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TRANSENNA

TRANSENNA lattice-work. The word is used (1) for a lattice-work across a window [DOMUS Vol. I. p. 686 b], apparently = the “fenestrae reticulatae” of Varro, R. R. 3.7, and this must be the meaning in Cic. de Or. 1.3. 5, 162: (2) a lattice-work cage for trapping birds [see references under AUCEPS]. It is possible that this was contrived by some sort of spring, though the pattern which Rich gives must be regarded only as a surmise: it is equally possible that the transenna may have been more like an ordinary birdcage, and worked by a decoy. The passage from Sallust (quoted by Macr. 3.13, 8), where at a theatrical entertainment an image of Victory is “demissum in transenna,” suggests something of the kind--a large wicker cage enclosing the image. Servius (Serv. ad Aen. 5.488) reads the passage, “demissum transenna,” and explains transenna as a rope; but this would certainly not agree with the use in Cicero.

[G.E.M]

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