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CHAP. 15. (10.)—SHINGLES.

The best shingles are those made of the wood of the robur; the next best being those furnished by the other glandiferous trees and the beech. Those most easily made are cut from the wood of the resinous trees, but they do not last,1 with the exception of those made of pine. Cornelius Nepos informs us, that Rome was roofed solely with shingles down to the time of the war with Pyrrhus, a period of four hundred and seventy years. It is well known that it was remarkable for the fine forests in its vicinity. Even at the present day, the name of Jupiter Fagutalus points out in what locality there stood a grove of beeches;2 the Querquetulan Gate shows where the quercus once stood, and the Viminal Hill is the spot where the "vimen"3 was sought in ancient times. In many other parts, too, there were groves to be found, and sometimes as many as two. Q. Hortensius, the Dictator, on the secession of the plebeians to the Janiculum, passed a law in the Æsculetum,4 that what the plebeians had enacted should be binding upon every Roman citizen.5

1 On the contrary, Fée says, the resinous woods are the most proof of all against the action of the air.

2 Festus says that the Fagutal, a shrine of Jupiter, was so called from a beech tree (fagus) that stood there, and was sacred to that god.

3 Or osier.

4 Or "plantation of the æsculus."

5 A.U.C. 367.

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Harper's, Scandŭla
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), COMIT´IA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ROMA
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