), a hurdle, used by the ancients in many
different ways, especially, as among ourselves, for agricultural purposes.
Thus textae crates
are the wattled hurdles of which
sheep-folds are made (Hor. Epod.
2.45); vimineae crates
are bush-harrows, like those now in use
(Verg. G. 1.95
; Plin. Nat. 18
§ 180, 186; AGRICULTURA
p. 63a). The name was also applied to any wooden frame
composed of bars with interstices,--our crate,
and the interstices might be filled up with mats of straw,
rushes or fern (Col. 12.15
). The following
special senses may be noticed:--
were used by the country people upon
which to dry figs, grapes, &c. in the rays of the sun, or to screen
growing fruit from the weather (Col. 12.16
Cat. Agr. 48
); or for spreading manure
(Cat. Agr. 10
; Varr. R. B.
2. A rack for provisions, like that figured under CAUPONA; cf. CARNARIUM
3. Among military terms we find crates
forming the roadway of Caesar's bridge over the Rhine (Caes. Gal. 4.17
); for parapets or breastworks
(pinnae loricaeque ex cratibus,
ib. 5.40); as
fascines for crossing ditches (ib. 7.79, 81, 86 ; B.C.
and 80; Tac. Ann. 1.68
, where Orellius
observes, after Walther, that the ditches were not filled up, as by modern
fascines, but bridged over); as mantlets or wooden screens for sheltering
the advance of troops under cover (Amm. Marc.
). From the plutei,
employed in the same way, they differed only in being without the covering
of raw hides: plutei
are again coupled, Liv.
4. By the besieged they were used joined together so as to form what Vegetius
calls a metella,
and filled with stones: these
were then poised between two of the battlements; and, as the storming-party
approached upon the ladders, overturned on their heads (Veget.
4.6). 5. In poetry, the wicker-work of shields is so
called (Verg. A. 7.633
; Sil. Ital. 5.522
V. Fl. 3.199
A capital punishment was called by this name, whence the phrase sub crate necari.
The criminal was either thrown
into a pond or well, and drowned under a hurdle (Liv.
; Tacit. Germ.
12); or crushed by the weight
of stones heaped upon it (Liv. 4.50
5.2, 65). Cf. Humbert, ap. D. & S.