The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Venabulum – Venaliciarii – Venatio



they rose so as to pass through holes cut in the cornice. The holes for the masts are also seen in the Roman theatres at Orange and other places.

Velum., and much more commonly its derivative velamen, denoted the veil worn by women. (Pru­dent, c. Symm. ii. 147.) That worn by a bride was specifically called Jlammeum [matrimonium, p. 743, a] : another special term was rica. Greek women, when they went abroad, often covered their heads with the shawl [peplum], thus mak­ing it serve the purpose of a veil. But they also used a proper head-dress, called KaXvirrpa (Apol-lod. ii. 6. § 6 ; Aelian, V. H. vii. 9), which besides serving to veil their countenances, whenever they desired it, was graceful and ornamental, and was therefore attributed to Venus (Pans. iii. 15. § 8 ; Brunck, Anal. ii. 45.9) and Pandora (Hes. Theog. 573). The veil of Ilione, the eldest daughter of Priam, was one of the seven objects preserved at Rome as pledges of the permanency of its power. (Serv. in Virg.Aen. vii. 188.)

Vdum also meant a sail (Icrriov, navis, p. 790, a ; Aa?</>os, Callim. Epig. v. 4 ; Eurip. Hec. 109). Sail-cloth was commonly linen, and was obtained in great quantities from Egypt ; but it was also woven at other places, such as Tarquinii in Etruria. (Liv. xxviii. 45.) But cotton sail­ cloth (carbasa) was also used, as it is still in the Mediterranean. The separate pieces (lintea) were taken as they came from the loom, and were sewed together. This is shown in ancient paintings of ships, in which the seams are represented as dis­ tinct and regular. [J. Y.]

VENABULUM, a hunting-spear. This may have been distinguished from the spears used in warfare by being barbed ; at least it is often so formed in ancient works of art representing the story of Meleager (Bartoli, A-dmir-. 84) and other hunting scenes. It was seldom, if ever, thrown, but held so as to slant downwards and to receive the attacks of the wild boars and other beasts 'of chace. (Virg. Aen. iv. 181, ix. 553 ; Varr. L. L. viii. 53, ed. Miiller ; A pill. Met. viii. pp.78, 83, ed. Aldi ; Plin. Ep. i. 6.) [J. Y.]

VENALICIARII. [SERVira, p. 1040, a.]

VENATIO, hunting, was the name given among the Romans to an exhibition of wild beasts-, which fought with one another and with men. These exhibitions originally formed part of the games of the Circus. Julius Caesar first built a wooden amphitheatre for the exhibition of wild beasts, which is called by Dion Cassius (xliii. 22) Srearpov Kv#r)y€TiK6v9 and the same name is given to the amphitheatre built by Statilius Taurus (Id. li. 23), and also to the celebrated one of Titus (Id. Ixvi. 24) ; but even after the erection of the latter we frequently read of Venationes in the Circus. (Spart. Hadr. 19 ; Vopisc. Prob. 19.) The per­sons who fought with the beasts were either con­demned criminals or captives, or individuals who did so for the sake of pay and were trained for the purpose. [bestiarii.]

The Romans were as passionately fond of this entertainment as of the exhibitions of gladiators, and daring the latter days of the republic and under the empire an immense variety of animals was collected from all parts o:f the Roman world for the gratification 01 the people, and many thousands were frequently slain at one time. We do not know on what occasion a venatio was first exhibited ftt Rome.; but the first mention we find of any


thing of the kind is in the year B.C. 251, when L. Metellus exhibited in the Circus H2 ele­phants, which he had brought from Sicily after his victory over the Carthaginians, and which were killed in the Circus according to Verrius, though other writers do not speak of their slaughter. (Plin. //. N. viii. 6.) But this can scarcely be regarded as an instance of a venatio, as it was un­derstood in later times, since the elephants are said to have been only killed because the Romans did not know what to do with them, and not for the amusement of the people. There was, how­ever, a venatio in the later sense of the word in B. c. 186, in the games celebrated by M. Fulvius in fulfilment of the vow which he had made in the Aetolian war ; in these games lions and panthers were exhibited. (Liv. xxxix. 22.) It is mentioned as a proof of the growing magnificence of the age that in the Ludi Circenses, exhibited by the curule aediles P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica and P. Lentulus b.c. 168, there were 63 African panthers and 40 bears and elephants. (Liv, xliv. 18.) From about this time combats with wild beasts probably formed a regular part of the Ludi Circenses, and many of the curule aediles made great efforts to obtain rare and curious animals, and put in requisition the ser­vices of their friends. (Compare Caelius's letter to Cicero, ad Fain. viii. 9.) Elephants are said to have first fought in the Circus in the eurule aedile-ship of Claudius Pulcher, b. c. 99, and twenty years afterwards, in the curule aedileship of the two Luculli, they fought against bulls. (Piin. H. N. viii. 7.) A hundred lions were exhibited by Sulla in his praetorship, which were destroyed by javelin-men sent by king Bocchus for the purpose. This was the first time that lions were allowed to be loose in the Circus ; they were previously always tied up. (Senec. dv Brev. Fit. 13-.) The games, however, in the curule aedileship of Scaurus b. c. 58 surpassed anything the Romans had ever seen ; among other novelties he first exhibited an hippo-potamos and five crocodiles in a temporary canal or trench (euripus, Plin.//. A^. viii. 40). At the venatio given b}^Pompey in his second consulship B. c. 55, upon the dedication of the temple of Venus Victrix, and at which Cicero was present (Cic. ad Fam. Vii. 1), there was an immense num­ber of animals slaughtered, among which we find mention of 600 lions, and 18 or 20 elephants: the latter fought with Gaetulians, who hurled darts against them, and they attempted to break through the railings (clathri) by which they were separated from the spectators. (Senec. I.e.; Plin. viii. /. 20.) To guard against this danger Julius Caesar sur­rounded the arena of the amphitheatre with trenches (euripi).

In the games exhibited by J. Caesar in his third consulship, b. c. 45, the venatio lasted for five days and was conducted with extraordinary splen­dour. Camelopards or giraffes were then for the first time seen in Italy. (Diori Cass. xliiik 23 ; Suet. Jni. 39 ; Plin. H. N. viii. 7 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 102 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 56.) Julius Caesar also in­troduced bull-fights, in which Thessalian horsemen pursued the bulls round the circus, and when the latter were tired out, seized them by the horns and killed them. This seems to have been a favourite spectacle ; it was repeated by Claudius and Nero. (Plin. H.N. viii. 70 ; Suet. Claud. 21 ; Dion Cass. Ixi. 9.) In the games celebrated by Augustus, b. c. 29, the hippopotamos and the rhinoceros were

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