were sutlers who followed the Roman legions for trading
purposes. So far as they are distinguished from mercatores,
they sold provisions, while the mercatores
dealt in other wares; but while in Caesar
stands for both (B.
6.37), in Livy and Tacitus we find lixae
alone for petty traders of all kinds, distinct only from
the negotiator who speculated on a large scale. Thus in Liv. 39.1
, where there is no prospect of plunder, the army is
unencumbered by lixae,
i.e. traders who would
have bought up what they could from the soldiers: so Liv.
, “Lixarum in modum negotiabantur” (cf. Liv. 21.63
); and Hirt. de Bell.
75, “Lixae mercatoresque qui plaustris merces
portabant.” These traders of all descriptions had booths for their
goods outside the camp, which were called canabae,
so that ad canabas legionis
means in the market quarter or bazaar, and in some cases out of these
temporary bazaars more permanent settlements sometimes arose, becoming at
last transformed [p. 2.70]
into municipia.: (See Marquardt,
1.20.) The lixae
were sometimes forbidden to follow the legion (Sall.
45), from which it is clear that they came for
their own profit, and not as a necessary commissariat adjunct. They are
sometimes coupled with calones,
the slaves who
attended soldiers, though quite different from them, merely because both
were distinct from the fighting army. In emergencies both might be pressed
into the service, as in Liv. 23.16
, where they
have somewhat the same effect as the camp-followers at Bannockburn.