), a seat;
French, chaire, chaise;
but the term was more particularly applied to a seat with a
back but no arms, whereas the sella,
splendid in its material or dignified in its associations, had neither. The
back was usually curved or hollow, and low enough for the arm to rest upon
it with ease, as in the annexed woodcut,
Cathedra, chair. (From a Greek vase.)
taken from Sir William Hamilton's work on Greek vases. On the
cathedra is seated a bride, who is being fanned by a female slave with a fan
made of peacock's feathers: under her feet is a footstool.
There was also the cathedra longa, chaise longue
easy chair; and, more luxurious still, the cathedra supina or reclining
chair. Then as now, they were often made of wicker-work: [salices
] supinarum in delicias cathedrarum
). The cathedra was more used by women than by men (hence
cf. Hor. Sat.
1.10, 91; Propert. 5.5, 37). It
was a mark of effeminacy when a man was seen strata
(cushioned) positus longaque
). To sit on
cathedrae at table was, however, less luxurious than the ordinary reclining
posture, and was considered proper for boys [ARVALES, p. 199 a; CENA
The seat was not stuffed, but a cushion was commonly placed upon it; and a
cover might also be thrown over the back.
Another sort of cathedra was a sedan-chair, in which women were accustomed to
be carried about, instead of in a lectica. The nuda
of Juvenal (1.65), in which the successful forger is
Professorial chair. (Visconti.)
is probably an uncurtained lectica; it
is insolence rather than effeminacy which here provokes the rage of the
satirist: cf. Cic. Phil. 2.24
58, “aperta lectica mima portabatur.”
The above illustration shows a professorial chair (Juv.
; Mart. 1.77
) from Visconti
(Icon. Grec. i.
pl. 35). (Compare Böttiger,
vol. i. p. 35; Scheffer, de
2.4; Mommsen-Marquardt, vii.
], p. 705.)