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CTC Glossary of the Classics
Category: Language and Literature > Classical History
Date & country: 11/09/2007, USA
Words: 1485


Exploro
(Latin) to explore.

Extant
refers to the works of ancient authors that have not been destroyed or lost and are

Extispicy
the reading of an omen by examining the entrails of animals.

Extollo
(Latin) to lift up, to exalt.

Extremitas
(Latin) farthest point, end.

Fabella
(Latin) any small story or drama

Fabrica
(Latin) manufacture, trick, art, craft; the workshop of a Roman legion located within the legionary camp; skilled artisans and craftmen from the legion, such as engineers, carpenters, masons, wagon-makers, blacksmiths, painters, and other artificers, worked in the fabrica under the command of a praefectus fabrum; these craftsmen were excused from the normal duties and were known as immunes. At archaeological sites were legionary camps were located, many buildings have been identified as fabricae and contain iron-smelting furnaces, large water cisterns and hypocausti.

Fabula
(Latin) a tale, story or drama

Facina
(Latin) a crime, evildoing.

Falsus
(Latin) false, deceptive.

Familia
(Latin) a family, people related by marriage or blood ties.

Fasces
(Latin) a bundle of rods in the middle of which is tied an axe; the fasces was an emblem of governmental power; lictors carried fasces in front of powerful people as a symbol of their authority.

Fates
three sisters named Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; these women measure out the length of individuals` lives; they are the daughters of Zeus and Themis.

Fatum
the god of destiny; originally the word 'fatum' meant 'the word of god' and in Greek religion it came to include the divinities of destiny, e.g., the Moirae, Parcae, and Sibyls; near the rostra in Rome stood statues of the Fata, the three Sibyls; later the word 'fata' was mistaken for the feminine singular form and became the origin of the word 'fairies'; as a general noun, 'fatum' is the idea that one`s life is already decided at birth; in Greek, this term can be moira; the term also becomes associated with death, that is, the inevitable; but it is important to realize that in Classical literature while the ultimate outcome of a character`s life may be decided, there can still be choices made that affect the path taken to that fate

Felix Sex
(Latin) 'lucky sixes' a Roman board game very similar to duodecim scripta or tabula; felix sex boards contained 36 letters or squares; three dice were tossed to move 15 pieces up the center line of letters or squares and then over to the left; felix sex was played all across the Roman Empire, in taverns, brothels, private homes, and frontier forts.

Ferula
(Latin) literally, this word means 'fennel'; it comes to indicate any kind of cane or stick, including those used to punish slaves and children.

Ferus
(Latin) wild, cruel.

Festialis
(Latin) a priest who belongs to a college of priests whose job was to formally make peace or declare war.

Ficus
(Latin) a fig tree

Fidelis
(Latin) loyal, faithful.

Fidem Servo
(Latin) literally to preserve faith; this phrase comes to mean to keep one`s word.

Fides
(Latin) a promise; word of honor.

Fidicen
(Latin) a person who plays the lute or harp.

Figulus
(Latin) potter; this word is tied to the Latin verb, fingo, which means to touch, fashion or shape; a figulus created a number of items that would be used daily in the Roman home, such as pots used for cooking and vessels for transporting water and wine.

Fillet
an architectural term referring to the narrow, flat section between the flutes of an Ionic column's shaft .

Finis
(Latin) a end, boundary, limit.

Fistulator
(Latin) a person who plays the reed-pipe.

Flamen
(plural flamines) a Roman priest under the pontifex maximus; the positions of Flamen Dialis (worshipper of Jupiter), Flamen Martialis (worshipper of Mars), and Flamen Quirinalis (worshipper of Quirinus) were filled only by patricians, although plebeians could be flamines for other deities.

Flora
(Latin) Roman goddess of flowers.

Fluentum
(Latin) a stream; running water.

Fluidus
(Latin) flowing, relaxed.

Fluto
(Latin) to float, to swim.

Folium
(Latin) a leaf.

Fons
(Latin) Roman goddess of water; a Roman festival held in her honor entitled the Fontinalia occurred in October.

Forensic Speeches
speeches given during a trial to reenact the events and decide upon justice; some of the most famous ancient speeches extant today were written and delivered by Cicero.

Foreshadowing
literary device whereby the author gives hints about what is going to happen later in the story.

Formula
(Latin) physical beauty, principle.

Fortitudo
(Latin) physical strength.

