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On this page: Sciadephorta – Sciritae – Scribae – Scrinium – Scripta Duodecim – Scrupulum – Sculptura – Scutica – Scutum



SCIADEPHORTA. [hydriaphoria,] SCIOTHE'RICUM. [horologium.]


SCIRITAE. [exercitus, p. 485, b.J


SCRIBAE. The Scribae at Rome were public notaries or clerks, in the pay of the state. They were chiefly employed in making up the public accounts, copying out laws, and recording the pro­ceedings of the different functionaries of the state. The phrase scriptum facere (Liv. ix. 46 ; Gellius, vi. 9) was used to denote their occupation. Being-very numerous, they were divided into companies .or classes (decuriae), and were assigned by lot to different magistrates, whence they were named Quaestorii, Aedilicii, or Praetorii, from the officers of state to whom they were attached. (Cic. Verr. iii. 79, c. Oat. iv. 7, pro Cluent. 45 ; Plin. H. N. xxvi. 1. s. 3.) We also read of a Navalis Scriba, whose occupation was of a very inferior order. (Festus, s. v. Navalis.) The appointment to the office of a scriba seems to have been either made on the nominatio of the magistrate, or purchased. Thus Livy (xl. 29) tells us that a scriba was ap­pointed by a quaestor: and we meet with the phrase decuriam emere to " purchase a company,3' i. e. to buy a clerk's place. Horace, for instance, bought for himself a " patent place as clerk in the treasury " (scriptum quaestorium comparavit, Tate's Horaue, ed. i. p. 58). In Cicero's time, indeed, it seems that any one might become a scriba or public clerk, by purchase (Cic. Verr. iii. 79), and consequently, as freedmen and their sons were eli­gible, and constituted a great portion of the public clerks at Rome (Tacit. Ann. xiii. 27), the office "was not highly esteemed, though frequently held by ingenui or freeborn citizens. Cicero (/. c.} however informs us that the Scribae formed a re­spectable class of men, but he thinks it necessary to assign a reason for calling them such, as if he were conscious that he was combating a popular prejudice. Very few instances are recorded of the Scribae being raised to the higher dignities of the state : Cn. Flavins, the scribe of Ap. Claudius, was raised to the office of curule aedile in gratitude for his making public the various forms of actions, which had previously been the exclusive propert}^ of the patricians [AcTio], but the returning of­ficer refused to acquiesce in his election till he had given up his books (tabulas posuit) and left his profession. (Gellius, I. c.) The private secreta­ries of individuals were called libraiiii, and some­times Scribae ab epistolis. In ancient times, as Festus (s. v.) informs us, scriba was used for a poet.

•( Ernes ti, Clavis Ciceron. s.v, ; Gottling, Gesch. der Rom.' Staatsverf. p. 374.) [R. W.]

SCRINIUM. [capsa.]

• SCRIPLUM. [scrupulum.]

SCRIPTA DUODECIM. [latrunculi.] SCRIPTU'RA was that part of the revenue of the Roman republic which Avas derived from letting out those portions of the ager publicus which were not or could not be taken into cultivation as pas­ture land. (Fest. s. v. Saltum.) The name for such parts of the ager publicus was : pascua pub-iica, saltus, or silvae. They were let by the cen­sors to the publicani, like all other vectigalia ; and the persons who sent their cattle to graze on such public pastures had to pay a certain tax or duty to the publicani, which of course varied according to the number and quality of the cattle which they


kept upon them. To how much this duty amounted is nowhere stated, but the revenue which the state derived from it appears to have been very con­ siderable. The publicani had to keep the lists of the persons who sent their cattle upon the public pastures, together with the number and quality of the cattle. From this registering (scribere) the duty itself was called scriptura, the public pasture land offer scripturarius (Fest. s. v. Scripturarius ager\ and the publicani or their agents who raised the tax, scripturarii. Cattle, not registered by the publicani, were called pecudes inscriptae, and those who sent such cattle upon the public pasture were punished according to the lex censoria (Varro, de Re Rust. ii. 1), and the cattle was taken by the publicani and forfeited. (Plant. Trucul. i. 2. 42, &c.) The lexThoria (Appian, de Bell. Civ. i. 2/; Cic. Brut. 36) did away with the scriptura in Italy, where the public pastures were very numer­ ous and extensive, especially in Apulia (Varro, de Re Rust. I. c. ; Liv. xxxix. 29), and the lands themselves were now sold or distributed. In the provinces, where the public pastures were also let out in the same manner (Cic. c. Verr. ii. 2, 3, pro Leg. Man. 6, ad Fain. xiii. 65 ; Plin. H. N. xix. 15), the practice continued until the time of the empire ; but afterwards the scriptura is no longer mentioned. (Compare Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome, vol. iii. p. 15, &c.; Burmann, Vectig. Pop. Rom. c. 4.) [L.S.]

SCRUPULUM, or more properly scripulum or scriplum (jod/A/Aa), the smallest denomination of weight among the Romans. It was the 24th part of the uncia, or the 288th of the libra, and therefore about 18 grains English, which is about the average weight of the scrupular aurei still in existence. [aurum.]

As a square measure, it was the smallest division of the Jugerum, which contained 288 scrupula. [jugerum.] Pliny (PLN. ii. 7) uses the word to denote small divisions of a degree. It was in fact to be applicable, according to the use of the As and its parts, to the 288th part of any unit.

Though the scrupulum was the smallest weight in common use, we find divisions of it sometimes mentioned, as the obolus = ^ of a scruple, the semi-obolus = i of an obolus, and the siliqua — i of an obolus, = i of a scruple, which is thus shown to have been originally the weight of a certain num­ber of seeds. (Priscian. de Pond^ v. 8—13 : —

" Semioboli duplum est obolus, quern pondere


Gramma vocant, scriplum nostri dixere priores. Semina sex alii siliquis latitantia curvis Attribuunt scriplo, lentisve grana. bis octo, Aut totidem speltas numerant, tristesve lupinos Bis duo.") [P. S.]

SCULPTURA. [scalptura.]

SCUTICA. [flagrum.]

SCUTUM (dupeds), the Roman shield, worn by the heavy-armed infantry, instead of being round like the Greek clipeus, was adapted to the form of the human body, by being made either oval or of the shape of a door (&vpa) which it also resembled in being made of wood or wicker-work, and from which consequently its Greek name was derived. Two of its forms are shown in the wood­cut at p. 711. That which is here exhibited is also of frequent occurrence, and is given on the same authority; in this case the shield is curved

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