, rarely ζυγός
, Plat. Tim.
63. B) signified in general that which joined two things
together. It denoted more especially--
1. In architecture any cross beam (Vitr. 10.8
2. The transverse beam which united the up-right posts of a loom, and to
which the warp was attached (Ovid, Ov. Met.
3. The transverse rail of a trellis (Varr. R. R.
4.17, 20, 12.15; Geopon.
joining the upright poles (perticae,
) for the support of vines or other
] Hence by
an obvious resemblance the ridges uniting the tops of mountains were called
(Verg. Ecl. 5.76
; Hor. Epod.
1, 11 ; and in
rhetorical prose like that of Florus).
4. The cross-bar of a lyre (Hom. Il. 9.187
5. A scale-beam, and hence a pair of scales [LIBRA
]. The constellation Libra was consequently
also called Jugum (Cic. de Div.
, § 98).
6. The thwart or transverse seat of a boat (Aesch.
; Soph. Ajax,
; Verg. A. 6.411
). This gave
origin to the term ζυγίτης,
as applied to a
Vol. Il. p. 215
). A vessel with many benches or banks for
the rowers was called νηῦς πολύζυγος
(Hom. Il. 3.293
7. The yoke by which ploughs and carriages were drawn. The yoke was in many
cases a straight wooden plank or pole laid upon the horses' necks; but it
was commonly bent to-wards each extremity, so as to be accommodated to the
part of the animal which it touched (curva
Ovid, Ov. Fast. 4.216
4.6, 2). The following woodcut shows
two examples of the yoke, the upper from a MS. of Hesiod's Works and Days,
preserved at Florence, the lower from a MS. of Terence belonging to the
Vatican library. These may be compared with the still ruder forms of the
yoke as now used in Asia Minor, which are introduced in the article ARATRUM
The practice of having
the yoke tied to the horns and pressing upon the foreheads of the oxen
(capite, non cervice junctis,
Plin. Nat. 8.179
), which is now common on
the continent of Europe, and especially in France, is strongly condemned by
Columella on grounds of economy as well as of humanity (R. R.
2.2). He recommends that their heads should be left free, so that they may
raise them aloft, and thus make a much handsomer appearance (Cic. Nat. Deor. 2.6. 3
§ 159; Ovid, Ov. Met. 7.211
this was effected by the use either of the two collars (subjugia,
Hesiod, Op. et
467; Paley, ad loc.;
Hom. Il. 17.440
; Aesch. Prom.
463; Eur. Med. 479
) shown in the upper figure of the woodcut, or of
the notches (γλυφαί, γλυφίδες
) cut in the
yoke, with the bands of leather (lora;
7; ταυροδέτιν βύρσαν ἐπαυχενίην,
3.44 = Anth. Pal.
Hom. Il. 5.730
, with Schol.), seen in the
Yokes. (From ancient MSS.)
This figure also shows the method of tying the yoke to the pole (temo,
) by means of a leathern strap, or
more probably a rope (ζυγόδεσμον,
Hom. Il. 24.270
), which was lashed from the
two opposite sides over the junction of the pole and yoke. These two parts
were still more firmly connected by means of a pin (ἔμβολος,
Eur. Hipp. 666
i.e. an oaken
Op. et D.
). 467). But the fastening was sometimes much
more complicated, especially in the case of the celebrated Gordian knot,
which tied the yoke of a common cart, and consisted only of flexible twig,
or bark, but in which the ends were so concealed by being inserted within
the knot, that the only way of detaching the yoke was that which Alexander
adopted (Arrian, l.c.;
; Schol. in
). The passage of Homer
) gives the fullest account of the way in which the yoke was
attached to the pole; but, after the acute and learned investigations of
Leaf (Journ. Hell. Soc.
5.185 ff.) and Helbig (Hom.
147 ff.), some points still remain unexplained. In the
last line, the words ἑξείης
are still obscure. The following summary
of the longer discussion is condensed from Mr. Leaf's note ad loc.
:--“The most probable explanation of
the whole arrangement is as follows:--The pole was curved sharply
upwards at the end, running up to an almost vertical point (πέζα
). In the actual bend (πέζῃ ἐπὶ πρώτῃ
) the yoke was laid
across the pole. Attached to the yoke was a ring (κρίκος
): through this a peg (ἕστωρ
) was passed and fastened into a hole in the pole.
a rope nine cubits
long, was then used to bind the πέζα
with three turns to the ὀμφαλός,
boss on the yoke itself; the long ends which remained after this being
carried back to the car itself, where they were fastened to an upright
post which arose from the front of the breast-work. This post and the
rope from it to the end of the pole are constantly depicted in archaic
vasepaintings, and there can be little doubt as to the identification of
the rope with the ζυγόδεσμον.
Besides being variegated with precious materials and with carving, the yoke,
especially among the Persians, was decorated with elevated.
Fig. 1. Chariot and pole.
Fig. 2. Yoke and appendages, from the front.
Fig. 3. Means by which the yoke is attached to the pole.
(From Leaf's Iliad, 2.485.)
plumes and figures. Of this an example is presented in a
bas-relief from Persepolis, preserved in the British Museum. The chariot of
Dareius was remarkable for the golden statues of Belus and Ninus, about
eighteen inches high, which were fixed to the yoke over the necks of the
horses, a spread eagle, also wrought in gold, being placed between them (Q.
). The passages above cited show
that when the carriage was prepared for use, the yoke which had been laid
aside was first fastened to the pole, and the horses were then led under it.
Either above them, or at the two ends of the yoke, rings were often fixed,
through which the reins passed. These frequently appear in works of ancient
art representing chariots.
Morning and evening are often designated in poetry by the act of putting the
yoke on the oxen (Hes. Op. et Dies,
581) and taking it off
(Verg. Ecl. 2.66
; Hor. Carm. 3.6.42
63; Ovid, Ov. Fast. 5.497
; βούλυσις, βουλυτός,
Hom. Il. 16.779
, Od. 9.58
; Cic. Att. 15.2. 7
By metonymy jugum
meant the quantity of land
which a yoke of oxen could plough in a day (Varr. R. R.
1.10). It was used for “a pair” of animals, Greek ζεῦγος,
Latin usually, [p. 1.1036]par,
as in aquilarum jugum
). By another figure common to all languages it is the yoke of
slavery (Aesch. Ag. 953
; Hor. Sat.
2.7, 92; Tac. Agric.
31; Florus, 2.14
= 1.30 Jeep). The yoke under which the Romans made their
conquered enemies to pass, and sometimes, as at Caudium, passed under it
themselves (Liv. 9.4.3
, § § 1, 3), was composed of a spear supported
transversely by two others placed upright (Liv.