). A hurdle, used by the ancients in many
different ways—especially, as among ourselves, for agricultural purposes. Thus
are the wattled hurdles of which sheep-folds are made
(Hor. Epod. ii. 45
are bush-harrows (
Georg. i. 95 Georg. 104
). The name was
also applied to any wooden frame composed of bars with interstices—our
“crate,” “grate”; and the interstices might be filled
up with mats of straw, rushes, or fern (Colum. xii. 15). The following special senses may be
were used by the country people upon which to dry figs, grapes, etc.,
in the rays of the sun; or to screen growing fruit from the weather (Colum. xii. 16); or for
spreading manure (R. R.
A rack for provisions.
Among military terms we find crates
used in forming the roadway of
Caesar's bridge over the Rhine (B. G.
iv. 17); for parapets or breastworks; as
fascines for crossing ditches; and as mantlets or wooden screens for sheltering the advance
of troops under cover (Ammian. Marcell. xxi. 12). From the plutei
were employed in the same way, they differed only in being without the covering of raw
By the besieged they were used joined together so as to form what Vegetius calls a metella
, and filled with stones; these were then poised between two of the
battlements, and as the storming-party approached upon the ladders, overturned on their heads
Mil. iv. 6
In poetry, the wicker-work of shields is so called (Verg.
Aen. vii. 633
A capital punishment was called by this name, whence the phrase sub crate
The criminal was either thrown into a pond or well and drowned under a hurdle
(Tac. Germ. 12
), or crushed by the weight of
stones heaped upon it (Liv.iv. 50