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p750 Mensores

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p750 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

MENSO′RES, measurers or surveyors. This name was applied to various classes of persons whose occupation was the measurement of things.

1. It was applied to land surveyors who measured and defined the extent of fields, and appear to have been the same as the agrimensores (Colum. V.1; compare Agrimensores).

2. To persons who measured in the Roman camps the space to be occupied by the tents. They must be distinguished from the metatores, who selected the place for a camp (Veget. de Re Milit. II.7).

3. To a class of officers during the time of the empire who provided quarters for the soldiers in the towns through which they passed and where they made a temporary stay. They not only assigned to each soldier the house in which he was to be quartered, but also wrote the name of the occupant upon the door-post, and he who effaced or destroyed this name was punished as a falsi reus (Cod. Theod. 7 tit. 8 s4).

4. Mensor aedificiorum is sometimes applied to architects, or more especially to such architects as conducted the erection of public buildings, the plans of which had been drawn up by other architects (Plin. Epist. X.28 and 29).

5. Mensores frumentarii was the name of officers who had to measure the cornº which was conveyed up the Tiber for the public granaries (Dig. 27 tit. 1 s26; Cod. Theod. 14 tit. 9 s9; and tit. 15 s1). They were stationed in the port near Ostia, and were employed under the praefectus annonae. Their name is mentioned in various ancient inscriptions.


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