signified, originally, a projecting
balcony, which was erected above the arcades of shops on the south-west of
the Roman forum and overhanging the street, in order to give more
accommodation to the spectators of the gladiatorial combats, by the censor
C. Maenius, B.C. 318 (Festus, s. v. p. 135, ed. Muller; Isidor.
15.3.11); and hence balconies in general came to be
The front panels of the balconies
were painted by Serapion (Plin. IL. V.
allusions to such structures, and to the regulations which were found
necessary to keep them within due bounds, are found in the ancient writers
(Cic. Ac. 2.2. 2, 70
; Non. p. 83, s. 65,
Müll.; Sueton. Calig.
; V. Max. 9.12.7
; Cod. Just. 8.2
. 16, 242.1; Amm. Marc.
). From these passages it
appears that as they were inconvenient in narrow streets, the praefectus
urbis in 368 A.D. enforced older laws against their construction, and the
emperors Theodosius and Honorius extended the prohibition so as to include
provincial towns as well as Rome, unless there was a space of at least ten
clear feet between the opposite maeniana. (See also AMPHITHEATRUM
Vol. I. p.
112; CANCELLI; and, for a drawing of a maenianum,
Vol. I. p. 666; Burn's
Rome and Campagna,
p. 90; Becker-Göll, Gallus,