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Article

Graham Burton

Aerarium, derived from aes, denotes ‘treasury’. The main aerarium of Rome was the aerarium Saturni, so called from the temple below the Capitol, in which it was placed. Here were kept state documents, both financial and non-financial (including leges (see lex (1)) and *senatus consulta which were not valid until lodged there), and the state treasure, originally mainly of bronze (aes) but including also ingots of gold and silver and other valuables. The *tabularium (1) was built near it in 78 bce.The aerarium was controlled by the quaestors under the supervision of the senate, with a subordinate staff of scribae, *viatores, etc. The *tribuni aerarii, men of a property-class a little below the knights, were probably concerned with making payments from the tribes into the treasury. The aerarium sanctius was a special reserve, fed by the 5 per cent tax on emancipations. Treasure was withdrawn from it in 209 bce and on other occasions.

Article

Cameron Hawkins

The social worlds of artisans and craftsmen were structured around skill on both conceptual and practical levels. On a conceptual level, artisans employed skill (τέχνη / ars) as a crucial component of the identities they constructed for themselves—identities that differed distinctly from perceptions of artisans among the elite, who dismissed most craftsmen as “base” manual labourers. On a practical level, the importance of apprenticeship as a tool for the acquisition of skill had a profound impact on the social profile of artisans and craftsmen: while it ensured that skill could be acquired by both free and enslaved artisans, it limited opportunities for women and for children born into households of low economic status. From an economic perspective, the small workshop remained the backbone of artisanal production. The ubiquity of small workshops in the economy can be explained best as the product of artisans’ efforts to respond to the risks created by product markets in which demand was inherently seasonal and uncertain. With some exceptions, artisans sought to mitigate their exposure to risk by minimizing fixed costs, while nevertheless preserving the ability to expand their output in periods of elevated demand. This was true even in industries that fostered specialization in discrete and technically demanding stages of a vertical production process: in these industries, artisans typically coordinated their production not within integrated firms, but rather within subcontracting networks.

Article

Jared T. Benton

The earliest Roman bakers almost certainly made bread for their own households, but not for sale to the public. Pliny the Elder tells us in his Natural History (18.28) that among the quirites of Rome’s past, women baked the family’s bread, an observation he bases on comparisons with contemporary non-Roman peoples. Yet modes of domestic production were probably as diverse as the families themselves; early terracotta figurines from the eastern Mediterranean show women, men, and children all participating in the production of bread (Fig. 1).Moreover, the figurine shows both milling and baking, processes that remained interlinked until the end of antiquity. Even later commercial bakers seem also to have been millers. Medieval bakers, however, rarely milled their own grain. To some extent, this resulted from the advent of new technologies such as watermills and windmills, but the watermill, at least, was available from the 1st century bce onward (Vitr.

Article

Carrara  

T. W. Potter

White *marble*quarries in NW Italy. Perhaps first exploited on a small scale by the *Etruscans, they were further developed after the foundation of the colony of *Luna in 177 bce, which acted as a port. Large-scale quarrying began in the 1st cent. bce. *Mamurra, *Caesar's praefectus fabrum (see fabri), was the first to veneer the walls of his house with Carrara (Plin. HN 36. 7. 48), and may have opened up the quarries for Caesar's building programme, replacing the use of Attic white marbles (see pentelicon). The reconstruction of the *Regia (37 bce) is often regarded as the earliest example of large-scale use of Carrara, and the industry (for buildings, sculpture, and *sarcophagi) reached its peak under Trajan, before giving way to the employment of marbles from the east Mediterranean. It was however partly revived in the 4th cent. ce.

Article

Michael Crawford

Congiarium, from congius (a measure of capacity = 6 sextarii (see measures)), a quantity of oil, wine, etc. , distributed as a gift, later also the cash equivalent. From the time of Augustus onwards, congiaria were naturally an imperial monopoly, associated with accessions, birthdays, victories, etc. The recipients were identical with the plebs frumentaria, who received distributions of corn.

Article

Stephen Mitchell

Docimium was a city in *Phrygia, about 25 km. (15 ½ mi.) north-east of modern Afyon. It was named after a Macedonian founder, Docimus, and was one of the rare Hellenistic settlements of central Phrygia. Under the Roman empire it was known principally for its marble *quarries, which were under imperial control from the time of Tiberius, and which produced enormous quantities of white and polychrome (pavonazetto) *marble. This was used for large-scale imperial building projects, for instance in *Trajan's forum at Rome, and widely for prestige civic building in Asia Minor, for instance for the theatre at Hierapolis. Sculpture workshops attached to the quarries were also responsible for making elaborate, decorated *sarcophagi, which were sold both inside and outside Asia Minor, and for producing free-standing sculpture during the 2nd and 3rd cents. ce.

Article

fulling  

Miko Flohr

The practice of fulling woollen garments was never part of an integrated textile production chain in the Greco-Roman world, though in several contexts, there were developments towards large-scale investment and rationalization in fulling workshops. Fullers, particularly in the Roman period, developed a strong, and positive, occupational identity, and were well-integrated members of their respective urban communities.

