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CATHEDRA (καθέδρα), a seat; French, chaire, chaise; Eng. chair: but the term was more particularly applied to a seat with a back but no arms, whereas the sella, however 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 or 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 aptissimae (Plin. Nat. 16.174). The cathedra was more used by women than by men (hence femineae, Mart. 3.63, 12.38; 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 cathedra (Juv. 9.51). 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 cathedra of Juvenal (1.65), in which the successful forger is carried

Professorial chair. (Visconti.)

supinus, 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. 7.203; Mart. 1.77) from Visconti (Icon. Grec. i. pl. 35). (Compare Böttiger, Sabina, vol. i. p. 35; Scheffer, de Re Vehic. 2.4; Mommsen-Marquardt, vii. [Privatleben], p. 705.)

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