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MAENIA´NUM signified, originally, a projecting balcony, which was erected above the arcades of shops on the south-west of the Roman forum and overhanging the street, in order to give more accommodation to the spectators of the gladiatorial combats, by the censor C. Maenius, B.C. 318 (Festus, s. v. p. 135, ed. Muller; Isidor. Orig. 15.3.11); and hence balconies in general came to be called maeniana. The front panels of the balconies were painted by Serapion (Plin. IL. V. 35.113). Many allusions to such structures, and to the regulations which were found necessary to keep them within due bounds, are found in the ancient writers (Cic. Ac. 2.2. 2, 70; Non. p. 83, s. 65, Müll.; Sueton. Calig. 18; Vitr. 5.1; V. Max. 9.12.7; Cod. Just. 8.2, 20, 10, 11, 43.8, 2.6; 1. 16, 242.1; Amm. Marc. 27.9, 10). From these passages it appears that as they were inconvenient in narrow streets, the praefectus urbis in 368 A.D. enforced older laws against their construction, and the emperors Theodosius and Honorius extended the prohibition so as to include provincial towns as well as Rome, unless there was a space of at least ten clear feet between the opposite maeniana. (See also AMPHITHEATRUM Vol. I. p. 112; CANCELLI; and, for a drawing of a maenianum, DOMUS Vol. I. p. 666; Burn's Rome and Campagna, p. 90; Becker-Göll, Gallus, 2.288.)

[P.S] [G.E.M]

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 5.1
    • Cicero, Lucullus, 70
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 27.9.10
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 9.12.7
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