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SPECULUM (κάτοπτρον, ἔσοπτρον, ἔνοπτρον), a mirror. The mirrors of the Greeks, Romans, and Etruscans consisted almost invariably of small circular disks of metal, which could be placed upright on a table or held in the hand. Mirrors of glass are mentioned by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 36.66) as being made at Sidon, and from a later source (Alex. Aphrod., Probl. 1.132 in Ideler, “Physici et medici Graeci minores,” i. p. 45) we learn that glass mirrors were coated with tin, not, as with us, with quicksilver (διὰ τί τὰ ὑέλινα κάτοπτρα λάμπουσιν ἄηαν; ὅτι ἔνδοθεν αὐτῶν χρίουσι κασσιτέρῳ). No remains of such mirrors exist, however, and they were evidently little used. The usual material was bronze, i. e. an alloy of copper and tin, composed, as the analysis of various Roman mirrors has shown (Blümner, Technologie, iv. p. 192), of from 19 to 32 per cent. of the latter metal. In Imperial times, the best alloy for mirrors was made at Brundisium (Plin. Nat. 33.45; 34.48). The majority of extant mirrors are of bronze, but some made of silver have also come down to us: see e.g. Bull. d. Inst., 1885, p. 180amirror found at Pompeii, and the silver mirror in the tomb of Seianti Thanunia (Brit. Mus.). Silver mirrors came into fashion under the Roman Republic (Pliny, Plin. Nat. 33.45, says in the time of Pompey the Great), and in Imperial times were frequently used, even it is said by maid-servants (Plin. Nat. 34.48; cf. 33.45). They are often mentioned in the Digest (33, 6, 3; 34, 2, 19.8). A better reflexion was supposed to be given when the plate of silver was thick (Vitr. 7.3). At first, the silver was very pure, but metal of inferior quality was afterwards employed (Plin. Nat. 33.45). Cheap imitations were manufactured, and some extant mirrors having the appearance of silver are in reality only plated with that metal, or are composed of a mixture of copper and lead (Friederichs, Berl. ant. Bildw. ii. p. 86).

There is no mention of mirrors in Homer, and the earliest Greek mirrors extant are not earlier than circ. B.C. 500. The prototype of the Greek mirror must, on our present evidence, be looked for in Egypt. The Egyptian mirrors now extant consist of bronze disks of oval or oblate form,--a shape, therefore, nearly the same as that of the Greek mirrors, though somewhat less elegant. They have, like many Greek mirrors, ornamented handles (of wood, stone, or metal), some in the form of the papyrus-sceptre or of a figure of a goddess (see the illustrations in Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, ed. Birch, vol. ii. pp. 350, 351). From the time of the Attic tragedians onwards mirrors are frequently mentioned in literature (Aesch. in Stob. Serm. 18.13; Eur. Tro. 1107; Medea, 1161; Onet. 1112;--Xen. Cyr. 7.1, § 2, &c.), and they are often represented on the monuments. On the vase-paintings female attendants are seen holding them before their mistresses, and among the Greek terra-cottas are figures of women holding circular mirrors while arranging their hair (Gazette arch. 1878, pl. 10 = Baumeister, Denkm, art. “Spiegel,” fig. 1775; Gaz. arch. 1880, p. 39). On the Etruscan terra-cotta sarcophagus of Seianti Thanunia, in the British Museum (from Chiusi), is a reclining female figure holding a mirror. Before dealing with

Hand-mirror. (From a relief in the British Museum.)

the special characteristics of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan mirrors respectively, it should be stated that wall-mirrors were little used in antiquity. Large metal mirrors were suspended n barbers' shops (Lucian, adv. Ind. 29; Vitr. 9.9, 2); and we hear, under the Roman Empire, of mirrors large enough to reflect the whole person (Senec. Quaest. nat. 1.17, 8, “specula totis paria corporibus;” Ulpian, Dig. 34, 2, 19.8, “speculum . . . parieti adfixum;” cf. Plin. Nat. 36.196).

GREEK MIRRORS.--Examples of mirrors of Greek workmanship and provenance were unknown till recent years, and the number at present discovered (at Corinth and elsewhere) is comparatively small. Like other articles of the toilet, mirrors were buried by the Greeks with the dead. They have two forms: (i.) the disk-mirror with a handle or a stand, (ii.) the box-mirror.

(i.) The disk-mirrors have one side (usually slightly convex) left plain and polished for reflexion. The

Disk-mirror on a pedestal.

other side is engraved with a design, or is left plain. The handle is often ornamented, or consists of a statuette--figures of Aphrodite being preferred. Many of these mirrors have a pedestal attached to the statuette, to enable them to be stood up-right on the table. Some of the early extant mirrors are furnished with these statuette--stands, and sometimes Erotes, animals, or other ornaments are attached to the lower part of the disk. A good example is figured in the Arch. Zeitung, [p. 2.689]xxxvii. pl. 12 = Baumeister, Denkmäler, art. “Spiegel,” fig. 1773.

