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CI´SIUM

CI´SIUM a gig, i. e. a light open carriage with two wheels, adapted to carry two persons rapidly from place to place. Its form is sculptured on the monumental column at Igel, near Treves (see woodcut). It had a box or case, probably under the seat (Festus, s. v. Ploxinum). The cisia were quickly drawn by horses or mules ( “cisi volantis,” Verg. Catal. 8.3; Cic. Phil. 2.31, § 77); usually a pair;

Cisium. (From monument at Igel, near Treves.)

but a single horse occurs in the illustration here given, and on a sculptured sarcophagus at Pesaro, the ancient Pisaurum; and three are mentioned by Ausonius (Epist. 8.6). Cicero mentions the case of a messenger who travelled fifty-six miles in ten hours in such vehicles, which were kept for hire at the stations along the great roads,--a proof that the ancients considered six Roman miles per hour as an extraordinary speed; this, however, was at night (Cic. pro Rosc. Am. 7, § 19).

The conductors of these hired gigs were called cisiarii, and were subject to penalties for careless or dangerous driving (Dig. 19, 2, 13). In some places we find them stationed on a kind of “cab rank,” or at least giving their name to a locality, as at Pompeii (Orelli-Henzen, Inscr. 5163) and Cales (ib. 6983). But in Orelli 4163, cisiarius is, apparently, a builder of cisia; and in another inscription (C. I. L. 1129) the cisiarii Praenestini are a collegium of freedmen, divided into magistri and ministri, but otherwise unkhown. (Marquardt, Privatl., 706, 712.)

[J.Y] [W.W]

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