a state four-wheeled carriage with cushions, which
conveyed the Roman matrons, flamines,
Vestals in sacred processions and to the public games (Verg. A. 8.666
; Claudian, de
285; Isid. Or.
20.12). It had a
covered roof (as a curries arcuatus
) similar no
doubt in shape to that which is represented in the woodcut of LECTICA
on p. 15 (see also under
and CAMERA); but it was open all round. The well, or
body of the carriage, was called arca
; Isid. l.c.
), which corresponds to the Gailic word ploxenum
of the small Gallic carriage [CISIUM
]: here were placed
cushions for the occupants, and also any sacred vessels which they were
conveying. This explains the account in Macrob. l.c.,
of a boy looking at the procession out of a garret window and
seeing how the secreta sacrorum
were set out
in arca pilenti.
The distinction of using the
pilentum was granted to the Roman matrons by the senate on account of their
giving gold and jewels to the state at the time of the fall of Veii (Liv. 5.25
; cf. CARPENTUM
). As regards the use of it by the
flamines, see Liv. 1.21
; for the Vestals,
Prudentius, contra Symm.
2.1089. The pilentum is
distinguished from the carpentum by having four wheels (Isidore, l.c.
) and by its not being covered in with curtains
at the sides, as was, at any rate sometimes, the case with the carpentum.
The two-wheeled carriage drawn by lions which Rich gives as a pilentum from
a medal of the Empress Faustina must be a carpentum; and its explanation may
be found in the fact that in the pompa circensis
figures of deceased empresses were taken in a carpentum (Marquardt,
3.511). Suetonius (Claud.
mentions that Livia's was drawn by elephants. It is possible, however, that
the lions may be merely a fanciful emblem. (Ginzrot, Wagen,
cap. liv.; Marquardt, Privatleben,