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Aulaeum

usually in the plural, Aulaea ( αὐλαία). A curtain, carpet, or hanging, mostly of the heavier and richer sort. Its uses were:


1.

in temples to veil the statue of the god;


2.

in houses, like the modern portière curtains;


3.

to stretch over colonnades, and thus to form a tent;


4.

as a drop-curtain in the Roman theatres. This curtain disappeared under the stage instead of being rolled up. Hence aulaea premuntur, “the curtain is let down,” when the play begins; and aulaeum tollitur, “the play is ended.” See Wieseler, Theatergebäude (1851), and the articles Siparium; Tapes; Theatrum; Velum.

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