(ii.) The box-mirror consists of two circular disks shutting into one another, and sometimes united by a hinge. The upper disk or cover is ornamented on the outside with a design relief, and its interior is polished for reflexion. The lower disk, or box itself, is adorned inside with engraved figures. The reliefs on the box-mirrors and the engraved designs found both on the box-and the disk-mirrors are among the most beautiful and interesting remains of Greek art. The best specimens may be attributed to the 4th century B.C. Good examples may be seen in the Bronze Room of the British Museum. The reliefs usually consist of subjects relating to the cycle of Aphrodite and Dionysos. The relief of “Ganymede carried away by the eagle”

Etruscan Mirror. (Dennis.)

(engraved in Collignon, Man. d'Arch. p. 351) may be cited as a fine example of this class. Among the finest examples of engravings on mirrors are the Korinthos and Leucas mirror engraved in Rev. arch., N. S., xxiii. (1872), pl. xi. p. 79, and in Monuments grecs de l'Assoc. des Études grecques, 1873, pl. iii.; the Genius of the Cock-fights mirror in the Lyons Museum (Rev. arch., N. S., xvii. (1868), pl. xiii. p. 372 ff.); and the Nymph and Pan playing with astragali, in the British Museum (Classical Review; vol. iii. p. 86). (On the technique of the “engraved” mirrors, which were perhaps etched as well as engraved, see Blümner, Technol. iv. pp. 266, 267.)

ETRUSCAN MIRRORS.--The extant examples, many of which are figured in Gerhard's Etruskische Spiegel (continued by Klügmann and Körte), are extremely numerous. They have been found in tombs in Etruria and Latium, [p. 2.690]some in cistae, others placed on the top of vases, or lying separately. They resemble the Greek mirrors in form. Box-mirrors occur, but most of the extant specimens are simple disks with the convex side polished for reflexion and the concave side engraved, and having a handle which was made in one piece with the mirror and sometimes inserted in an outer handle--now often missing--of bone or wood. The Etruscan mirrors that have come down to us are mainly of the fourth and third centuries B.C. The subjects represented are mainly drawn from Greek mythology (especially the Trojan legends), such as the Birth of Minerva, the Birth of Bacchus, Venus and Adonis, Achilles and Thetis, Castor and Pollux, &c. Various scenes from daily life (the toilet, the bath, and the palaestra) are also represented. The names of the personages depicted are nearly always written near them in Etruscan characters (e. g. Apul = Apollo; Achle=Achilles; Atunis=Adonis). The designs are nearly always the production of Etruscan copyists of Greek models, especially the vase-paintings. The work is often rough and careless, and the space generally overcrowded with figures. The reliefs on the box-mirrors are much inferior to those on the Greek box-mirrors. Various examples may be seen in the Etruscan Room at the British Museum, among which may be noticed Ganymede carried off by the Eagle, and other figures on the cover of a mirror from Praeneste (Mon. dell' Inst. arch. viii. pl. 47, fig. 2). Among the engraved mirrors some elegant and delicately treated designs occasionally occur, such as Semele, &c. on a mirror at Berlin (Mon. dell' Inst. 1.56=Baumeister, Denkm. art. “Etrurien,” fig. 557); the Healing of Telephus (Gerhard, Etrusk. Spiegel, pl. 228=Baumeister, Denkm., art. “Spiegel,” fig. 1774); and the meeting of Helen and Menelaus after the taking of Troy (in the Brit. Mus.: Mon. d. Inst. arch. viii. pl. 33).

ROMAN MIRRORS.--These are of little artistic importance, and are usually disk-mirrors provided with an ornamented handle, which is sometimes in the form of a figure. The back of the disk (i. e. the side not used for the reflexion) is, if engraved, usually ornamented with decorative patterns and not with a subject-design. Typical examples of various hand-mirrors found at Pompeii may be seen in Overbeck-Mau, Pompeii, 4th ed. p. 453, fig. 252.

[[Authorities.--Frerederichs, Berl. ant. Bildw. 2.18 ff.; Blümner, Technologie, iv. pp. 192, 194, 265 ff., 403; Blümner, art. “Spiegel” in Baumeister's Denkmäler; De Witte, Les Miroirs chez les Anciens, Bruxelles, 1873; Stephani, Compte rendu, 1870-71, p. 27; Hermann, Lehrbuch (ed. Blümner), iv. pp. 170, 171; Collignon, Man. d'Arch. grecque, p. 146 ff.; Mylonas, Ἁλληνικὰ κάτοπτρα, Athens, 1876, 8°, reviewed in Bull. Corr. hell. i. (1877), p. 108 f.; Bull. Corr. hell. viii. pp. 398, 399 (with references to earlier publications); Rev. arch. 1868, pl. xiii.; Collect. Castellani, Paris, 1884, No. 430; Collect. Gréau, Paris, 1885, No. 580. Other Greek mirrors have been published in the Bull. Corr. hell.; in the Gazette archéologique and other periodicals; E. Gerhard's Etruskische Spiegel, Berlin, 1843, &c., continued by Klügmann and Körte; Marquardt--Mommsen, Handbuch der röm. Alt. 8.669, 692, 736; and other authorities cited above in the article.]

[W--K W--H.]

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