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On this page: Scyria Dike – Scytale – Secretarium


so as in part to encircle the body. The terms clipeus and scutum are often confounded ; but that they properly denoted different kinds of shields is manifest from the passages of several ancient writers. ( Liv. viii. 8 ; Pint. Rom. 21 ; Diod. Eclog. xxiii. 3.) In like manner Plutarch distinguishes the Roman &vpe6s from the Greek aa-iris in his life of T. Fla-

minius (p. 688, ed. Steph.) In Epli. vi. 16 St. Paul uses the term Svpe6s rather than aa-rtis or ora,K6s, "because he is. describing the equipment of a Roman soldier. These Roman shields are called scuta longa. (Virg. Aen. viii. 662 ; Ovid. Fast. vi. 393 ; SupGobs eTn/^/ceis, Joseph. Ant. Jud. viii. 7. § 2.) Polybius (vi. 21) says their dimensions were 4 feet by 2-^-. The shield was held on the left arm by means of a handle, and covered the left shoulder. [Comp. exercitus, p. 496, b.] [J. Y.]


SCYRIA DIKE (cntvpia S£/o?) is thus ex­plained by Pollux : l2,Kvpiav SiKyv bvo^d^ovcnv ol


"By rpaxeTa 5t/C77 is meant one beset with difficulties, in which the plaintiff had to encounter every sort of trickery and evasion on the part of the defendant. On the appointed day of trial both parties were required to be present in court, and if either of them did not appear, judgment was pro­ nounced against him, unless he had some good excuse to offer, such as illness or inevitable absence abroad. Cause was shown by some friend on his behalf, supported by an affidavit called uvrw/.tocna, in answer to which the opponent was allowed to put in a counter affidavit (d^flyTra^ocrta), and the court decided whether the excuse was valid. It seems to have become a practice with persons who wished to put off or shirk a trial, to pretend that they had gone to some island in the Aegean sea, either on business or on the public service ; and the isles of Scyrus (one of the Cyclades), Lemnos, and Imbrus were particularly selected for that purpose. Shammers of this kind were therefore nicknamed Lemnians and Imbrians. (Pollux, viii. 60, 8 1 ; Klihn, ad loc. ; Suidas, s. v. ^.Kvpiav Sl/c^p : Hesych. s. v."l^pios; Steph. Thesaur. 8484. c. s. v. Stcvpos : Demosth. c. Olympiad. 1174 ; Meier, Ait. Proc. p. 696.) [C.R. K.]

SCYTALE (ffK.vra\ri) is the name applied to a secret mode of writing by which the Spartan ephors communicated with their kings and generals when abroad. (Pint. Lysand. 1 9 ; Schol. ad Thucyd. \. 131 ; Suidas, s. v.) When a king or general



left Sparta, the ephors gave to him a staff of a defi­nite length and thickness, and retained for them­selves another of precisely the same size. When they had any communicaton to irake to him, they cut the material upon which they intended to write into the shape of a narrow riband, wound it round their staff, and then wrote upon it the mes­sage which they had to send to him. When the strip of writing material was taken from the staff, nothing but single or broken letters appeared, and in this state the strip was sent to the general, who after having wound it around his staff, was able to read the communication. This rude and imperfect mode of sending a secret message must have come down from early times, although no instance of it is recorded previous to the time of Pausanias. (Corn. Nep. Pans. 3.) In later times, the Spartans used the scytale sometimes also as a medium through which they sent their commands to subject and al­lied towns. (Xenoph. Hell. v. 2. § 37.) [L. S.] SCYTHAE &K68ai). [demosii.] SECE'SPITA, an instrument used by the Pto-man priests in killing the victims at sacrifices. (Suet. Tib. 25.) According to the definition of Antistius Labeo, preserved by Festus (p. 348, ed. Miiller) and Servius (ad Virg. Aen. iv. 262), it was a long iron knife (culter'} with an ivory handle, used by the Flamines, Flaminicae Virgines, and Pontifices. Paulus, however, in his epitome of Festus (p. 336) says that some think it to be an axe (securis\ others a dolabra, and others again a knife (culter). On Roman coins representing sacri­ficial emblems we see an axe, which modern writers call a secespita, though we do not know on what authority, except the doubtful statement of Paulus. See the annexed coin of the Sulpicia Gens, the obverse of which is supposed to represent a culter, a simpuvium, and a secespita.

SECRETARIUM. [auditorium.] SE'CTIO. " Those are called Sectores who buy property publice." (Gaius, iv. 146 ; Festus, 5. v. Sectores.) Property was said to be sold publice (venire publice), when a man's property was sold by the state in consequence of a condemnatio and for the purpose of repayment to the State of such sums of money as the condemned person had im­properly appropriated ; or in consequence of a pro-scriptio. (Liv. xxxviii. 60 ; Cic. in Verr. i. 20.) Such a sale of all a man's property was a Sectio (Cic. pro Roscio Amer, 36, 43, &c.) ; and some­times the things sold were called Sectio. . (Tacit. Hist. i. 90.) The sale was effected by the Praetor giving to the Quaestors the Bonorum Possessio, in reference to which the phrase " bona publice pos-sideri" is used. The property was sold sub hasta and the sale transferred Quiritarian ownership, to which Gaius probably alludes in a mutilated pas­sage (iii. 80 ; compare Varro, de Re Rust. ii. 10. s. 4 ; Tacit. Hist. i. 20). The Sector was intitled to the Interdictum Sectorium for the purpose of obtaining possession of the property (Gaius, iv. 146) ; but he took the property with all its liabi­lities. An hereditas that had fallen to the Fiscu.f

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