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ARMAMENTA´RIUM (σκευοθήκη, δπλοθήκη), a place where armamenta were kept; an armoury or, more frequently, a naval arsenal [p. 1.191]where tackling, &c., as well as munitions of war, were housed. In primitive times the acropolis of a city was the usual place for the storage of arms; but the fortifying of larger areas, and especially of ports like the Piraeus, gave rise to a special class of buildings designed for their safe custody. In Aeschylus (fragm. 273) and Aeschines (c. Ctes. § 25) σκευοθῆκαι are mentioned in connexion with naval matters. They must, however, be distinguished from νεώρια, dockyards, and νεώσοικοι, slips or docks. There was a celebrated armamentarium in the Piraeus, built by the architect Philo under the financial administration of the orator Lycurgus, about B.C. 342-330 (Cic. de Or. 1.1. 4, § 62; Plin. Nat. 7.125; Strab. ix. p.395; Plut. Sull. 14). The expression of Pliny, armamentarium CD (another reading is mille) navium, has been wrongly explained as a basin in which 1000 ships could lie. The corrected number comes from the passage in Strabo, where ναύσταθμον ταῖς τετρακοσίαις ναυσὶν is distinguished from ὁπλοθήκη Φίλωνος ἔργον. This was destroyed at the capture of Athens by Sulla (Plut. l.c.). A ὁπλοθήκη of the elder Dionysius at Syracuse is described by Aelian (Ael. VH 6.12) as well filled with arms, armour, and engines; the ναύσταθμον at Rhodes included θησαυροὶ ὅπλων, as did those of Massalia and Cyzicus; and, as in modern times, strangers were wholly or partially excluded (Strab. xiv. p.653).

Among the Romans the armamentaria were places for the manufacture as well as the storage of arms (Liv. 26.51; 29.22 and 35); and arms might be served out from them in times of public danger (Cic. Rab. Perd. 7, § 20). We also find them under the empire, organised with the usual thoroughness of the Romans in military matters (Tac. Hist. 1.80; Sen. de Tranq. An. 3.5; Orelli-Henzen, Inscrr. 975, 3586; cf. Juv. Sat. 13.83).


hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (7):
    • Cicero, For Rabirius on a Charge of Treason, 7
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 1.80
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 1.1
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 51
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 22
    • Plutarch, Sulla, 14
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 6.12
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