Fortuna Primigenia At Praeneste
a temple to Fortuna Primigenia (first-born chance) that was also an oracle; this oracle would be sought especially to ask for children.

Fortuno
(Latin) to make happy or bless, similar in meaning to the verb beo.

Forum
(Latin) civic and trade center where all manner of commerce, governmental and judicial procedings, and public assembly took place; the most famous forum was found in Rome, had been rebuilt in 54 BCE, and included buildings and landmarks such as the Curia Julia, Basilica Aemilia, the comitium, the rostra, the Volcanal, and the Lacus Curtius.

Fossae
(Latin) canals or ditches; the Romans greatly relied upon canals and undertook large projects to dig canals in provinces such as Britain and Egypt; fossae are also ditches dug around a Roman camp of a depth of approximately five feet to protect against an invading enemy.

Fossor
(Latin) a digger; someone who digs ditches; a fool, a boor.

Frieze
in reference to architecture and sculpture, the section of the entablature between the architrave and the cornice on which a sculpture scene may appear.

Frigidarium
(Latin) in a Roman bath, this was the cold room; a bath's patron would enter this room following their use of the calidarium; the cold pool of water into which the patron leapt was used to close open pores or to wash off sweat after visiting the palaestra, where male patrons lifted weights and wrestled or just hung out and played board games.

Frigidus
(Latin) cold; frigidus means the opposite of calidus, the Latin word for hot.

Frondator
(Latin) someone who cuts or prunes trees

Fructus
(Latin) fruit, profit.

Frumentum
(Latin) grain, a staple of the Roman diet.

Frustro
(Latin) to deceive, to trick.

Frustror
(Latin) to deceive, to trick.

Fuga
(Latin) flight, running away.

Fulvus
(Latin) deep-yellow; this term is related to the Latin verb fulgeo, to flash, shine.

Fundo
(Latin) to defeat; to scatter; to pour out.

Furnarius
(Latin) baker; the furnarius literally means the one who uses the oven, or furnus.

Furor
(Latin) fury, passion; in the Aeneid, furor unbalances events and people; Vergil creates in Aeneas a hero who wants to cling to Stoic values, but who ultimately is undone by furor in the final scene of the poem; in Book Four of the Aeneid, Dido is an element of furor that foretells the destruction of her city, Carthage; both she and the city burn and fire is one of the clearest metaphors for furor.

Furta
(Latin) stolen property; trick.

Galba
(3 BCE-69 CE) Roman emperor; he was a good soldier and moved through the Roman political ranks, becoming praetor and consul; he became emperor after the death of Nero, but was never very popular with the soldiers or the Roman people; he was murdered in 69 CE, after which Otho became emperor.

Galen
Greek physician born in Pergamum in Asia Minor ca. 129; at 16 Galen began his study of medicine and continued his studies on Alexandria in Egypt at the age of 20; he returned to Pergamum ten years later and became a surgeon to gladiators; in the year 162, at the age of 34, Galen went to Rome as physician to the court of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius; Galen returned to Pergamum for three years but in 169 he became a permanent resident of Rome; Galen's research included the studies of physiology, pharmacology, and most notably anatomy; his study of antatomy led him to conclude that arteries contain blood, not air as Aristotle had taught; he studied the works of Erasistratus, Plato, Herophilus, and Hippocrates and his teachings were accepted as authoritative by the Church; Galen wrote over 400 books, 100 are now known; Galen's work remained virtually unchalleged by other scientific theory until the Renascence.

Ganymede
also known as Aquarius; an adolescent boy who was said to be the most beautiful of all mortals; while guarding his father's flock, Zeus saw Ganymede and fell in love with him; Zeus carried Ganymede off to Olympus where Ganymede served as his cup-bearer pouring nectar for Zeus, a position formally held by Hebe; to compensate his father for taking his son, Zeus gave Ganymede's father divine horses.

Garum
(Latin) a fish sauce that has been fermented.

