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Syracuse the names were written on olive-leaves instead of potsherds, and the practice was in consequence termed “petalismos," from the Greek word petalon, meaning “a leaf.”
Roman military life.—This is illustrated by two of the Latin inscriptions here shown. The oblong bronze tablet No. 10 (figs. 5a and 56) is part of a Roman diploma, a document recording privileges in respect of citizenship and rights of marriage granted
to a veteran soldier. The
diploma derived its name from MOCASSIM VINSTEN the fact that it was composed SLAVERONITAFXTIBI
of two tablets hinged together. MILANOBISTYSNOS!!
We have in the present instance NON NAMIITYMOVIMILIT
only the left side of one of the COHOSTIS SIRETORISCHI
tablets. The right side, which SEM LIV VT:Vil VuPVII
had two holes for the metal fi SVSAVITHETFORTITFR)
rings attaching it to the other SYNTISTRIBYIMY SOON
tablet, has been broken away. XATCYM SINCYLIS ETERIMI
The inscription 1 is a copy of STEAM SIT FREERINUVR
one originally engraved on
bronze and set up on the wall INMATRIMON SVOLYNYE
behind the temple of Augustus DBFA STOLA CXIFXDVOB
ad Minervam at Rome. It is MANISNATOSAN VI!
headed with the names of M. BRITI O TRESENTEET CAU!
Julius Philippus, the Emperor, COLLVORNHILD
and of his son, who had the title NEBTVILLONEREM of Caesar. This is followed by
El My PS the grant of full matrimonial DESCRIPTITLECOCNITEXTI rights to the soldiers of ten OVEFIXEST OMAEIN MYR cohorts, and by the dateDIVIAVGAONIIN
Jan. 7th, 246 A.D. Next comes
the name of the individual FIG. 50.-FRAGMENT OF A BRONZE diploma soldier to whom this copy of (No. 10). Ht. 54 in.
the original inscription was
given, one Neb. Tullius, a veteran of the fifth praetorian cohort of Philip at Aelia Mursa in Pannonia. The grant of full matrimonial privileges was a considerable one, for it meant that the veteran's wife and
Imp. Cae(sar) M. Iulius Phili[ppus Pius]
cos., p.p. et]
children gained the privileges of Roman citizens, if, as was often the case, the wife was not possessed of citizen rights at the time of marriage. The two holes in the middle of the tablet were used for the wire thread, which was passed round the tablets three times according to the usual official custom, and had the seals of seven witnesses affixed to it. Fig 5b is a restoration
showing the original form of the document opened, the exterior of the two tablets being seen. This diploma was found in Piedmont. Parts of similar documents will be seen exhibited in Case D of the Central Saloon, among the Roman antiquities found in Britain.
Near the diploma is a small bronze ticket (No. 11), inscribed on either side. One side bears the name of Ti(berius) Claudius Priscus, the other records that he belonged to the fourth praetorian cohort and the centuria Paterni.
Corn Largesses. The corn-supply of Rome was always a cause of anxiety, for the greater part of it had to be imported from Sicily, Sardinia, and Africa, and any delay of the corn-ships meant famine in the city. From the end of the second century B.c. it became a regular feature of Roman policy to supply the populace of the city with corn either gratis or at an artificially
cheap rate. The policy was a disastrous one, for the result was that an idle and turbulent population was drawn from the country into the city. After the fall of the Republic the Emperors carried the policy of free distributions (congiaria
or liberalitates) to a still Fig. 6.-BRONZE CORN-TICKET (No. 12). 1:1. greater pitch. It has
been reckoned that the annual cost of their largesses averaged £90,000 from Julius Caesar to Claudius, and £300,000 from Nero to Septimius Severus. Persius, who wrote in the time of Nero, notes with a sneer that it was one of the privileges of the meanest Roman citizen to exchange his ticket for a portion of musty flour. This policy of the Emperors is illustrated by the inscribed corn-ticket (tessera frumentaria) shown in this Case (No. 12; fig. 6). It is inscribed on one side, Ant(oninus) Aug(ustus) Lib(eralitas) II., i.e. the second special largess of Antoninus, perhaps Antoninus Pius, who reigned from 138–161 A.D. On the other side appears frumentatio) LXI., i.e. the sixty-first monthly corn distribution, dating doubtless from
1 Pers. Sat. v. 73.
Libertate opus est, non hac, ut quisque Velina
the accession of Antoninus. The letters were originally inlaid with silver, as is shown by the remains of that metal in the numerals. The sepulchral inscription mentioned on p. 230 should be compared with this corn-ticket.
