previous next


CARRU´CA a carriage used in imperial times, and first mentioned by Pliny (H.N. 33.140). Like the reda [REDA], it was a travelling carriage on four wheels, whence Martial in one place (3.47) uses the words as synonymous. Nero is said to have travelled with 500 (Lamprid. Heliog. 31) or even 1000 carrucae (Suet. Nero 30). These carriages were sometimes used in Rome by persons of distinction, like the carpenta [CARPENTUM], in which case they appear to have been covered with plates of bronze, silver, and even gold, which were sometimes ornamented with embossed work (Plin. l.c.). Martial (3.72) speaks of an aurea carruca which cost the value of a farm; and Alexander Severus allowed senators at Rome to use carrucae and redae plated with silver (Lamprid. Alex. Sev. 43). These are the carrucae argentatae, the use of which within Rome spread in the course of the third century from the high officials, to whom they were at first limited, to private persons (Vopisc. Aurelian. 46; Amm. Marc. 14.6; Cod. Theod. 14.12, 1; Cod. Just. 11.19). We have no representations of carriages in ancient works of art which can be safely said to be carrucae; but we have several representations of carriages ornamented with plates of metal. (See Inghirami, Monum. Etrusch. 3.18, 23; Millingen, Uned. Mon. 2.14.) Carrucae were also used for carrying women, and were then, as well perhaps as in other cases, drawn by mules (Dig. 34, tit. 2, s. 13: ins. 11 a carruca dormitoria is mentioned); whence Ulpian (Dig. 21, tit. 1, s. 38.8) speaks of mulae carrucariae.

[W.S] [W.W]

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