Arcadius, de Accent.
p. 107), a harp.
The preceding Latin and Greek names are with good reason represented by
Bochart, Vossius, and other critics, [p. 2.595]
to be the
same as the Hebrew (sabbeca), the “sackbut,” which occurs in
Daniel (3.5, 7, 10). The performances of sambucistriae
) were only known to the early
Romans as luxuries brought over from Asia (Plaut. Stich.
57; Liv. 39.6
). The chordae
which Juvenal (4.64) mentions among Asiatic
innovations at Rome denote the sambuca. The Athenians considered them as an
exotic refinement (Philemon, p. 370, ed. Meineke); and the Rhodian women who
played on the harp at the marriage-feast of Caranus in Macedonia, clothed in
very thin tunics, were introduced with a view to give to the entertainment
the highest degree of splendour. Some Greek authors expressly attributed the
invention of this instrument to the Syrians or Phoenicians (Athen. 4.175
d). The opinion of those who ascribed
it to the lyric poet Ibycus can only authorise the conclusion that he had
the merit of inventing some modification of it, the instrument as improved
by him being called Ἰβύκινον
Suidas, s. vv.
Ἰβύκινον, Ἰβυκός, Σαμβῦκαι
moreover, represents σαμβύκη
“barbarous” name (10.3.17). [See also LYRA
An illustration is given below of an Egyptian harp, which perhaps represents
the sambuca. It is from a painting on an Egyptian tomb. Under the Roman
emperors the harp appears to have come into more general use (Pers. 5.95;
Ancient Egyptian harp. (Bruce.)
p. 61) was also the name of a military
engine used in sieges. For its use and construction the authorities are
; Veget. 4.17; Plut. Marc. 15
; Athen. 14.634
42; and an elaborate, but not perfectly clear,
description in Bito (ed. Wescher,. l.c.
), where a
plan is given. It was a movable bridge for passing either from the ships or
the towers of the besiegers on to the walls. The σανδύκη
of Bito was a bridge with sheltering bulwarks
supported on a high column or cylinder made as a screw, which was turned in
any direction by a capstan; the whole being fixed on a platform with wheels,
so that it combined tower and bridge. The bridge had a weight at one end to
assist in keeping it horizontal, and a ladder at the other by which the
soldiers climbed up to it; it wag turned with the column upon its screw in
the required direction, and raised to a level with the top of the wall by
the screw (and probably also by pulleys). The sambuca of Vegetius passed
from the besieging tower to the walls, being raised by pulleys; the same
tower might have a ram in its lower story. That of Polybius passed on to the
walls from two ships anchored together; it was raised by pulleys on the
masts, and the soldiers mounted to it by a ladder sheltered with δρύφακτοι.
The name (as Vegetius, Polybius, and
Athenaeus notice) was given because of a fancied resemblance of the machine,
with its upright masts or supports and the ropes from its pulleys, to the
harp described above. (See also Rüstow and Kochly, Gr.
312; Marquardt, Staatsverw.
Müller in Baumeister, Denkm.