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CLAS 1000 Study Guide - Final Guide: Twelve Tables, Spolia, Piazza Navona

Classical Studies
Course Code
CLAS 1000
John Walsh
Study Guide

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Classical Studies Exam – Terminology
Ad digitum an action by an official referee in a gladiatorial contest, in which he interrupts the
fight by stepping in between the two opponents and raising his finger.
Aedile a magistracy that involved maintaining the physical infrastructure of the city and
overseeing the mounting of games. As such, serving as an aedile could help one win a higher
magistracy, even though the office was outside of the cursus honorum. Two plebedian aediles
and two curule aediles were elected annually
Aerarium militaire the Roman military treasury
Aetiological elegy poetry that is written in elegiac metre and explores the origin of things
Agones dramatic competitions of Greek origin
Amicitia “friendship”; a term that often refers to a political alliance between two parties, either
individuals or Rome and another community. In the latter case, the relationship was often
unequal, with Rome being the greater power
Ampitheatre an elliptical theatre lined with banks of seating on all sides, creating an oval floor
(the arena) where activities and performances took place
Amphora a strong vessel used to hold a variety of products. Typically made from ceramic,
amphorae were durable and strong. Made in different sizes, they are distinguished by their
opposing handles, wide bodies, and tapering bases.
Apotropiac having a protective quality, particularly against unseen but malignant forces such
as envy, the Evil Eye, and demons
Aqueduct gravity-fed, Roman long-distance water-supply system consisting generally of
covered water channels made of stone or concrete
Ara Pacis “Altar of (Augustian) Peace”. This structure is particularly famous for its sculptures,
which visually present key themes of the Augustian program. The Ara Pacis was dedicated in 9
BCE in the Campus Martius
Architectus a Latin word that is the origin of the English word “architect”, but can also be
translated as “engineer”. The Latin term is derived from the Greek arkhitekton, which means
“chief articier”
Architrave a horizontal, sometimes decorated, row of lintels resting on columns; the lowest part
of a structure’s entablature
Arval Brothers a priestly college responsible for the cult of the g-ddess Dea Dia. At the
beginning of each year, this college like other priests also undertook vows regarding the
safety of the Roman people and the imperial family
Atellanae Fabulae an early form of vulgar comedy named after the Campanian town of Atella
that features stock characters and was performed on stage
Athletic contests a competition of traditional Greek athletics, promoted by Augustus
Augur a priest whose main responsibility was the observation and interpretation of signs sent
by the Roman g-ds. The college of augurs was also responsible for the “inauguration” (assuring
divine approval) of places, priests, and magistrates
Auriga a Roman chariot racer

