The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Stalagmia – Stater



<BoA<xos 5po/xos is variously stated at 6, 7, 8, 12, 20, and 24 stadia. (Schol. ad Soph. Electt: 691.)

The semicircular end of the area, which was called cr</>e^5oz/77, and was not used in the races, was probably devoted to the other athletic sports. This (rfyevSovri is still clearly seen in the Ephesian and Messenian stadia, in the latter of which it is surrounded by 16 rows of seats. The area of the stadium was surrounded by the seats for spectators, which were separated from it by a low wall or po­dium.

Opposite to the goal, on one side of the stadium, were the seats of the Hellanodicae, for whom there was a secret entrance into the stadium (kpvttttj tcroSos), and on the other side was an altar of white marble, on which the priestesses of Demeter Ghamyne sat to view the games. The area was generally adorned with altars and statues. •-Such; was the general form and arrangement of the Greek stadium. After the Roman conquest of Greece the form of the stadium was often modified so as to resemble the amphitheatre by making both its ends semicircular, and by surrounding it with seats supported by vaulted masonry, as in the Roman amphitheatre. The Ephesian stadium still has such seats round a portion of it. A restoration 6f this stadium is given in the following woodcut, copied from Krause.



A is tlie boundary wall at the Aphesis, 77 feet deep, B C the sides, and D the semicircular end, of the same depth as A ; F F the area, including the crtysi'Sovr) ; b b pieces of masonry jutting out into the area ; e c the entrances ; from o to p ig the length of an Olympic stadium ; from q to z the range of amphitheatrical seats mentioned above.

(Krause, Die Gymnastik und Agnostik der Hd* lenen, p. 131, § 14 ; MUller, Arch'dol. der Kunst^ § 290 ; olympia.)

2. The word also signifies the chief Greek mea* sure for itinerary distances, which was adopted by the Romans also, chiefly for nautical and astro­ nomical measurements. It was equal to 600 Greek or 625 Roman feet, or to 125 Roman paces ; and the Roman mile contained 8 stadia. (Herod, ii.. 149 ; Plin.//. N. ii. 23. s. 21 ; Columell. R.R. v. 1 ; Strabo, vii. p. 497.) Hence the stadium con-1 tained 606 feet 9 inches English. (See the Tables.) This standard prevailed throughout Greece, under the name of the Olympic stadium, so called because, as above stated, it was the exact length of the stadium or foot-race course at Olyrnpia, measured between the pillars at the two extremities of the course. There were multiples of the measure, corresponding to the longer races ; thus the Siat/Ao? was 2 <rra5ta, and the SoAt%os 6 or more. (See above.) The linriKoif of 4 stadia we may presume to have been the length of one double course in the chariot race, which would give 2-stadia for the distance- between the pillars in the hippodrome [HiPPODROMUS, p. 611, a]. In mathematical geo­ graphy, the ordinary computation was 600 stadia to a degree of a great circle of the earth's surface^ The important question, whether the stadium wag a uniform measure throughout Greece, is fully dis-^ cussed under mknsura, p. 755. [P-S.J -

STALAGMIA. [!nauris.]

STATER (o-raT7?p), which means simply a standard (in this case both of weight and more particularly of money), was at first the name of the chief coin in the early Greek systems, namely, the didrachm. [NuMMUS, pp. 811,b, 812, a.] When gold began to be coined, the name was applied to the principal gold coin of Greece, which was also, called Chrysus (xp^oCs), and which in -the ma­jority of cases was conformed to the Attic'stands ard, and therefore a stater commonly signifies a gold coin equal in weight to two Attic drachmae and in value to twenty; but there are also staters of the Euboi'c scale. The general subject of Greek gold money has been discussed under aurum, where it is stated that the Greeks obtained their principal supply of gold 1'rom Asia. To the same quarter we must look for the origin of their gold money. The Darictis, which came to them from Persia, has been already treated of. [DAiucus.] The stater is said to have been first coined in Lydia by Croesus. To this country, indeed, one tradition ascribes the origin both of gold and silver money (Herod, i. 94) ; but be this as it may, the stater of Croesus was the first gold coinage with which the Greeks were acquainted. (Herod, i. 84 ; Pollux,-iii. 87, ix. 84.) Bb'ckh (Metroloy. Untersuch. p. 129) asserts that these staters were undoubtedly formed of the pale gold or electrum which was washed down from Tmoltis by the Pactolus, and which Sophocles speaks of as Sardian electrum, (Antig. 1037.) [electrum.] There is, in the Himterian collection (Plate 66. fig-. 1), a very, an* dent coin of. this pale gold, of an oval bail-like

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of