal character, or intrusted with political duties, at Athens. For every citizen, who did not labour under some special disability, was entitled to address the people in assembly, make motions, propose laws-, &-c. The name of p^ropes, however, was given in common parlance to those orators and statesmen, who more especially devoted themselves to the business of public speaking ; while those who kept aloof from, or took no part in, the business of popular assemblies, were called l^itarai. Hence pJjTwp is explained by Suidas, s. v. 'O £ouAet'cuz> Kal 6 tv 5rj/^.aj ayopevwv. The

fy might be 'either the same as the irapav6fj,wv ^ or a more special prosecution, attended with heavier penalties, against practised demagogues, who exerted their talents and influence to deceive the people and recommend bad measures. Others have conjectured this to be a proceeding similar to the €Trayye\ta, tioki/naVias^ directed against those persons who ventured to speak in public, after having been guilty of some misdemeanour which would render them liable to art^ia. Of this nature was the charge brought against Timarchus by Aes-chines, whose object was to prevent the latter from appearing as prosecutor against him on the subject of the embassy to Philip. (Schomann, de Comit. p. 108 ; Meier, Atl. Proc. p. 209.) [C. R. K.]

RHETRAE (pyr.pai^ specially the name of the ordinances of Lycurgus. (Plut. Lye. 6, 13.) The word is defined by the grammarians to signify a compact or treaty (p^rpi?, 7) eVt p^ro'tsrio'i ow0^/c7?, Apollon. Lex. Horn. p. 138. 30, ed. Bekker ; prjrpai^ crvvdriKai Sia, Aoycor, Hesych.) ; and most modern writers adopt this interpretation, supposing the word to signify originally words (rb prjrbv), or a declaration, which bound parties. It is true that the etymology points simply to that which is spoken or declared ; but Plutarch gives another meaning to the word in relation to the laws of Lycurgus-, and says that they were divine ordi­nances (prjrpas &v6}j,acr€V9 &s irapa, tov &eov vo'^i-£o/xez/a Kal xpya-povs uvra, Plut. Lye. 13). The opinion of Mr. Grote, which reconciles these two accounts, seems the most probable. " The word Rlietra means a solemn compact, either originally emanating from, or subsequently sanctioned by the gods, who are always parties to such agreements:

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