The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: S Artago – Sarissa – Sarracum – Satisdatio – Satura



SA^RCULUM (a sarriendo, Varro, de L. Lat. v. 31, o"Ka,\is, a7caA.t<rr?7pioj/), a hoe, chiefly used in weeding gardens, cornfields, and vineyards. (Hor. Carm. i. 1. 11; Ovid. Met. xi. 36, .Fcwrf. i. 69.9, iv. 930 ; Plaut. True. ii. 2. 21; Cato, de Re Rust. 10 ; Columella, x. 21 ; Pallad. i. 43.) It was also sometimes used to cover the seed when sown (Co­ lumella, ii. 11), and in mountainous countries it served instead of a plough. (Plin. II. N. xviii. 19. s. 49.) Directions for using it to clear the surface of the ground (ovcaAAeii', Herod, ii. 1 4; avm/Veueu/, fechol. in Tlwocrit. x. 14) are given by Palladius (de Re Rust. ii. 9). [J. Y.J

SARISSA. [ExERcrrus, p. 488, a.]

SARRACUM, a kind of common cart or wag­ gon, which was used by the country-people of Italy for conveying the produce of their fields, trees, and the like from one place to another. (Vi- truv. x. 1; Juv. iii. 254.) Its name as well as the fact that it was used by several barbarous na­ tions, shows that it was introduced from them into Italy. (Sidon. Epist. iv. 18; Amm. Marc. xxxi. 2.) That persons also sometimes rode in a sar- racum, is clear from a passage of Cicero quoted by Quinctilian (viii. 3. § 21), who even regards the word sarracum as low and vulgar. Capitolinus (Anton. Pkilos. 13) states, that during a plague the mortality at Rome was so great, that it was found necessary to carry the dead bodies out of the city upon the common sarraca. Several of the bar­ barous nations with which the Romans came in contact used these waggons also in war, and placed them around their camps as a fortification (Sisenna, ap. Non. iii. 35), and the Scythians used them in their wanderings, and spent almost their whole lives upon them with their wives and children, whence Annnianus compares such a caravan of sarraca with all that was conveyed upon them to a wandering city. The Romans appear to have used the word sarracum as synonymous with planstrum, and Juvenal (v. 22) goes even so far as to apply it to the constellation of stars which was gene­ rally called plans trum. (Scheffer, de Re Vikicul. ii.31.) [L.S.]

S ARTAGO (Vrjyai/oz>), was a sort of pan which was used in the Roman kitchens for a variety of purposes, such as roasting, melting fat or butter, cooking, &c. (Plin. //. N. xvi. 22 ; Juv. x. 63.) I'Tequently also dishes consisting of a variety of ingredients seem to have been prepared in such a sartago, as Persius (i. 79) speaks of a sartago loque?idi, that is, of a mixture of proper and im­proper expressions. Some commentators on this passage, and perhaps with more justice, understand the sartago loquendi as a mode of speaking in which hissing sounds are emplo}red, similar to the noise produced when meat is fried in a pan. [L. S.]


SATURA, or in the softened form SATIRA, is the name of a species of poetry, which Ave call satire. In the history of Roman literature we have to distinguish two different kinds of satires, viz. the early satura, and the later satira which received its perfect development from the poet C. Lucilius (148—103 b.c.). Both spscies of poetry, however, are altogether peculiar to the Romans. The literal meaning of satura, the root of which is sat, comes nearest to what the French call pot­pourri, or to the Latin farrago, a mixture of all sorts of things. The name was accordingly applied by the Romans in many ways, but always to


things consisting of various parts or ingredient^, e. ff. lanx satura, an offering consisting of various fruits, such as were offered at harvest festivals and to Ceres (Acron, ad floral. Saf. i. 1 ; Diomed. iii. p. 483, ed. Putsch.); lex per saturam lata, a law which contained several distinct regulations at once. (Fest. s. v. Satura.) It would appear from the etymology of the word, that the earliest Ro­man satura, of which we otherwise scarcely know anything, must have treated in one work on a variety of subjects just as they occurred to the writer, and perhaps, as was the case with the satires of Varro, half in prose and half in verse, or in verses of different metre. Another feature of the earliest satura, as we learn from the celebrated passage in Livy (vii. 2.), is that it was scenic, that is, an improvisatory and irregular kind of dramatic performance, of the same class as the versus Fes-cennini. [fescennina.] When Livius Andro-nicus introduced the regular drama at Rome, the people, on account of their fondness for such ex­tempore jokes and railleries, still continued to keep up their former amusements, and it is not impro­bable that the exodia of later times were the old saturae merely under another name. [ExooiA.]

Ennius and Pacuvius are mentioned as the first writers of satires, but we are entirely unable to judge whether their works were dramatic like the satura of old, or whether they resembled the satires of Lucilius and Horace. At any rate, how­ever, neither Ennius nor Pacuvius can have made any great improvement in this species of poetry, as Quinctilian- (x. 1. § 93) does not mention either of them, and describes C. Lucilius as the first great writer of satires. It is Lucilius who is universally


regarded by the ancients as the inventor of the new kind of satira, which resembled on the whole that species of poetry which is in modern times designated by the same name, and which was no longer scenic or dramatic. The character of this new satira was afterwards emphatically called character Lucilianus. (Varro, de Re Rust. iii. 2.) These new satires were written' in hexameters, which metre was subsequently adopted by all the other satirists, as Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, who followed the path opened by Lucilius. Their character was essentially ethical or practical, and as the stage at Rome was not so free as at Athens, the satires of the former had a similar object to that of the ancient comedy at the latter place. The poets in their satires attacked not only the follies and vices of mankind in general, but also of such living and distinguished individuals as had any influence upon their contemporaries. Such a species of poetry must necessarily be subject to great modifications, arising partly from the character of the time in which the poet lives, and partly from the personal character and temperament of the poet himself, and it is from these circumstances that we have to explain the differences between the satires of Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal.

After Lucilius had already by his own example established the artistic principles of satire, Tel'en-tius Varro in his youth wrote a kind of satires, which were neither like the old satura nor like the satira of Lucilius. They consisted of a mixture of verse and prose, and of verses of different metres, but were not scenic like the old 'saturae. They were altogether of a peculiar character:, and v ere therefore called satinie Varroiiianae, or Me-

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



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of