One other inscription here exhibited may be specially mentioned. No. 13 is a bronze tablet of late Roman date (probably 5th century A.D.). It relates to a property (massa) near the Pons Verus, belonging to Antiochus and Parthenius, who hold the title of Viri Clarissimi, and the office of Imperial Chamberlains.
There are two objects of interest in the central part of TableCase K. The large bronze sceptre (No. 14), surmounted by a capital-like head, seems to have been a kind of mace of office. The bronze caduceus (No. 15), inscribed “I belong to the people of Longene,” was apparently the staff of the public herald of that town. It was found in a tomb in Sicily, and is of the fifth century B.C.
Slavery.—The circular bronze badge (No. 16) shows the Roman method of dealing with runaway slaves after the softening influence of Christianity had begun to make itself felt. In earlier times the runaway slave had been punished with the cruel penalty of branding. Apparently from the time of Constantine onwards an inscribed badge was substituted, authorising the summary arrest of the slave if he were caught out of bounds. The inscription on the badge exhibited runs: “Hold me, lest I escape, and take me back to my master Viventius on the estate of Callistus.”
Two other objects may perhaps be brought into connection with slavery. The scourge (No. 17), with its lash loaded with bronze beads, was frequently used for the punishment of slaves. It is the horribile flagellum of Horace. A scourge very similar to the present is seen on a relief in the Capitoline Museum at Rome, representing a high-priest of Kybele, whose devotees were in the habit of scourging themselves in the service of the goddess. The pair of iron fetters (No. 18), found in 1813 in a cave behind the Pnyx at Athens, bear a close resemblance to those worn by a bestiarius or beast-fighter represented on a relief from Ephesus (exhibited in Case 109, Cat. of Sculpt., II., No. 1286).
(1) Cat. of Bronzes, No. 264; Hicks and Hill, Greek Hist. Inscr., No. 9; (2) Cat. of Bronzes, 263; Hicks and Hill, 44; (3) Cat, of Bronzes, 262; Hicks and Hill, 25; (4) Cat. of Bronzes, 333 ; (5) Cat. of Bronzes, 334; (6) to (9) Cat. of Bronzes, 329-332 ; Hicks and Hill,
Baumeister, Denkmäler, II., p. 801, fig. 867.
(Table-Case K.) The coins which are selected to represent the Greek and Roman currencies extend over a period of just one thousand years, in the course of which the coinage went through all the developments and anticipated all the varieties of type and fabric which it has since experienced, while in artistic merit it reached an excellence which will probably never be surpassed. The Greek coinage, moreover, has the great interest of being the first invention, upon which all later coinages have been modelled, for the Chinese money, which originated about the same time, and apparently independently, did not develop in the same way.
Greek Coins.—The character and provenance of the earliest coins agree with the best ancient tradition of their origin, which is recorded by Herodotus, who says that the Lydians were the first to strike coins, as they were the first tradesmen. The most primitive pieces are found in Asia Minor, and their metal is a natural mixture of gold and silver, called electrum, which occurs in the mountains of Lydia, and was brought down to the sea in the sands of the great rivers, the golden Hermus and its tributary the Pactolus. From other considerations also it is likely that the invention belongs to Asia Minor, for the cities which the Greeks had planted on the Asiatic shores grew in the seventh century B.C. to a high degree of wealth, by reason of their position on a rich coastland, where they were intermediary in the trade of east and west, and because they had preserved enough of the culture and artistic power of the brilliant epoch of the Mycenaean Age to set them far in advance of their kinsmen of the mainland. There
1 i. 94.