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On this page: Sector – Sectorium Interdictum – Securis – Secutores – Seisachtheia – Seliquastrum – Sella

1014

SEISACHTHEIA.

was sold id this way, and the Sector acquired the hereditatis petitio. [praeda.] [G. L.J

SECTOR. [sectio.]

SECTORIUM INTERDICTUM. [inter-dictum ; sectio.]

SECURIS, dim. SECURICULA (a£^, ire-ackus), an axe or hatchet. The axe was either made with a single edge, or with a blade or head on each side of the haft, the latter kind being de­nominated bipennis (TreAe/cus Sicrr^yuos, or a/jL^icrro-juos, Agathias, Hist. ii. 5. pp. 73, 74). As the axe was not only an instrument of constant use in the hands of the carpenter and the husbandman, but was moreover one of the earliest weapons of attack (Horn. II. xv. 711; Suet. Galba, 18), a constituent portion of the Roman fasces, and a part of the ap • paratus when animals were slain in sacrifice, we find it continually recurring under a great variety of forms upon coins, gems, and bas-reliefs. In the woodcut to the article sceptrum, the young As-canius holds a battle-axe in his hand. Also real axe-heads, both of stone and metal, are to be seen in many collections of antiquities. Besides being made of bronze and iron, and more rarely of silver (Virg. Aen. v. 307 ; Wilkinson, Man. and Oust, of Egypt, vol. i. p. 324), axe-heads have from the rarliest times and among all nations been made of stone. They are often found in sepulchral tumuli, and are arranged in our museums together with chisels, both of stone and of bronze, under the name of celts [dolabra].

The prevalent use of the axe on the field of battle was generally characteristic of the Asiatic nations (Curt. iii. 4), whose troops are therefore called secwigerae catervae. (Val. Place. Argon, v. 138.) As usual, we find the Asiatic custom pro­ pagating itself over the north of Europe. The bi­ pennis and the spear were the chief weapons of the Franks. (Agathias, L c.) [J. Y.]

SECUTORES.. [gladiatores, p. 576, a.]

SEISACHTHEIA (<re«rax0^a), a disburden­ing ordinance, was the first and preliminary step in the legislation of Solon. (Plut. Sol. 15 ; Diog. Laert. i. 45.) The real nature of this measure was a subject of doubt even among the ancients themselves, for while some state that Solon thereby cancelled all debts, others describe it as a mere re­duction of the rate of interest. But from the various accounts in Plutarch and the grammarians it seems to be clear that the <ret(rdxQ£ia consisted of four distinct measures. The first of these was the reduction of the rate of interest, and if this was, as it appears, retrospective, it would naturally in many cases wipe off a considerable part of the debt. The second part of the measure consisted in lowering the standard of the silver coinage, that is, Solon made 73 old drachmas to be worth 100 new ones ; so that the debtor, in paying off his debt, gained rather more than one fourth. Bb'ckh (PubL Econ. p. 16) supposes that it was Solon's intention to lower the standard of the coinage only by one fourth, that is, to make 75 old drachmas equal to 100 new ones, but that the new coin proved to be lighter than he had expected. The third part consisted in the release of mortgaged lands from their incumbrances and the restoration, of them to their owners as full property. How this was effected is not clear. Lastly, Solon abolished the law which gave to the creditor a right to the person of his insolvent debtor, and he restored to their full liberty those who had been

SELLA.

enslaved for debt. For further information on this measure, see Diet, of Bioyr. art. Solon.

This great measure, when carried into effect, gave general satisfaction, for it conferred the great­ est benefits upon the poor, without depriving the rich of too much, and the Athenians expressed their thankfulness by a public sacrifice, which they called o"€icrdx0€(a, and by appointing Solon to legislate for them with unlimited power. (Plut. Sol. 16 ; compare Suidas, Hesych. Etym. Mag. s. v. ; Cic. de Re Publ. ii. 34 ; Wachsmuth, Hcllen. Alt. vol. i. p. 472.) [L. S.]

SELIQUASTRUM. [sella, No. IV.]

SELLA. The general term for a seat or chair of any description. The varieties most deserving of notice are : —

I. sella curulis, the chair of state. Curulis is derived by the ancient writers from currus (Aul. Gell. iii. 18; Festus, s. v. Ourules; Servius, ad Virg. Aen. xi. 334 ; Isidor. xx. Jl. § 11) ; but it is more probably connected with curvus. The sella curulis is said to have been used at Rome from a very remote period as an emblem of kingly power (hence cundi regia sella adornavit^ Liv. i. 20), having been imported, along with various other insignia of royalty, from Etruria (Liv. i. 8), according to one account by Tullus Hostilius (Macrob. Sat. i. 6) ; ac­cording to another by the elder Tarquinius (Flor. i. 5) ; while Silius names Vetulonii as the city from which it was immediately derived (viii. 487). Under the republic the right of sitting upon this chair belonged to the consuls, praetors, curule aediles, and censors (Liv. ii. 54, vii. 1, ix. 46, x. 7, xl. 45 ; Aul. Gell. vi. 9, &c.) ; to the Flamen Dialis (Liv. i. 20, xxvii. 8) [flamen] ; to the dictator, and to those whom he deputed to act under himself, as the magister equitum, since he might be said to comprehend all magistracies within himself. (Dion Cass. xliii. 48 ; Liv. ii. 31 ; Festus, s. v. Sellae curulis). After the downfal of the constitution it was assigned to the emperors also, or to their statues in their absence (Tacit. Ann. xv. 29, Hist. ii. 59 ; Servius, I.e.); to the Augustales (Tacit. Ann. ii. 83), and, perhaps, to the praefectus urbi. (Spanheim, de Praest. et Usu Numism. x. 3. § 1.) It was displayed upon all great public occasions, especially in the circus and theatre (Liv. ii. 31 ; Suet. Octav. 43 ; Dion Cass. Iviii. 4), sometimes, even after the death of the person to whom it belonged, a mark of special honour, bestowed on Marcellus, Germanicns, and Pertinax (Dion Cass. liii. 30, Ixxiv. 4 ; Tacit. Ann. ii. 83, and Comm. of Lips. ; Spanheim, x. 2. § 1) ; and it was the seat of the praetor when he ad­ministered justice. (Cic. Verr. ii. 38; Val. Max, iii. 5. § 1 ; Tacit, Ann. i. 75 ; Martial, xi. 98. 18.) In the provinces it was assumed by inferior magis­trates, when they exercised proconsular or pro-praetorian authority, as we infer from its ap­pearing along with fasces on a coin of the Gens Pupia, struck at Nicaea in Bithynia, and bearing the name AVAOC nOVHIOC TAMIAC. We find it occasionally exhibited on the medals of foreign monarchs likewise, on those of Ariobarzanes II. of Cappadocia, for it was the practice of the Romans to present a curule chair, an ivory sceptre, a toga praetexta, and such like ornaments, as tokens of respect and confidence to those rulers whose friend­ship they desired to cultivate. (Liv. xxx. 11, xlii. 14; Polyb. ejcc. Leg. cxxi. ; Cic. ad Fain. xv. 2 ; Spanheim, Ibid. x. 4.)

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