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Bill Thayer

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 p816  O

The entries on pp816‑846 of

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

OBAE. [Tribus.]

 p817  OBELISCUS: see separate page.

pp818‑821 OBLIGATIONES: see separate page.

O′BOLUS (ὀβολός), the smallest of the four principal denominations of weight and money among the Greeks, was ⅙th of the drachma, 1600th of the mina, and 136,000th of the talent. As a coin, the obolus was of silver; and connected with it, at least in the Attic system, were silver coins weighing respectively 5, 4, 3, 2, 1½ obols, and ¾, ½, and ¼ of an obol; all which are found in collections of coins. The 1½ obol piece was a quarter of a drachm. The Attic obol was also divided into 8 (or according to others 10) χαλκοῖ. (See Pondera; Nummus; Drachma; Chalcus; and the Tables.)

Obsidionalis corona: [Corona.]

Obsonium: [Opsonium.]

Occupatio: see separate page.

OCHLOCRA′TIA (ὀχλοκρατία), the dominion of the rabble, a name of later origin than the time of Aristotle, and applied to that perversion of a democracy, in which, through the introduction of devices for removing or counteracting the natural and wholesome inequalities of society (such as paying citizens for attendance in the popular assembly and on other occasions on which their civic functions might be exercised, increasing the number and restricting the duration and authority of public offices), the exercise of all the highest functions of government came to be practically in the hands of a mere faction, consisting of the lowest and poorest, though most numerous, class of  p822 citizens, who were thus tempted to adopt as one of their ordinary avocations, that which they would otherwise have left in more suitable hands (Polyb. VI.4; Plut. de Monarch. &c., c3; Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, c. X vol. I p410).


Ocrea: see separate page.

Octasty′los: [Templum.]

Octa′vae: [Vectigalia.]

October equus: [Palilia.]

Octo′phoron: [Lectica.]

 p823  ODEUM: see separate page.

Oecus: [Domus.]

Oenomelum: [Vinum.]

Oeno′phorum: (οἱνόφορον), a basket, or other contrivance for carrying bottles of wine; a wine-basket. This was sometimes used by those who took their own wine with them in travelling in order to avoid the necessity of purchasing it on the road (Hor. Sat. I.6.109; Juv. Sat. VII.11; Pers. Sat. V.140; Mart. VI.88). A slave, called the wine-bearer (oenophorus, Plin. H. N. XXXIV.8 s19)º carried it probably on his back. [J.Y.]

Thayer's Note: Isidore (Orig. XX.6), quoting Lucilius, calls the oenophorum a "vas", an actual wine container rather than any kind of basket.

Offendix: [Apex.]

Officia′les: [Exercitus, p508b.]

Offi′cium admissio′num: [Admissionalis.]

Oikias Dike

pp824‑826 OLEA: see separate page.


 p827  OLLA: see separate page.

pp828‑833 Olympia

 p834  Olympias

 p835  MISSING ARTICLE "Scalptura" ONYX. [Scalptura.]

Opa: [Metopa.]

Opalia: see separate page.

O′PERIS NOVI NUNTIA′TIO: see separate page.

Opi′ma spo′lia: [Spolia.]

Opinato′res: were officers under the Roman emperors, who were sent into the provinces to obtain provisions for the army. The provisions had to be supplied to them within a year. The etymology of the name is uncertain. (Cod. 12 tit. 38 s11; Cod. Theod. 7 tit. 4 s26; 11 tit. 7 s16.)

Opisthodomus: [Templum.]

Opisthographi: [Liber.]

 p836  OPSONIUM: see separate page.

O′ptio: [Exercitus, p506a.]

Optima′tes: [Nobiles.]

pp837‑843 ORACULUM: see separate page.

Ora′rium: was a small handkerchief used for wiping the face, and appears to have been employed for much the same purposes as our pocket-handkerchief. It was made of silk or linen. In the Etym. Mag. (p804.27, ed. Sylb.) it is explained by προσώπου ἐγκμαγεῖον. Aurelian introduced the practice of giving Oraria to the Roman people to use ad favorem, which appears to mean for the purpose of waving in the public games in token of applause, as we use our hats and handkerchiefs for the same purpose (Vopisc. Aurel. 48; Casaubon ad loc.; Augustin. de Civ. DeiXXII.8; Prudent. Περὶ Στεφ. I.86; Hieron. ad Nepotian. Ep. 2).

ORATIONES PRINCIPUM: see separate page.

ORATOR: see separate page.

Orbus: [Leges Juliae, p692b.]

Orca: [Sitella.]

Orche′sis: [Saltatio.]

Orchestra: [Theatrum.]

Orcinus libertus: [Manumissio.]

Orcinus senator: [Senatus.]

Ordina′rius judex: [Judex Pedaneus.]

Ordina′rius servus: [Servus.]

Ordo: see separate page.

Organon: [Hydraula; Machina.]


Orgyia: (ὀργυιά), a Greek measure of length, derived from the human body, was the distance from extremity to extremity of the out-stretched arms, whence the name, from ὀρέγω (Xen. Mem. II.3 § 19; Pollux, II.158). It was equal to 6 feet or to 4 cubits, and was 1100th of the stadium (Herod. II.149). It may be expressed nearly enough in English by the word fathom. (Comp. Mensura and the Tables.) [P. S.]

Orichalcum: see separate page.

Originarii: [Colonatus.]

Orname′nta triumpha′lia: [Triumphus.]

Orna′trix: [Coma.]

ORTHODO′RON [Mensura.]

 p846  OSCHOPHORIA: see separate page.

Oscillum: see separate page.

O′scines: [Augur.]

Ostia′rium: was a tax upon the doors of houses, which was probably imposed along with the Columnarium by the lex sumtuaria of Julius Caesar. It was levied by Metellus Scipio in Syria, together with the Columnarium, on which see Columnarium (Caes. B. C. III.32; Cic. ad Fam. III.8).

Ostia′rius: [Domus, p427b.]

Ostium: [Janua.]


O′stracon: [Fictile.]

Ovatio: see separate page.

Ovi′le: [Comitia.]

Ousias Dike

Oxybaphum: [Acetabulum.]

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