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3 4.) The name of Sortes was in fact given to anything itsed to determine chances (compare Cic. de Div. i. 34), and was also applied to any verbal response of an oracle. (Cic. de Div. ii. 56; Virg. Aen. iv. 346, 377.) Various things were written upon the lots according to circumstances, as for instance the names of the persons using them, &c.: it seems to have been a favourite practice in later times to write the verses of illustrious poets upon little tablets, and to draw them out of the urn like other lots, the verses which a person thus obtained being supposed to be applicable to him : hence we read of Sortes Virgilianae, &c. (Lamprid. A lex. Sever. 14 ; Spartian. Hadr. 2.) It was also the practice to consult the poets in the same way as the Mohammedans do the Koran and Hafiz, and many Christians the Bible, namely, by opening the book at random and applying the first passage that struck f he eye to a person's own immediate circumstances. (August. Confess, iv. 3.) This practice was very common among the early Christians, who substituted the Bible and the Psalter for Homer and Virgil: many councils repeatedly condemned these Sortes Sanctorum, as they were called. (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, c. xxxviii. note 51.) The Sibylline books; were probably also consulted in this way. [SiBYLLiNi libri.] Those who foretold future events by lots were called Sortileyi. (Lucan, ix. 581.)
• The Sortes Gomnvial.es were tablets sealed up, which were sold at entertainments, and upon being opened or unsealed entitled the purchaser to things of very unequal value ; they were therefore a kind of lottery. (Suet. Octav. 75 ; Lamprid. Heliogab. 22.)
SPADONES. [impubes, p. 631, b.] SPARUS. [hasta, p. 588, b.] SPE'CIES NOVA.. [confusio.] SPEC'TIO. [augur, pp. 177,b, 178,a.] SPECULA'RIA. [DoMus,p. 432, b.] SPECULA/RIS LAPIS. [Doivius, p. 432, a.] SPECULATORS. [ExERCiTus,p. 508, b; comp. hemerodromi.]
SPECULUM (KCLTOitTpov, ecronTpov, tvoirrpov), a mirror, a looking-glass. The use of mirrors is of very high antiquity (Job, xxxvii. 18 ; Exodus, xxxviii. 8), but they are not mentioned by Homer, eren when he describes in so circumstantial a manner the toilet of Hera. In the historical times of Greece they are frequently spoken of (Xen. Cyr. vii. 1. § 2.; Eurip. Medea, 1161, Orest. 1112, &c.), and they were probably known in Greece long before, since every substance capable of receiving a fine polish would answer the purpose of a mirror. Thus basins were employed instead of mirrors (Artemiod. Oneir. iii. 30. p. 279, ed. Reiff), and also cups, the inside of which was sometimes so disposed, that the image of the person who drank from them was seen multiplied. (Plin. //. N. xxxiii. 9. s. 45 ; compare Vopisc. Prob. 4.)
The looking-glasses of the ancients were usually made of metal, at first of a composition of tin and copper, but afterwards more frequently of silver. (Plin./. c.) Pliny says that silver mirrors were first made by Praxiteles in the time of Pompey the Great, but they are mentioned as early as that of Plautus. (Most. i. 3. 111.) Under the empire the use of silver mirrors was so common, that they began to be used even by maid servants (Plin. H.N. xxxiv. 17. s. 48) : they are constantly mentioned in the Digest, when silver plate is spoken of
(38. tit. 6. s. 3 ; 34, tit. 2. s. 19. § 8). At first: they were made of the purest silver, but metal of an inferior quality was afterwards employed. (Plin. //. A7", xxxiii. 9. § 45.) Frequently too the: polished silver plate was no doubt very slight, but. the excellence of the mirror very much depended on the thickness of the plate, since the reflection was stronger in proportion as the plate was thicker. (Vitruv. vii. 3. p. 204, ed. Bip.) We find gold mirrors mentioned once or twice by ancient writers: (Eurip. TTccuo. 925 ; Senec. Quaest. Nat. i. 17 ; Aelian, V. II. xii. 58) ; but it is not impossible^' as Beckmann has remarked, that the term golden, rather refers to the frame or ornaments than to the mirror itself, as we speak of a gold watch, though the cases only may be of that metal.
Besides metals, the ancients also formed stones; into mirrors, but these are mentioned so seldom, that we may conclude they were intended for orria-. ment rather than for use. Pliny (//. N. xxxvi. 26. s. 67) mentions the obsidian stone, or, as it is imwv. called, the Icelandic agate, as particularly suitable for this purpose. Domitian is said to have had a gallery lined with pliengites, which by its reflection showed every thing that was done behind his bade (Suet. Dom. 14), by which Beckmann understands a calcareous or gypseous spar, or selenite, which is indeed capable of reflecting an image ; but we can^ not therefore conclude that the ancients formed mirrors of it. Mirrors were also made of rubies according to Pliny (//. N. xxxvii. 7- s. 25), who. refers to Theophrastus for his authority, but lie seems to have misunderstood the passage of Theophrastus (de Lapid. 61), and this stone is never found now sufficiently large to enable it to be made into a mirror. The emerald, it appears, also served Nero for a mirror. (Plin. //. N. xxxvii. 5. s. 16 ; Isidor. xvi. 7.)
The ancients seem to have had glass mirrors also like ours, which consist of a glass plate covered at the back with a thin leaf of metal. They were manufactured as early as the time of Pliny at the celebrated glass-houses of Sidon (Plin. II. N. xxxvi. 26. s. 66), but they must have been inferior to those of metal, since they never came into general use and are never mentioned by ancient writers among costly pieces of furniture, whereas metal mir-r rors frequently are. Pliny seems to allude to them in another passage (H.N. xxxiii. 9. s. 45), where he speaks of gold being applied behind a mirror, which we can understand, if we admit that Pliny was acquainted with glass mirrors. -.
Of mirrors made of a mixture of copper and tin, the best were manufactured at Brundisium. (Plin. II. N. xxxiii. 9. s. 45, xxxiv. 17. s. 48.) This mixture produces a white metal, which, unless preserved with great care, soon becomes so dim that it cannot be used until it has been previously cleaned and polished. For this reason a sponge with pounded pumice-stone was generally fastened to the ancient mirrors. (Plat. Timaeus, p. 72, c. ; Vossius, ad 'Catull. p. 97.)
Looking-glasses were generally small and such as could be carried in the hand. Most of those which are preserved in our Museums are of this kind ; they usually have a handle, and are of .a round or oval shape. Their general form is shown in the woodcut annexed. (Caylus, Recueil d^An- tiquites, vol.'-v.'pi. 62.) :
Instead of their being fixed so as to be hung against the wall or to stand upon the table or. floor, they