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MACELLUM (ὀψοπωλία, ὀψοπωλεῖον, κρεοπωλεῖον), a provision market for butchers, fishmongers, poulterers, fruiterers, and confectioners: see Ter. Eun. 2.2, 24, “ad macellum ubi advenimus concurrunt . . . cuppedinarii omnes, cetarii, lanii, coqui, fastores, piscatores” (cf. Plaut. Aul. 2.8, 3; Hor. Sat. 2.3, 229; Epist. 1.15, 31). These provisions were formerly found at Rome in their separate markets--the forum boarium, piscatorium, olitorium: but for convenience the market was brought together [p. 2.107]in the macellum, built B.C. 179 to the north of the Forum (Fest. s. v. macellum). Varro (L. L. 4.32) and Festus speak of a robber Romanius Macellus, whose house was demolished that a market might be established on the site; but it must be confessed that the story has a suspicious appearance of growing out of the name macellum Romanum, and either Curtius' reference to macto (Greek Etym. 338), or the identification with the Greek μάκελον or μάκελλον (which Varro himself suggests as the alternative), may be accepted in preference. The latter, which seems the more probable, is connected with the word maceria, a roughly built wall, and thus macellum may be assumed to have got its name from being an enclosed space. With this agrees Varro's expression “aedificatus locus appellatus macellum;” and it had booths in its colonnade (macellariae tabernae, V. Max. 3.4, 4). To this earliest macellum we refer Cic. pro Quint. 6, 25, “ab atriis Liciniis et faucibus macelli.” The atria Licinia seem to have been auction rooms (cf. de Leg. Agr. 1.3, 7) near the forum. The Macellum magnum was in the second region on the Cispian hill, and is placed by some at S. Stefano Rotondo, it being suggested that the circular construction, with pillars, is planned upon the old market buildings (Burn, Rome and Compagna, p. 221). This is purely conjectural. A similar rotunda is found on a coin of Nero, with the inscription. “macellum Augusti” (Eckel, 6.273). The Macellum Livianum was near the Porta Esquilina and the Arch of Gallienus. It is probable that the macellum of B.C. 179 was destroyed to make room for the forum Augusti, and that Augustus built, instead of it, the macellum which he named after Livia. (See Richter, ap. Baumeister, Denkm. p. 1534.) To the macella the cooks would go to buy, and the less wealthy marketed there for themselves (Juv. 11.10). The salesmen in it were called macellarii (Suet. Jul. 26; Vesp. 19). Julius Caesar tried to check extravagance by putting the macella under police control, and the same control through the aediles was attempted by Tiberius, moved apparently by the tale of mullets at 10,000 sesterces apiece (Suet. Jul. 43; Tib. 34).

The Athenian provision market was called, as a general term, ὀψοπωλία (Athen. 1.6a); but more frequently we find the different departments αἱ ἰχθῦς, τὸ ὄψον, τὰ ἄλφιτα, &c., which were in divisions in the market-place called κύκλοι. [AGORA] The signal for a sale was given by a bell ringing, when marketers, cooks, &c., flocked there (see Mahaffy, Social Life in Greece, ch. 10).

[J.Y] [G.E.M]

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