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πτωχός). A beggar. Beggars abounded in ancient times, but were less numerous, apparently, in Greece than in Italy, where the beggar's trade was, in ancient as in modern times, a recognized profession. The bridges over the Tiber were favourite resorts for mendicants (Juv.iv. 116; xiv. 134), as also the vicinity of the theatres and the temples (Orelli, Inscr. 4097), and the great viae in the neighbourhood of Rome. Children were trained up as beggars, and were often mutilated to excite compassion, after the manner of the comprachicos of later days (Controv. 33). Blind beggars were led by a dog (Mart.xiv. 81), as shown in the accompanying illustration from a painting found at Herculaneum and given by Rich. The

Roman Beggar. (Herculaneum.)

priests of Cybelé were a sort of mendicant order, and lived on the alms of the charitable (Hor. Sat. i. 2, 2).

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Horace, Satires, 1.2
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 14.81
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