The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Triclinium

TRIBUTUM.

the ancients in connection with the Servian tribes ; for Varro (de Liny. Lett. v. 181) says " tributum dictum a tribubus," and Livy (i. 43) " tribus ap-pellatae a tribute." But this seems to be only par­tially correct, as Livy (iv. 6.0) expressly states that the patres also paid the same tax. It is indeed true, that the patrieians had little real landed pro­perty, and that their chief possessions belonged to theager publicus, which was not accounted in the census as real property, and of which only the tithes had to. be paid, until at a late period an al­teration was attempted by the Lex Thoria. (Appian, de Bell. Civ. i. 27.) But there is. no reason for supposing that the patricians did not pay the tri­butum upon their real property, although the greater part of it naturally, fell upon the plebeians. (Liv. iv. 60, v. 10.) The impost itself varied ac­cording to the exigencies of the state,, and was partly applied to cover the expenses- of war, a-nd partly those of the fortifications of the city. .(Liv. vi. 32.) The usual amount of the tax was one for every thousand of a man's fortune (Liv. xxiv. 15, xxxix. 7, 44), though in the time of, Cato it was raised to three in a thousand. The tributum was not a property tax in the strict sense of the word, for the accounts respecting, the plebeian debtors clearly imply, that the debts were not deducted in the valuation of a person's property, so that he had to pay the tributum upon property which was not his own, but which he owed, and for which he had consequently to pay the interest as well. It was a direct tax. upon objects- without any regard to their produce,- like a land or house tax, which in­deed formed the main part of it. (Niebuhr, i. p. 581.) That which seems to have made it most oppressive, was its constant fluctuation. It was raised according to the regions or tribes instituted by Servius Tullius, and by the tribunes of these tribes subsequently called tribuni aerarii (Dionys. iv. 14, 15.) Dionysius,in another passage (iv. 19) states that it was imposed upon the centuries ac­cording to their census, but this seems to be a mis­take, as the centuries contained a number of ju-niores who were yet in their fathers' power, and consequently could not pay the tributum. It was not like the other branches of the public revenue let out to farm, but being fixed in money it was raised by the tribunes, unless (as was the case after the custom of giving pay to the soldiers was introduced), the soldiers, like the equites, de­manded it from, the persons themselves who were bound to pay it [aes equestre and horde-arium.] When this tax was to be paid, what sum was to be raised, and what portion of every thousand asses of the census, were matters upon, which the senate alone had. to decide. But when it was decreed, the people might refuse to pay^it when they thought it too heavy, or unfairly dis­tributed, or hoped to gain some other advantage by the refusal. (Liv. v. 12.) In later times the senate sometimes left its regulation to the censors, who often fixed it very arbitrarily. No citizen was exempt from it, but we find that the priests, augurs,, and pontiffs made attempts to get rid of it, but this was only an abuse which did not last. (Liv. xxxiii. 42.) In cases of great distress, when the tributum was not raised according, to the census, but to supply the momentary wants of the republic, it was designated by the name of Tributum Temerarium. (Fest. s. v. Tributorum col-lationem.) After the war with Macedonia (b. c.

TRICLINIUM; 1157

147), when the Roman treasury was filled with the revenues accruing from conquests and from the provinces, the Roman citizens became exempted from paying the tributum (Cic. de Off. ii. 22 ; Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 17), and this state of things lasted down to the consulship of Hirtius and Pansa (43 b. c. ; Plut. Aem. Paul. 38), when the tributum was again levied on account of the exhausted state of the aerarium. (Comp. Cic. ad Fam. xii. 30, Philip, ii. 37.) After this time it was imposed according to the discretion of the emperors.

Respecting the tributum paid by conquered countries and cities, see vectigalia. Comp. Hegewisch, Versucli uber die Rom. Finanzen, Al-tona 1804; Bosse, Grundzuge des Finanzwesen* im Rom. Stoat * Braunschweig 1803. [L. 3.]

TRICLINIUM? the dining-room of a Roman house, the position of whish, relatively to the other parts of the house, is explained in p. 428. It was of an oblong shape, and according to Vitruvius (vi. 3. § 8) ought to be twice as long as it was broad. The same author (•§.. 10) describes triclinm, evi­dently intended to be used in summer, which were open towards the north, and had on each side a window looking into a garden. The u house of the Tragic Poet" at Pompeii, a.nd also that of Actaeon, appear to have had summer dining-rooms opening to the viridarium. The woodcut at p. 562 shows the arrangement of the three couches (lecti, /cAiVcu), from which the triclinium derived its name. They also remain in the 41 House of Actaeon," being built of stone.

The articles lectus, torus and pulvjnar, con­tain accounts of the furniture used to adapt these couches for the accubatio, i. e. for the act of reclining during the meal. When so prepared for an en­tertainment they were called triclinia strata (Gaes. B. C. iii. 92 ; comp. Athen. ii. pp. 47, 48), and they were made to correspond with one another in substance, in dimensions, and in shape. (Varro, L. L. ix. 47, ed. Muller.) As each guest leaned-during a great part of the entertainment upon his left elbow, so as to leave the right arm at liberty, and as two or more lay on the same couch, the head of one man was near the breast of the man who lay behind him, and he was therefore said to lie in the bosom of the other. (Plin. Epist. iv. 22.) Among the Romans, the usual number of persons occupying each couch was three, so that the three couches of a triclinium afforded accommodation for a party of nine. It was the rule of Varro (Gellius xiii. 11), that the number of guests ought not to be less than that-of the Graces, nor to exceed that of the Muses. Sometimes however, as many aa four lay on each of the couches. (Hor. Sat. i. 4. 86.) Among the Greeks it was usual for only two persons to recline on each couch. [coena, p. 305, a.]

In such works of ancient art as represent a sym­posium, or drinking-party, we always observe that the couches are elevated above the level of the table. This circumstance throws some light upon Plutarch's mode of solving the problem respecting the increase of room for the guests as they pro­ceeded with their meal. (Sympos. y. 6.) Each man in order to feed himself lay flat upon his breast or nearly so, and stretched out his hand towards the table ; but afterwards, when his hunger was satis­fied, he turned upon his left side, leaning on his elbow. To this Horace alludes in describing a person sated with a particular dish,, and turning

4 a 3

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

1156

1157

1158
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.