previous next

REDA

REDA a large carriage with four wheels (Isid. 20.12; Cod. Theod. 8.5, 8, where it is [p. 2.540]distinguished from a birota): used as a travelling carriage (Cic. pro Mil. 10, 28; 20, 54; ad At. 5.17; Hor. Sat. 1.5, 86, 2.6, 42; Helv. Cinna ap. Gel. 19.13). It is clear from the above passages that it was the carriage commonly used by the Romans who could afford it for rapid travelling, and that it held several persons: probably it had several seats like a char-à--bancs: it also carried luggage (Juv. 3.10; Mart. 3.47; Cod. Theod. l.c.). Like the COVINUS and ESSEDUM it was of Gallic origin (Quint. Inst. 1.5.68; Caes. Gal. 1.51): but it had been completely adopted by the Romans and possibly modified in shape. It probably had a cover. It was drawn by two horses usually (or mules, Varr. R. R. 3.17), but sometimes by four horses for greater speed. Venantius Fortunatus writes in the 6th century--
Curriculi genus est, memorat quod Gallia redam,

Molliter incedens orbita sulcat humum,
Exsiliens duplici bijugo volat axe citato, Atque movet rapidas juncta quadriga rotas.

There were also redae as hired carriages (redae meritoriae, Suet. Jul. 57); and in the later Empire as government stage-coaches (fiscalis reda, Sulp. Sever. Dial. 2.4): Cod. Theod. l.c. speaks of these as carrying 1000 lbs. of goods. Epiredia were probably traces, though the Schol. on Juv. 8.66 calls them “ornamenta redarum.” Quintil. l.c. mentions the word as a mixture of two languages, Greek and Gallic; Professor Mayor (ad loc.) however remarks that ρέδα, ραιδίον occur in late Greek (e.g. Apocal. 18.13), and this word may of course have been compounded after it became a Greek word and the compound borrowed by the Romans. (Marquardt, Privatl. 733; Becker-Göll, Gallus, 3.19; Baumeister, Denkm. 2082.)

[W.S] [G.E.M]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: