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p494 Stabula IIII Factionum

Article on pp494‑495 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


Stabula IIII Factionum: * the stables of the four companies (factiones), which owned and managed the horses for races in the circus (Tac. Hist. II.94: ipse sola perdendi cura stabula aurigis extruere). To these four, distinguished by their colours, albata, russea, prasina, veneta, Domitian added two more, purpurea, aurata, but these did not last long, and about the beginning of the fourth century two, albata and russea, were merged in the veneta and prasina (RE VI.1954‑1957, and literature there p495cited).1 The Notitia gives their number in the fourth century as eight, and the Curiosum as six, which is therefore correct. These stabula were in the southern part of the campus Martius, near the circus Flaminius in Region IX. They were probably near each other but quite separate, and although the others are often mentioned in literature and inscriptions (CIL VI.10045, 10047‑10051, 10055, 10057, 10059‑10060, 10062, 10063, 10065, 10069, 10071‑10074, 10076, 10077) that of the factio prasina is the only one that can be approximately located. This became the principal company in the first century and was favoured by the emperors, especially Caligula, who dined and slept in its stable, and constructed a magnificent stall of marble with an ivory manger for his favourite stallion Incitatus (Suet. Cal. 55; Cass. Dio LIX.14). The presence of the name in that of the church, S. Lorenzo in Prasino (HCh 284), and the discovery of inscriptions (CIL VI.10044, 10054, 10058, 10061, 10067) prove that this stable was in the immediate neighbourhood of the Cancelleria (HJ 595). Remains of a frescoed court found under the Palazzo Regis, east of the Cancelleria, may well have belonged to this building, and also an inscribed lead pipe, which was not, however, found in situ (CIL XV.7254). With it was found a pipe inscribed L. Hermoni Iusti (ib. 7468).

Both appear to belong to the middle or end of the first century A.D. (NS 1886, 419; 1899, 387; BC 1886, 393; 1887, 10; 1899, 257; Mon. L. I.545; Mem. L. 5. xvi.762‑770). Lanciani (BC 1899, 113) believes that the bronze Hercules in the Rotunda of the Vaticana and the Hercules and Telephus of the Museo Chiaramonti originally stood here (HF 108, 293), but not the Belvedere torso (ib. 124). The funerary inscription (CIL VI.9709ILS 7509) set up in his own lifetime by a nummularius de basilica Iulia, who ends by saying 'hic in iiii stabulis agitavit nunq(uam),' may perhaps be paralleled with the conclusion of Trimalchio's proposed inscription 'nec unquam philosophum audivit' (Eranos, 1924, 149‑150).


The Authors' Note:

1 Cf. also Leclercq in Cabrol. Dict. i.531; iii.2097; Friedländer, Sittengesch. ii10.34.


Thayer's Note:

a The Righetti Hercules.


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