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On this page: Supernumerarii – Supparum – Supplicatio – Surdus – Suspensura – Sycophantes


for the ground on which Instilae were "built to re­main the property of the owner of the soil, while other persons had a Jus Superficiarium in the different stories, in respect of which a rent (so-lariuin) was payable to the domimis of the soil. Rudorff (Beitrag zur Geschichte der Superficies, Zeitschrift fur GescJiicht. Rechtsw. &c., No.xi.) says that these terras were as common in Rome " as they now are in London where great landholders, in consideration of a rent for nine and ninety years, and the reservation of the ownership of the soil, allow others to occupy building ground and slightly built houses.1" He who builds on another's land on a building lease has a Jus Supernciarium and nothing more.

(Gaius, i-i. 73—75 ; Dig. 43. tit. 18 ; Lex Icilia, Dionys. Antiq. Rom. x. 32 ; Puchta, Inst. ii. § 244 ; Zeitschrift. <fce. xi. 219 ; Stair, Institutes, book ii. tit. 7 ; M'Dowell, Tnst. i. 676 ; Code Civil) art. 664.) • [G. L.]


SUPPARUM. [navis, p. 790, a; tunica.]

SUPPLICATIO was a solemn thanksgiving or supplication to the gods decreed by the senate, when all the temples were opened, and the statues of the gods frequently placed in public upon couches (pidvinaria), to which the people offered up their thanksgivings and prayers (ad omnia pul- vinaria supplicatio decreta est,Cic. in Catil. iii. 10). [lectisternium.] A Supplicatio was decreed for two different reasons.

I. As a thanksgiving, when a great victory had been gained: it was usually decreed as soon as official intelligence of the victory had been re­ceived by a letter from the general in command. The number of days during which it was to last was proportioned to^the importance of the victory. Sometimes it was decreed for only one day (Liv. iii. 63), but more commonly for three or five days. A supplication of ten days was first decreed in honour of Pompey at the conclusion of the war with Mithridates (Cic. do Prov. Cons. 11), and one of fifteen days after the victory over the Belgae by Caesar, an honour which Caesar himself says (B. G. ii. 35) had never been granted to any one before. (Compare Cic. I. c.) Subsequently a sup­plicatio of twenty days was decreed after his con­quest of Vercingetorix. (Caes. B. G. vii. 90.) From this time the senate seems to have frequently increased the number of days out of mere compli­ment to the general. We thus find mention of thanksgivings for forty days (DionCass. xliii. 14), fifty days (Id. xliii. 42, and Cic. Phil. xiv. 14), and even sixty. (Dion Cass. xl. 50.) A supplicatio was usually regarded as a prelude to a triumph, but it was not always followed by one, as Cato reminds .Cicero, to whose honour a supplicatio had been decreed. (Cic. ad Fam. xv. 5.) This honour was conferred upon Cicero on account of his suppression of the conspiracy of Catiline, which had never been decreed to any one before in a civil capacity (to-gatus), as he frequently takes occasion to mention. (In Catil. iii. 6, 10, in Pis. 3, Phil. ii. 6.)

II. A Supplicatio., a solemn supplication and humiliation, was also decreed in times^of public danger and distress, and on account of prodigies to avert the anger of the gods. (Liv. iii. 7, x. 23, xxxi. 9, xxxvii. 3.)

SURDUS. [obligationes, p. 818,a; tes-


SUSPENSURA. [balneae, .p. 191,b.]


SYCOPHANTES (ffvitofyavrris}. A tan earl 7 period in Attic history a law was made prohibiting the exportation of figs. Whether it was made in a time of dearth, or through the foolish policy of preserving to the natives the most valuable of their productions, we cannot say. It appears, however, that the law continued in force long after the cause of its enactment, or the general belief of its utility, had ceased to exist; and Attic fig-growers exported their fruit in spite of prohibitions and penalties. To inform against a man for so doing was considered harsh and vexa­tious ; as all people are apt to think that obsolete statutes may be infringed with impunity. Hence the term crvicotyavreiv, which originally signified to lay an infoi^nation against another for exporting figs, came to be applied to all ill-natured, malicious, groundless, and vexatious accusations. It is de­fined by Suidas, iJ/euSwy twos Karyyope'iis. (Ste-phan. Thesaur. 8873,b.)

Sycophantes in the time of Aristophanes and Demosthenes designated a person of a peculiar class, not capable of being described by any single word in our language, but well understood and ap­preciated by an Athenian. He had not much in common with our sycophant, but was a happy com­pound of the common barretor, informer, pettifogger, busybody, vogue, liar, and slanderer. The Athenian law permitted any citizen (rbj> ^ov\6^vov} to give information against public offenders, and prosecute them in courts of justice. It was the policy of the legislator to encourage the detection of crime, and: a reward (such as half the penalty) was frequently given to the successful accuser. Such a power, with such a temptation, was likely to be abused, unless cheeked by the force of public opinion, or the vigilance of the judicial tribunals. Unfortu­nately, the character of the Athenian democracy and the temper of the judges furnished additional incentives to the informer. Eminent statesmen, orators, generals, magistrates, and all persons of wealth and influence were regarded with jealousy by the people. The mo% causes came into court, the more fees accrued to the judges, and fines and confiscations enriched the public treasury. The prosecutor therefore in public causes, as well as the plaintiff in civil, was looked on with a more favour­able eye than the defendant, and the chances of-success made the employment a lucrative one. It was not always necessary to go to trial or even to commence legal proceedings. The timid defendant was glad to compromise the cause, and the con--scious delinquent to avert the threat of a prosecu­tion by paying a sum of money to his opponent. Thriving informers found it not very difficult to procure witnesses, and the profits were divided be­tween them. According to Theophrastus (ap.Athen.. vi. 254, b), Athens was full of Aiovv(roKo\dK(av Kal \l/€v8ofj.apTvp(t)j/ Kal crvKofyavr&v , The character of the crvico-<pdvrai will be best understood by the examples and descriptions found in the Attic writers. Aris­tophanes directs the keenest edge of his satire against them. (See particularly Acharn. 818, Aves, 1410, Plut. 850.) Demosthenes says: Trovrjpbv 6 ffvKocpdvTfis Kal ftdcntavov Kal (^iKairiov (de Coron. 307 ; compare c. Eubid. 1309). Hu/co-(pavTelv rpidicovra fj.vas in Lysias (c. Evand. 177, ed. Steph.) signifies "to extort thirty minas by Sycophant-like practices/' (See further Lys. A^. KttraA. a.tto\. 171 • Aesch. de Fals. Leg. 36, ed.

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