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Bill Thayer

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 p722  M

The entries on pp722‑782 of

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


Thayer's Note: I'm not particularly interested in ancient Greece. My site therefore includes, with few exceptions, only those entries that pertain to Rome. In these index pages, those that pertain exclusively to Greece are indicated in grey; I do not plan to put them onsite, although here and there I may change my mind.

MACELLUM: see separate page.

 p723  MACHINAE: see separate page.

Maenianum: see separate page.

MAGADIS. [Lyra, p721A, Musica.]

Magister: see separate page.

 p724  MAGISTRATUS: see separate page.

MAJESTAS: see separate page.

Majores: [Infans.]

Malleus: see separate page.

Malus: [Navis.]

Manceps: see separate page.

Mancipatio: [Mancipium.]

Mancipi res: [Dominium.]

 p727  MANCIPII CAUSA: see separate page.

 p728  MANCIPIUM: see separate page.

Mandati actio: [Mandatum.]

Mandatum: see separate page.

 p729  MANDRAE. [Latrunculi.]

Mandyas: [Lacerna.]

MANES: see Dict. of Greek and Rom. Biography and Mythology.

Mangones: [Servus.]

Manica: see separate page.

Mani′pulus; manipula′res; manipula′rii: [Exercitus, p500B.]

Mansio: see separate page.

 p730  MANTELE: see separate page.

Mantike: [Divinatio.]

Manubiae: [Spolia.]

Manum, conventio in: [Matrimonium.]

 p731  MANUMISSIO: see separate page.

Manus: [Aes Manuarium.]

Manus ferrea: [Harpago.]

 p732  MANUS INJECTIO: see separate page.

Mappa: [Mantele.]


Marsupium: see separate page.

Ma′rtia legio: [Exercitus, p492B.]

Martia′lis flamen: [Flamen.]

Martia′les ludi: [Ludi Martiales.]

Martyria • Masteres

Mastigia: [Flagrum.]

Mastigo′phori or Mastigo′nomi

Matara: [Hasta.]

Materfamilias: [Matrimonium.]

Mathematici: [Astrologia.]

Matralia: see separate page.

pp736‑744 MATRIMONIUM: see separate page.

Matrona: [Matrimonium, p741A.]

Matronalia: see separate page.

 p745  MAUSOLEUM: see separate page.


MEDIASTI′NI,​a the name given to slaves, used for any common purpose, and are said by the Scholiast upon Horace (Ep. I.14.14) to be those "qui in medio stant ad quaevis imperata parati." The name is chiefly given to certain slaves belonging to the familia rustica (Cic. Cat. II.3; Colum. I.9, II.13), but it is also applied sometimes to slaves in the city (Dig. 4 tit. 9 s1 § 5, 7 tit. 7 s6).

MEDICINA: see separate page.

 p748  MEDICUS: see separate page.


Meditrinalia: see separate page.

 p749  MEDIX TUTICUS: see separate page.



Membrana: [Liber.]


 p750  MENSA: see separate page.

MENSA′RII, MENSULA′RII, or NUMULA′RII: see separate page.

Mensis: [Calendarium.]

Mensores: see separate page.

Menstruum: [Servus.]º

pp751‑758 MENSURA: see separate page.

 p759  Menusis • Mercenarii

Merenda: [Coena.]

Meridiani: [Gladiatores.]

Metae: [Circus.]


METALLUM: see separate page.

Metatores: [Castra.]


 p762  METOPA or METOPE: see separate page.

Metretes • Metronomi • Metropolis

 p763  MILLIARE, MILLIARIUM, or MILLE PASSUUM: see separate page.

 p764  MIMUS: see separate page.


Minor: [Curator; Infans.]

Minutio capitis: [Caput.]

Mirmillones: [Gladiatores, p575B.]

Missio: [Exercitus, p499B.]

Missio: [Gladiatores, p575A.]

Misthoseos Dike

Mitra: see separate page.

Mna • Mnemata • Mnoia

Mochlus: [Janua.]

MO′DIOLUS, the diminutive of Modius, is used for various kinds of small vessels; among others, for the buckets on the edge of the tympanum, by which water was raised (Vitruv. X.10), and generally for any kind of bucket or small cistern in hydraulic machinery (Ib. 12, 13); for the well of an oil-press (Cat. R. R. 20); for the box of a wheel (Plin. H. N. IX.4 s3; Vitruv. X.14); and for other kinds of sockets (Vitruv. X.18).

[P. S.]

