A set of bed-steps, consisting of several stairs (Varro, L. L.
Gradus. (From the Vatican Vergil.)
requisite for ascending the highest couches. See Lectus
A flight of steps leading to the pronaos
of a temple (Ad
iv. 1). In Greek temples there were usually but three steps, but Roman
architects added a dozen or more, dividing them into several flights. The number of steps,
however, was always uneven, so that a person ascending, and commencing with the right foot
), might place the same one on the topmost step when he
entered the porch, to enter with the left foot being illomened (Vitruv. iii. 4.4; Petron. 30
The seats on which the spectators sat in a theatre, amphitheatre, or circus. See Amphitheatrum
The parallel ridges, like steps, on the inside of a dice-box (fritillus
), for the purpose of mixing
Gradus in a dice-box. (Rich.)
the dice when shaken, and giving them a disposition to rotate when cast from it
A studied and feminine arrangement of the hair, when artificially disposed in parallel
waves or gradations rising one over the other, like steps (Quint.xii. 10.47
), the same as now termed “crimping.” Nero is
said to have had his head always dressed in this manner (Suet.
); and a statue representing that emperor in the character of
Apollo Citharœdus (given under Nero
) has the
hair parted in the centre, and regularly crimped on both sides, like a girl's.
As a measure of length (βῆμα
), the gradus
was half a pace (passus
), and contained 2 1/2 feet, Greek
and Roman respectively. The Greek βῆμα
, therefore, was
rather more and the Roman gradus
rather less than 2 1/2 feet English.