(not Bractea: see Lachmann on Lucr. 4.727
), a finely beaten-out plate of metal,
especially gold (Lucr. l.c.;
6.209). Thicker plates were called laminae
16.8, 2). Martial (8.33
) also calls
brattea, owing to its fineness, sputum.
plates were fastened on objects as ornaments, and this was a proceeding as
old as the Phoenicians (Curtius, Hist. of Greece,
Eng. trans.), and is alluded to in Homer (περιχεύας,
). The Latin term for fastening on
these plates is imbratteare
(Ammian. 14.6, 8
). It was still in
practice in the time of Sidonius Apollinaris (Sid.
), where see Savaro's note. The gold-beater
(Orelli, 4153; Firmic. 8.16, 4.15) or tritor
(Henzen, 7281). The fastener is inaurator
(Orelli, 4201); or if both functions were performed by the same man, bratteator inaurator
(Orelli, 4067). In Cod. Just. 10.64
is explained by πεταλουργοί.
Pliny (Plin. Nat.
) tells us that from an ounce of gold 750 plates, each four
fingers square, could be beaten. The process of beating was called bratteam exprimere
(Tert. de Idol.
8). The thicker plates were called bratteae
the finest bratteae
). These plates
were used for adorning statues (Juv. 13.152
cf. Pers. 2.55), sedan-chairs (Sidon. Apoll. l.c.
furniture (Mart. 8.33
), walls and ceilings (Senec.
115.9; cf. Marquardt, Privatl.
note 15), and garments (χρυσόπαστοι,
the latter were fastened gold ornaments representing animals (ζωωτὸς χιτών,
e), flowers, stars, &c.
(Poll. 10.43; cf. Suet. Nero 35
). The Romans
called such vestes auratae
(Ov. Met. 8.448
) or sigillatae
(Trebell. Trig. Tyr.
Compare on the whole Vopiscus, Aurelian,
46, 1, and the long
notes of Salmasius. Bratteae
were also used
when stamped or embossed as ornaments and amulets, and many such are found
in tombs. (See Saglio in Dict. des Antiquités,
v.; Mayor on Juv. 13.152
For nummi bratteati,
see Eckhel, Doctr.
i. p. 115.