MO′DIUS, the principal dry measure of the Romans, was equal to one‑third of the amphora (Volusius Maecianus, Festus, Priscian, ap. Wurm, § 67), and was therefore equal to nearly two gallons English. It contained 16 sextarii, 32 heminae, 64 quartarii, 128 acetabula, and 192 cyathi. Compared with the Greek dry measure, it was ⅙ of the Medimnus. Its contents weighed, according to Pliny, 20 pounds of Gallic wheat, which was the lightest known at Rome. Farmers made use of vessels holding 3 and 10 modii (Colum. XII.18 § 5). The third part of the jugerum was sometimes called modius.

[P. S.]

MO′DULUS, (ἐμβάτης), the standard measure used in determining the parts of an architectural order. It was originally the lower diameter of the column; but Vitruvius takes, in the Doric order, the lower semidiameter for the module, retaining the whole diameter in the other orders. Modern architects use the semidiameter in all the orders. The system of dividing the module into minutes was not used by the ancient architects, who merely used such fractional parts of it as were convenient. The absolute length of the module  p765 depends, of course, on the dimensions of the edifice; thus Vitruvius directs that, in a Doric tetrastyle portico, 128th, and in a hexastyle 144th of the whole width should be taken as the module, if diastyle, or 123rd and 135th respectively, if systyle (Vitruv. I.2, IV.3, V.9).

[P. S.]

Moenia: [Murus.]

Moicheias Graphe

 p766  MOLA: see separate page.

MONA′RCHIA (μοναρχία), a general name for any form of government in which the supreme functions of political administration are in the hands of a single person. The term μοναρχία is applied to such governments, whether they are hereditary or elective, legal or usurped. In its commonest application, it is equivalent to βασιλεία, whether absolute or limited. But the rule of an aesymnetes or a tyrant would equally be called a μοναρχία (Arist. Pol. III.9, 10, IV.8; Plato, Polit. p291C‑E, p302D‑E). Hence Plutarch uses it to express the Latin dictatura. It is by a somewhat rhetorical use of the word that it is applied now and then to the δῆμος (Eurip. Suppl. 352; Arist. Pol. IV.4). For a more detailed examination of the subject the reader is referred to the articles Rex, Archon, Tyrannus, Prytanis, Aesymnetes, Tagus.


 p767  MONETA: see separate page.

Moneta′rii: [Moneta.]

 p768  MONILE: see separate page.

Monopo′dium: [Mensa.]

Monopteros: [Templum.]

Monoxylon: [Navis.]

Monumentum: [Funus.]

Mora: see separate page.

Mora (2)

 p769  MORTARIUM: see separate page.

Mos: [Jus.]

Mothaces, Mothones

Muciana cautio: [Cautio.]

Mulleus: [Patricii.]

Mulsum: [Vinum.]

Multa: [Poena.]

Munerator: [Gladiatores, p574A.]

Municeps, municipium: [Colonia; Foederatae Civitates.]

Munus: [Honores.]

Munus: [Gladiatores, p574A.]

Munychia: see separate page.

Muralis corona: [Corona.]

Murex: [Tribulus.]

Muries: [Vestales.]

MU′RRHINA VASA or MU′RREA VASA: see separate page.

pp770‑772 MURUS, MOENIA: see separate page.

Musculus: see separate page.


MUSE′UM (Μουσεῖον) signified in general a place dedicated to the Muses, but was especially the name given to an institution at Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy Philadelphius, about B.C. 280, for the promotion of learning and the support of learned men (Athen. V p203). We learn from Strabo (XVII p794) that the museum formed part of the palace, and that it contained cloisters or porticos (περίπατος), a public theatre or lecture-room (ἐξέδρα), and a large hall (οἶκος μέγας), where the learned men dined together. The museum was supported by a common fund, supplied apparently from the public treasury; and the whole institution was under the superintendence of a priest, who was appointed by the king, and after Egypt became a province of the Roman empire, by the Caesar (Strabo, l.c.). Botanical and zoological gardens appear to have been attached to the museum (Philost. Apollon. VI.24; Athen. XIV p654). The emperor Claudius added another museum to this institution (Suet. Claud. 42, with Casaubon's note).

pp773‑780 MUSICA: see separate page.

Mustum: [Vinum.]

Mutationes: [Mansio.]

 p781  MUTUUM: see separate page.

 p782  Myrii • Mysia • Mystae • Mysteria • Mystile • Mystrum

Thayer's Note:

a Also mediastrini, as for example in (some manuscripts) several passages of Firmicus Maternus, e.g. VIII.21.6; the modern editors of which prefer the reading based on Marx's note to Lucilius 512 in his edition of Nonius.

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