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Candelābrum

λυχνεῖον, λυχνίον, λύχνιον, λυχϝία). Originally a candlestick, but afterwards used to support lamps (λυχνοῦχος), in which signification the word most commonly occurs. The candelabra of this kind were usually made to stand upon the ground, and were of a considerable height. The most common sorts were made of wood (ad Q. Fratr. iii. 7); but those which have been found in Herculaneum and Pompeii are mostly of bronze. Sometimes they were made of the more precious metals, and even of jewels, as was the one which Antiochus intended to dedicate to Iupiter Capitolinus (Verr. iv. 28). In the temples of the gods and in palaces there were frequently large candelabra made of marble and fastened to the ground.

There is a great resemblance in the general plan and appearance of most of the candelabra which have been found. They usually consist of three parts:


1.

the foot (βάσις);


2.

the shaft or stem (καυλός);


3.

the plinth or tray (δισκός), large enough for a lamp to stand on, or with a socket to receive a wax candle. The foot usually consists of three lions' or griffins' feet, ornamented with leaves; and the shaft, which is either plain or fluted, generally ends in a kind of capital on which the tray rests for supporting the lamp. Sometimes we find a figure between the capital and the tray, as is seen in the candelabrum on the right hand in the annexed illustration, which represents

Pompeian Candelabra. (Naples.)

candelabra found in Pompeii, and now in the Museo Nazionale at Naples. The one on the left hand is also a representation of a candelabrum found in the same city, and is made with a sliding shaft, by which the light might be raised or lowered at pleasure.

The best candelabra were made at Aegina and Tarentum (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 6).

There are also candelabra of various other forms, though those which have been given above are by far the most common. They sometimes consist of a figure supporting a lamp, or of a figure by the side of which the shaft is placed with two branches, each of which terminates in a flat disk, upon which a lamp was placed. A candelabrum of the

Pompeian Candelabrum. (Naples.)

latter kind is given in the preceding illustration. The stem is formed of a liliaceous plant; and at the base is a mass of bronze, on which a Silenus is seated, engaged in trying to pour wine from a skin which he holds in his left hand, into a cup in his right.

There was another kind of candelabrum, entirely different from those which have been described, which did not stand upon the ground, but was placed upon the table. These candelabra usually consist of pillars, from the capitals of which sev

Pompeian Candelabrum. (Naples.)

eral lamps hang down, or of trees, from whose branches lamps also are suspended. The preceding illustration represents a very elegant candelabrum of this kind, found in Pompeii.

The original, including the stand, is three feet high. The pillar is not placed in the centre, but at one end of the plinth, which is the case in almost every candelabrum of this description yet found. The plinth is inlaid in imitation of a vine, the leaves of which are of silver, the stem and fruit of bright bronze. On one side is an altar with wood and fire upon it, and on the other a Bacchus riding upon a tiger.

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