Gaul
a portion of western Europe nearly identical in its geography to modern France; the founding of the colony of Massalía (Marseille) by the Phocaean Greeks in 600 BCE is the first historic mention of Gaul; according to Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, Gaul was divided into three parts, inhabited by the Belgae in the north, the Aquitani in the south, and the Galli or Celtae in the area in between; the three groups used different languages, customs, and laws, and the Aquitani were ethnically distinct from the Belgae and Celtae; the Romans divided Gaul into two sections: Gallia Cisalpina and Gallia Translapina; in 387 BCE, the Senons from Gallia Cisalpina (modern day northern Italy) sacked Rome easily defeating the frightened Romans and their warriors; Rome bought its freedom from the Senons back with gold but eventually defeated the Senons driving them from Rome under the leadership of the Roman general Camillo; Julius Caesar invaded Gaul in 58 BCE; in 52 BCE the rebellion of Vergcingetorix, 'king' of the Gauls, takes place but is put down by Roman forces; following the defeat of Vergcingetorix, Rome ruled Gaul as its province; in 49 BCE, Caesar conferred Roman citizenship on the inhabitants of Gallia Cisalpina.

Geb
an ancient Egyptian god of the earth, Geb`s laugh was said to be the cause of earthquakes; his sister and wife was Nut, the goddess of the sky; Geb was the son of Shu and Tefnut; with Nut he produced four children, Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.

Gelu
(Latin) frost, chill.

Genialis
(Latin) enjoyable, fun, easygoing.

Genre
class or category of art or literature in accordance with characteristic form, technique and content; examples of literary genres are tragedy, comedy, and epic.

Gens
(Latin) a family group in Rome; members of the same gens shared common property, the right to inherit, a common burial place, religious rites, and the same name.

Geographical Context
the locational circumstances of an event.

Georgicus
(Latin) having to do with agriculture; Vergil`s Georgics dealt with pastoral matters.

Germania
(Latin) Germany also known in Latin as Alemannia; the territory located between the Rhone, Vistule, Danube and the sea; it was divided by the Romans into two sections – Upper and Lower Germania.

Germanicus
Germanicus Julius Caesar; Germanicus was very popular and a good soldier; in 4 CE, Augustus chose Tiberius to be his heir, but arranged that Tiberius would select Germanicus to follow his rule; Germanicus was consul in 12 CE and was left behind to continue the war in Germany by Tiberius that same year; Germanicus died in 17 CE under suspicious circumstances in Egypt; he had several children with his wife Agrippina the Elder, among whom were Caligula and Agrippina the Younger, the mother of Nero.

Gladiator
the term comes from the Latin word meaning 'sword', gladius; gladiators were condemned criminals, prisoners of war, or slaves bought for the purpose of gladiatorial combat by a lanista, or owner/trainer of gladiators; gladiators could also be free men who voluteered fight.

Glaucus
helped Paris abduct Helen and the Trojan ally who meets, but does not fight Diomedes (Iliad); (13) son of Sisyphus who became king of Corinth, dies at the funeral games of Pelias when he loses a chariot race and is eaten by his horses.

Glaukon
brother of Plato and one of the interlocutors of the Republic.

Gloria
(Latin) fame, glory.

Glorificus
(Latin) glorious.

Glorior
(Latin) to glory, to boast.

Gorgon
one of three sisters, Stheino, Euryale, and Medusa; Medusa's monstrous hair was comprised of writhing snakes and her eyes turned people to stone when they look into them).

Gorytos
a combination quiver and bow case from the Persians.

Gracchus, Gaius Sempronius
brother to Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus; tribune in 123 and 122 BCE; Gaius Gracchus promoted laws to help the poor of Rome; he also wanted to make the Latins (the original inhabitants of Latium) Roman citizens, a suggestion which was not popular; in 121, after he was not re-elected, Gaius Gracchus led an armed revolt that caused the senate to use the senatus consultum ultimum for the first time; after this revolt, he and his supporters were killed.

Gracchus, Tiberius Sempronius
politician, brother to Gaius Sempronius Gracchus; Tiberius Gracchus became tribune in 133 BCE and carried out controversial legislation that ultimately caused his murder in the same year; Tiberius Gracchus wanted to take care of two of Rome's problems: (1) small land-owners who had lost their land and (2) the possibility of not having enough food for the city; he suggested the enforcement of a law that did not permit estates of more than 500 iugera; the extra land would then be given to poor citizens; the more wealthy senators did not support the restrictions on their property and rejected Tiberius' proposal; Tiberius Gracchus was murdered by a group of senators led by the Pontifex Maximus P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio in 133 BCE.

Graces
the three daughters of Zeus and Eurynome; their names are Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Festivity), and Thalia; they brought happiness to whomever they visited.

Gramen
(Latin) any plant or grass.

Grammaticus
(Latin) a teacher of literature and language; upper-class Roman boys, following primary school, were taught by a grammaticus who instructed them in Greek and Roman literature; this system of education was adopted from the Greeks.

