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On this page: Sex Suffragia – Sexatrus – Sextans – Sextarius – Sextula – Sjbyllini Libri


pounds sterling divide &?/ 120 ; Mid correct the re­sult by adding to it the quotient obtained by dividing the original number by 1920 : for *5 of a farthing is foV?> 'Of a pound.

The sestertius was the denomination of money


almost always used in reckoning considerable amounts. There are a very few examples of the use of the denarius for this purpose. The mode of reckoning was as follows : —

Sestertius sestertius nummus = nummus.

Sums below 1000 sestertii were expressed by the numeral adjectives joined with either of these forms.

The sum of 1000 sestertii — mille sestertii = M sestertium (for sestertiormn} ~ M nummi = M nummum (for nummoruni) = M sestertii nummi = M sestertium nummum = sestertium. These forms are used with the numeral adjectives below 1000. for siims between 1000 and 1,000,000 sestertii: sometimes millia is used instead of sestertia : some­times both words are omitted : sometimes nuimmim or sestertium is added. For example, 600,000 sestertii = sescenta sestertia = sescenta millia = sescenta = sescenta sestertia nummum.

For sums of a thousand sestertia (i.e. a million sestertii] and upwards, the numeral adverbs in ies (decies, undecies, vicies, Ac.) are used, with which the words centena millia (a hundred thousand) must be understood With these adverbs the neuter singular sestertium is joined in the case re­quired by the construction. (Nepos, Alt. xiv. 2, gives sestertio vicies and sestertio centies.) Tims, decies sestertium=decies centena millia seslertium— fan times a hundred thousand sestertii = 1,000,000 sestertii = 1000 sestertia: mill ies II S = millies cen­tena millia sestertium = a thousand times one hun­dred thousand sestertii = 100,000,000 sestertii = 100,000 sestertia. When an amount is described by more than one of these adverbs in ies, they must be added together if the larger numeral stands first, but multiplied when the smaller is first ; care how­ever being taken not to reckon the centena millia, which is understood, more than once in the whole amount. Thus, Suetonius (Octav. 101) has millies et guinffentiesfoi* 150,000 sestertia, i. e. 100,000,000 + 50,00.0,000 = 150,000,000 sestertii, and imme­diately after quaterdecies millies for 1,400,000 ses­tertia, *. e. 14 x 1000+ 100,000(=1,400,000,000) sestertii. A variety was allowed in these forms : thus Cicero uses decies et octingenta millia for 1800 sestertia, i.e. 1,000,000 + 800,000 sestertii, and quaterdecies for 1400 sestertia, i. e. 14 x 100,000 sestertii. (In Ver. i. 39.)

When the numbers are written in cypher, it is often difficult to know whether sestertii or sestertia are meant. A distinction is sometimes made by a line placed over the numeral when sestertia are in­tended, or in other words, when the numeral is an adverb in ies. Thus : —

HS. M._a= 1100 sestertii, but

HS. M. C. = HS millies centies

= 110,000 sestertia = 110,000,000 sestertii.

Wurm (p. 24) gives the following rule : When the numbers are divided into three classes by points, the right-hand division indicates units, the second thousands, the third hundreds of thousands. Thus, III. XII. DC =300,000 + 12,000 + 600 = 312,600 sestertii. But these distinctions are by jio means strictly observed in the manuscripts.

Like other parts and multiples of the as, the



sestertius is applied to other kinds of magnitude, e. g. pcs sestertius for 2-£ feet.

It has been assumed throughout this article that the forms of sestertium^ as a neuter singular, ars genuine, a fact which may admit of doubt,

Sesterce is sometimes used as an English word, If so, it ought to be used only as the translation of sestertius, never of sestertium. [P. S.J

SEVIil. [equites, p. 475, a j augustale^ p. 180, b.]



SEXTANS. [As, p. 140, b.J

SEXTARIUS, a Roman dry and liquid mea­ sure, which may be considered one of the principal measures in the Roman system, and the connecting point between it arid that of the Greeks, for it was equal to the ^crrrjs of the latter ; and there can be little doubt that the £eVr77s was not an original Greek measure, but that the word was introduced into the Greek system from the Roman, for the purpose of establishing a unit of agreement [QuAD- rantal.j It was one-sixth of the congius* and hence its name : in the Greek system it was one- sixth of the chous. It was divided, in the same manner as the As, into parts named uncia, sex* tans, quadrans, triens, quincunx, semissis, <fcc. The uncia, or twelfth part of the sextarius, was the cyathus ; its sextans was therefore two cyathi, its quadrans three, its triens four, its quincunx five, Sec. (Wmnn, de Pond. &c. p. 118, comp. the Tables.) ^ _ [P.S.]

SEXTULA, the sixth part of the uncia, was the smallest denomination of money in use among the Romans. (Varro, L. L. v. 171, ed. Miiller.) It was also applied, like the uncia, to other kinds of magnitude. [uncia.] [P. S.]

SJBYLLINI LIBRI. These books are said to have been obtained in the reign of Tarquinius Prisons, or according to other accounts in that of Tarquimus Superbus, when a Sibyl (2f£v\\a), or prophetic woman, presented herself before the king, and offered nine books for sale. Upon the king refusing to purchase them she went and burnt three, and then returned and demanded the same price for the remaining six as she had done for the nine. The king again refused to purchase them, whereupon she burnt three more and demanded the same sum for the remaining three, as she had done at iirst for the nine : the king's curiosity now became excited, so that he purchased the books, and then the Sibyl vanished. (Dionys. iv. 62 ; Varro, ap. Latfant. i. 6 ; Gell. i. 19 ;>lin. II. N. xiii. 27: respecting the different Sibyls mentioned by an­cient writers see divinatio,p. 416,b.) These books were probably written in Greek, as the later one;5 undoubtedly were, and if so consequently came from a Greek source, though it is doubtful from what quarter : Niebuhr (Plist. of Rome, vol. i. p. 506) supposes them to have come from Ionia, but they were more probably derived from Cumae in Campania. (Gottling, Gesch. der Rom. Staatsv. p. 212.) They were kept in a stone chest under ground in the temple of Jupiter Capitoliniis, under the custody of certain officers, at first only two in number, but afterwards increased successively to ten and fifteen, of whom an account is given under decemviri, p. 387, a. The public were not al­lowed to inspect the books, and they were only con­sulted by the officers, who had the charge of them, at the special command of the senate (ad libros irc9


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