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Classical Studies Exam – Terminology
Auspicium a sign from the g-ds in the form of a significant activity of birds or four-footed
animals, a celestial event, or an unusual natural occurrence. Such signs could be either self-
offering or solicited. Members of the college of augures were responsible for the observance of
auspicial and their interpretation, though magistrates with imperium also had the ability to seek
and receive auspicial.
Auxiliaries light infantry and cavalry military troops generally consisting of non-Roman citizens
who served alongside the legions
Bellum iustum “just war”; a war imagined to be defensive and that was undertaken with divine
approval. Romans traditionally embraced the ideal of just war, and priests known as fetiales
oversaw the rituals associated with its declaration
Boxers fist-fighting athletes wearing gloves weighted with pieces of iron and sometimes fitted
with spikes around the knuckles. Boxing competitions probably featured prizes for the winners
Brigandage the act and use of violence to maraud, rob, or rain on land or seal; an illegal act
that was a recourse for escaped slaves and established criminals
Campus Martius “Field of Mars”; an area of originally open, publicly owned ground in the city
of Rome where, in early Rome, the army mustered and citizens’ abilities were held. From the late
Republic onwards, the Campus Martius was the site of an increasing number of building projects
Canabae settled communities close to military bases, made up of local women with whom
soldiers had formed relationships, as well as their children and veterans
Capitoline Triad the term used to refer to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, who received joint
worship in Rome and in some Roman colonies. The cult of these 3 deities, which was among the
most ancient and traditional, was established in Rome on the Capitoline Hill
Castellum Divisorium end point of a Roman aqueduct, usually located at the highest point of a
city, from where the water was distributed to secondary distribution points
Cataphracts heavily harmed cavalrymen who, along with their horses, were usually covered in
armour. They emerged in the 1st century BCE in ranks of Rome’s enemies, particularly those form
the steppes of central Asia and other parts of the East. The Romans employed units of
cataphracts beginning in the 2nd century CE
Censor an elected official whose duties included updating the citizenship list, distributing new
citizens among the voting tribes, and, on occasion, behaving as a moral watchdog over the lives
of Roman citizens. Two censors were elected from the number of former consuls every 5 years
for 18-month terms
Census traditionally beginning during the reign of Servius Tullius, a register of adult male
citizens that was carried out in Rome and that provided a record for those eligible for military
service, taxation, and voting rights. Property details and occupations were also included. The
practice lapsed during the late Republic but was revived and extended to the provinces under
Chariot a horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle used primarily for racing by the Romans. The most
typical set-up was the quadriga, which usually had 4 hourses abreast
Chorobates a Greek term meaning “land-walker”; a surveying instrument consisting of a
wooden beam with a central lengthwise groove filled with water, used to establish a true

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Classical Studies Exam – Terminology
horizontal line. The beam was some 6 meters long and strong on two legs whose length could be
adjusted by means of wedges.
Cinaedus a male who was perceived as effeminate and who might be suspected of engaging
in homosexual activity as the passive partner
Circus Maximus the first and largest track for chariot races in Rome. At a length of more than
600 metres, it could hold more than 150,000 spectators
Class a division of society according to wealth
Cognitio a judicial inquiry held by emperors, provincial governors, and various kinds of
magistrates. Cognitions could hear both criminal and civil cases
College a collective of individuals. Roman priests belonged to colleges according to their
particular focus and function. Each priest was generally considered to have the same religious
authority as his fellow college members; however, the pre0eminent position of pontifex maximus
was an exception
Colosseum the largest amphitheatre in Rome. It’s official name was the Flavian Amphitheatre,
so-called because it was built under Vesparian and inaugurated by Titus
Comedy a poetic gene that took the form of a dramatic script with humorous content and that
was generally intended for performance. Roman comedy featured stock characters and was
influenced by both Atellan farce and Greek New Comedy
Comitia Centuriata the “Centuriate Assembly”; one of the popular voting assemblies, in which
the population divided into 193 “centuries” according to their wealth elected individuals to high
public office and ratified motions put before them by the magistrates and senate. The Centuriate
Assembly lost some importance to the Tribal Assembly over the course of the republic.
Comitia Tributa the “Tribal Assembly”; a popular voting assembly in which the population was
divided into 35 tribes. Tribal affiliation had originally been determined by geography, but this
connection loosened over the course of Roman history. The Tribal Assembly came to gain
importance at the expense of the Centuriate Assembly during the Republic.
Concilium Plebis Tributum the “Plebeian Assembly”; a popular voting assembly traditionally
dated to 494/493 BCE and whose membership included only plebeians. This assembly elected its
own magistrates 10 tribunes and 2 aediles to protect plebeian interests.
Concordia “harmony”; an ideal of Roman marriage. The term might suggest genuine affection
or merely an absense of discord
Concrete known in Latin as opus caementicium, a building material made of unslacked lime,
pozzolana (volcanic ash), and an aggregate of rubble. Mixed with water, it is initially malleable
and hardens to the consistency of stone within a few weeks
Concubinage a sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which the intent to marry
was absent. Concubinage could range from a temporary liaison to a long-term quasi-marital
relationship. The partners were sometimes of disparate status
Constructivism the theory that a person’s sexual identity is the result of social influences,
including society’s norms and values
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