previous next


σωλήν). A channel or canal, is used, like its English derivatives, to signify a water course, whether open or closed, and next any other passage which resembles a watercourse.

The method of constructing conduits is described by Vitruvius (viii. 7), who distinguishes the canalis, which is lined with masonry (structilis), from the leaden fistula and the earthenware tubulus. A ruder kind of conduit was made of timber or earthenware to carry water from a spring or stream to cattle in a meadow. Again, canalis denotes a feeding-trough, which was in the case of domestic birds placed inside their house, and fed from the outside by pipes (Varro, R. R. iii. 7, 8; 11, 12).

Similarly canalis denotes the channel of a sewer, as, for instance, that in the Forum, which is at one spot exposed to view, and was a favourite station for loungers (Plaut. Curc. iv. 1, 15).

Canalis is also a trench or vein in a goldmine ( Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 68); the barrel or channel for missiles (σῦριγξ) in a catapult (Vitruv. x. 13, 7); a reed-pipe (

Canalis Calp. in Architecture.

Calp. Ecl. iv. 76); in the medical writers, a splint (Cels. viii. 10, 65) or a canal of the human body (id. iv. 1, 38); and finally, in architecture, the “channel” or flat surface running between the abacus and the echinus inside the volute, as in the accompanying cut from one of the triglyphs of the temple of Segesta in Sicily. See Columna.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: