) is applied to
any kind of tray or platform used for carrying anything. Thus it is used to
signify the tray or frame on which several dishes were brought in at once at
dinner (Petron. 35; Plin. Nat. 28.26
and hence fercula
came to mean the number of
courses at dinner, and even the dishes themselves. (Suet. Aug. 74
; Serv. ad
Verg. A. 1.637
(with Mayor's note), 11.64; Hor. Sat.
2.6, 104; Mart. 3.50
The ferculum was also used for carrying the images of the gods in the
procession of the circus (Suet. Jul. 76
ashes of the dead in a funeral (Suet. Cal.
), and the spoils in a triumph (Suet. Jul.
; Liv. 1.10
); in all which cases it
appears to have been carried on the shoulders or in the hands of men. This
is shown in the annexed cut from the Arch of Titus, where
Roman soldiers carrying on a ferculum
the Golden Candlestick. (Arch of Titus.)
Roman soldiers are carrying on a ferculum the Golden Candlestick. The most
illustrious captives were sometimes placed on a ferculum in a triumph, in
order that they might be better seen. (Senec. Herc. Oet.