Gratia
(Latin) on account of.

Grave Stele
a grave monument standing upright with an inscription and/or sculpted picture on it; a grave stone or marker.

Gravitas
(Latin) 'gravity', a greatly valued Roman characteristic; gravitas meant that one took seriously public and private responsibilities and realized their importance.

Greave
a piece of a soldiers armor wore on the shin and calf between the knee and the ankle.

Greek Alphabet
Greek letters, English transliterations of the Greek letters, and names of the Greek letters appear in the chart below.

Griffin
a mythical being with the head and wings of an eagle of body of a lion.

Groma
Roman engineers used a groma as a surveying device to build roads, aqueducts and buildings; a groma consisted of a wooden stand with crossbar from which weights were hung; the weights on the end of each crossbar assured that the groma was kept perpendicular to the ground.

Gustatio
(Latin) an appetizer or hors d`oeuvre; Romans might serve eggs, shell fish, or vegetables as a gustatio.

Gymnastes
in ancient Greece, a high paid, athletic exercise trainers.

Gyrus
or vivarium; in the Roman legionary camp, the gyrus with the training ring and animal corral. The structure was formed from fifty semicircular cut timbers set upright in a circular trench, probably supporting a framework of cross-timbers. A single entrance passage adjoined the structure on the north-east and had gates at both ends, presumably to control the entrance and exite of animals. It is probable that both horses and men were trained within the gyrus.

Hadrian
born in 76, Hadrian became Roman emperor in 117 following the death of Trajan; Hadrian is considered one of the greatest Roman emperors, the third in the line of the 'Adoptive Emperors'; Hadrian was a successful general, under whom the Roman Empire reached its greatest geographical extent; he was also an adventurer who loved travel and who was a talented architect who designed the Pantheon in Rome and his own villa outside Rome; Hadrian died in 138.

Haemon
son of Creon and fiancé of Antigone who kills himself when Creon condemned Antigone to death.

Halteres
in ancient Greek athletics, lead or stone weights used by athletes in jumping events; used to increase jump distance, athletes held these telephone receiver or dumb bell shaped weights in their hands, ran forward, jumped swinging the weights, and released the halteres behind him at the end of the jump; halteres weighed between 1.6 to 4.6 kilograms, or 3.5 to 10.1 pounds.

Hamartia
an error, failure.

Hannibal
Carthaginian general, born in 247 BCE, son of Hamilcar Barca; traveled with his father to conquer Spain when he was nine; from age 18 to 25, Hannibal carried out his brother-in-law Hasdrubal's plan to consolidate Carthaginian rule on the Iberian Peninsula; Hasdrubal was assassinated in 221 BCE and Hannibal was chosen to lead the Carthaginian army in Spain; by 219 BCE, Hannibal had gained control of Spain between the Tajo and Iberus rivers, with the exception of Saguntum, which he captured in 218 BCE; Hannibal had violated Carthage's treaty with Rome and Rome declared war on Carthage, thus began the Second Punic War; in 218 BCE, Hannibal marched with 40,000 troops to Rome, allying himself with various tribes and Italian cities along the way; in 211 BCE, Hannibal attempted to take Rome but failed to breakthrough the Roman fortifications; the Romans would retake Capua and the Italian allies of Hannibal were lost to him as a result; Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal, was called to help Hannibal in Italy but on his march from Spain, Hasdrubal was defeated and killed by the Roman consul Gaius Claudius Nero in the Battle of the Metaurus River; Hannibal returned to Carthage to defend against the Roman invasion led by Scipio Africanus the Elder in 203 BCE; the Roman invasion was successful and the Second Punic War ended in 202 BCE; always the leader and hater of Rome, Hannibal changed the Carthaginian constitution, reduced corruption in the government, and re-financed the city so that he could fight again; the Romans took Hannibal's actions as a break in the peace and forced Hannibal to flee to Syria and the safety the court of King Antiochus III in 195 BCE; Hannibal fought with the Syrians against Rome, but when the Syrians signed a treaty with Rome Hannibal fled again in 195 BCE this time to King Prusias II of Bithynia, in northern Asia Minor; when the Romans demanded his surrender, Hannibal committed suicide in 183 BCE.

Hapi
a male deity, Hapi is the oldest of the Egyptian gods whose name is an evolution of the ancient Egyptian word for Nile, hep; Hapi is depicted as a man with breasts and a round belly, which indicated nourishment and fertility.