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Naumachia

(316 words)

Author(s): Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
[German version] (ναυμαχία; naumachía, Latin naumachia, ‘sea battle’). Since munera ( munus ) were a product of Roman wars, it can be reconstructed that sea battles were also added to the programme. The expense required, however, made them rare occurrences: Caesar was the first to institute a naumachia during his triumph in 46 BC; he had a basin dug just for the purpose on the Campus Martius in Rome and filled in again a little later. It is uncertain where the artificial lake was; the battle is called proelium navale (‘ship battle’, Suet. Iul. 39,4) or naumachia (ibid. 44,1; cf. Cass. Dio…

Venatio

(367 words)

Author(s): Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
[German version] is the current Latin term in the literary and epigraphic tradition for the hunting and killing of wild animals under artificially created conditions (ThlL s. v. bestia). In Rome, venatio was an extension of ludi and hence a component of the state cult; it was prepared and carried out by curule aediles , for the first time in 186 BC [1. 294]: 63 African predator cats, 40 bears and elephants were killed at this first venatio. In following centuries, the number of animals killed increased; Senate restrictions were to no avail. If a venatio was part of ludi, in Rome, it was or…

Factiones

(1,211 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
[German version] I. Republic In Rome the permanent or temporary union between people who were mostly of high rank so as to preserve or assert similar interests. Initially used in the sense of a kinship connection (Plaut. Trin. 452; 466; 490), factiones gain a pejorative meaning in the late Roman Republic (‘clique’, ‘coterie’ in [1. 103 and passim]) as the term for an oligarchical group (Cic. Rep. 1,68; Caes. B Civ. 3,82f.) that was mostly reproached for moral inferiority (Sall. Iug. 31,15) and always for striving for power ( dominatio). For instance, political fellow travellers ( Syllana …

Rudiarius

(229 words)

Author(s): Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
[German version] Term for a  gladiator who was awarded a rudis [2], a wooden staff, after a victorious fight in the arena - most often by the organiser of the gladiatorial games ( editor muneris) - as a sign that from then on he would never again have to fight in a munus (Mart. Liber spectaculorum 29,9; Suet. Claud. 21,5). The award was often granted at the urging of the public; this arbitrary procedure is fiercely criticised by opponents of the munera (Fronto, Ad M. Caesarem 2,1 Van den Hout; Tert. Liber de spectaculis 21,4). No sooner than two years after, by being awarded a pilleus , a rudiarius co…

Munus, Munera

(5,302 words)

Author(s): Corbier, Mireille (Paris) | Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
I. Etymology and definition [German version] A. Definition As demonstrated by Benveniste [1] Lat. munus, derived from the root mei, to ‘(ex)change’, is closer related to exchange rather than gift. Varro, in his proposed etymology of munus (Varro, Ling. 5,179: munus, quod mutuo animo qui sunt, dant officii causa; alterum munus, quod muniendi causa imperatum; cf. [5. 141]), emphasised in his first example the reciprocity of giving; in his second example munus referred to a contribution towards fortification purposes. The grammarian Verrius Flaccus, a contemporary of …

Circus

(5,211 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
I. Architecture [German version] A. Definition The circus was the biggest of all Roman places of leisure and was initially and mainly used for races with chariots drawn by teams of four or two ( quadrigae or bigae). The canonical circus consisted of a long, comparatively narrow racetrack ( c. 450 × 80 m; arena, from harena-, ‘sand’), on both ends of which three cones ( metae) on a platform served as markers for turning. The track led round a barrier that marked the central axis ( euripus, Greek εὔριπος ( eúripos), ‘water ditch’; later also spina-, ‘backbone, spine’) and that was decorate…