Fulling was a procedure that aimed to refine or recover woollen garments (see wool), particularly tunics and mantles. It could include, but was not limited to, cleaning: its core aim was to improve the quality of the surface of the textile (see textile production) by raising and curating the “nap”—a soft layer of interlaced fibres that gives woollen textiles a soft, ideally even shiny surface, and makes them warmer and more comfortable to wear. Because it involves a chemical treatment and brushing, fulling has a slightly abrasive effect on textiles: garments can be subjected to the procedure repeatedly, but not endlessly. In practice, fullers worked with new as well as with used garments, and the available sources do not distinguish clearly between fulling newly woven textiles and recovering used ones—both categories of textiles seem to have been subjected to an identical procedure, though previously unfulled textiles may have required a more thorough and lengthy treatment. While the procedure was common, not all woollen textiles were fulled, and the frequency with which textiles were refulled could vary.

Article

glass  

Frederick Norman Pryce and Michael Vickers

Glass (ὕαλος (also 'rock crystal'), vitrum). The art of producing a vitreous surface on stone, powdered quartz (faience), or clay was known in pre-dynastic Egypt and passed to Crete during the second millennium bce. Glazed objects are common on Greek sites of the Archaic period, some of them Egyptian imports, others probably made locally. In Hellenistic and Roman times Egypt and Asia Minor were centres of fabrication of glazed wares, which often imitated bronze.Objects composed entirely of glass paste begin to appear in Egypt about 1500 bce, when two allied processes seem to have been in use: modelling molten glass about a core of sand, and pressing it into an open mould. The chief Mycenaean glass is dark blue imitating lapis lazuli, used for beads, inlays, and architectural ornaments. In the 6th cent. small vases made by the sand-core process became known in Greece; they have opaque blue, brown, or white bodies and a marbled effect was produced on their surface by means of a comb or spike. In the Hellenistic period mould-made bowls come into fashion; these were produced mainly in Egypt. Here the tradition of opaque polychrome glass was continued into Roman times with millefiori bowls, in which marbled and other polychrome patterns were formed by fusing glass canes of various colours and pressing them into moulds.

Article

M. Stephen Spurr

Latifundia (large estates) ‘have ruined Italy and are now ruining the provinces’. *Pliny (1) the Elder (HN 18. 35) put latifundia at the centre of debate about the development of the Roman rural economy. But what were latifundia? Divergent modern definitions abound and confuse: large pastoral ranches beginning in the 3rd cent. bce; slave-staffed oil- and wine-producing villas (either single properties or the scattered estates of one owner) first described by M. *Porcius Cato(1)c. 160 bce (see villa; slavery); any property above 500 iugera (125 ha.: 309 acres) of whatever period: all of which ‘ruined’ Italy by forcing *peasants from the land. Others dismiss Pliny's remark as generalized nostalgia and refer to archaeological surveys that not only emphasize the diversity of rural settlement but also show that villas and peasant farms often existed side by side. Yet if Pliny is allowed credence, the term latifundia applies strictly to extensive unitary estates, resulting from an aggregation of properties, too large to farm according to the labour-intensive methods of cultivation of the slave-staffed villas recommended by the *agricultural writers (HN 18.

Article

purple  

Ludwig Alfred Moritz

Of the two main kinds of purple-yielding shellfish described by *Pliny (1) (HN 9. 125–41), purpura and pelagia (Greek πορφύρα) correspond to the Linnaean murex, murex and bucinum (κῆρυξ) to the smaller and less precious purpura haemostoma. In antiquity the purple of *Tyre always retained its primacy, but purple dyeing was practised also in the Greek cities of Asia, the Greek mainland and islands, S. Italy, and N. Africa. After being gathered or caught in baskets and killed suddenly to preserve the secretion, the molluscs were either opened (esp. the larger) or crushed. The mass was then left in salt for three days, extracted with water, and slowly inspissated to one-sixteenth of its original volume. Impurities were removed during this process, and the liquid was then tested with flocks of wool until the colour was right. Many shades within the violet–scarlet range, and even a bluish green, could be obtained by mixing the dyes from different species and by intercepting the photochemical reaction which gives the secretion its colour. (‘Twice-dyed’ (δίβαφος) Tyrian purple resulted from consecutive steeping in pelagium and bucinum.

Article

villa  

David J. Mattingly

Villa was the Latin word for a rural dwelling associated with an estate, and ranging in character from functional farms to the luxurious country seats of the élite (Varro, Rust. 1. 11. 1–12. 4; 3. 2. 1–2. 18). Most of the literary evidence relates to Italy and primarily described farms run for the benefit of urban-based proprietors (Vitr.De arch. 6. 6. 1), though the most opulent seaside villas of the Roman aristocracy were sometimes built solely for pleasure. Aristocratic enjoyment of rural retreats and pride in creating architectural splendours there are well attested (Pliny, Ep. 2. 17). However, the classic Italian villa, comprising a luxurious dwelling for the use of the owner on visits to the estate (pars urbana), the working *farm buildings (pars rustica), and the storage buildings and barns (pars fructuaria), is perfectly illustrated by the excavations at *Settefinestre, with its aristocratic domus (mansion), baths, slave quarters, wine and olive presses, piggery, substantial granary, and formal gardens (Carandini and others, 1985; cf.