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CANA´LIS

CANA´LIS (σωλήν), a channel or canal, is used, like its English derivatives, to signify a watercourse, whether open or closed, and next any other passage which resembles a watercourse.

1. The method of constructing conduits is described by Vitruvius (8.7), who distinguishes the canalis, which is lined with masonry (structiis), from the leaden fistula and the earthenware tubulus (cf. Suet. Cl. 20). A ruder kind of conduit, which was made of timber or earthenware to carry water from a spring or stream to cattle in a meadow, is figured in the illustration below, taken from the Vatican Virgil (Verg. G. 3.330:; Varro, R. R. 3.5, 2). Again by canalis is denoted a feeding-trough, which was in the case of domestic birds placed inside their house, and fed from the outside by pipes (ib. 3.7, 8; 11, 2).

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. 4.1, 15; Fest. s. v. canalicolae). [p. 1.351]

2. Canalis is also a trench or vein in a gold-mine (Plin. Nat. 33.68), the barrel or

Canalis. (From the Vatican Virgil.)

channel for missiles (σῦριγξ) in a catapult (Vitr. 10.13, 7), a reed-pipe (Calp. Ecl. 4.76); in the medical writers, a splint (Cels. 8.10, 65) or a canal of the human body (Id. 4.1, 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 (Saglio, Dict. s.v.). [COLUMNA] J. H. F.]

Canalis in Architecture.

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