Farewell! Nearly Seventeen Centuries had rolled away when the City of Pompeii was disinterred from its silent tomb, all vivid with undimmed hues; its walls fresh as if painted yesterday not a hue faded on the rich mosaic of its floors in its forum the half-finished columns as left by the workman's hand in its gardens the sacrificial tripod in its halls the chest of treasure in its baths the strigil in its theatres the counter of admission in its saloons the furniture and the lamp in its triclinia the fragments of the last feast in its cubicula the perfumes and the rouge of faded beauty and everywhere the bones and skeletons of those who once moved the springs of that minute yet gorgeous machine of luxury and of life!
He reached Rome at the end of July, B.C. 46. The Latin form is triclinium, a couch which would accomodate three persons at table. The word is of Greek origin, and simply means a place which will allow three persons to recline upon it. As triclinia were placed in eating-rooms, such a room is sometimes called triclinium.
I want to be better informed touching the cava aedium, the focus, the ara deorum penatum, the conclavia, triclinia, and caenationes; the atria where the women resided, and employed themselves in the woolen manufacture; the praetoria, which were so spacious as to become a nuisance in the reign of Augustus; and the Xysta, which were shady walks between two porticos, where the men exercised themselves in the winter.
Walls, floors, ceilings, every part of the house through which they passed, seemed covered with roses clustered, festooned, and superlaid. Suddenly they found themselves at the entrance of the great banquet hall, where two triclinia were set facing each other, with room for the servants to pass between and minister to the wants of the feasters.
Even in private houses, these triclinia were magnificently adorned. The walls were ornamented with rows of lofty columns, and where the Egyptian style prevailed, two rows of columns were constructed, one above the other; an effect of this last arrangement was the formation of a two-storied passage between the walls and the columns.
It is not surprising that we find in every important street these gaudy modern triclinia, which, I should observe, are as much frequented by a certain class of French people as by foreigners, for Paris is proverbially fond of dining out; in fact, the social intercourse may be said to take place more frequently in the public cafe than under the domestic roof.
Sedes, opposed to the triclinia, on which the Romans used to recline, a practice as unknown to the rude Germans, as to the early Greeks and Hebrews. See Coler. Stud. of Gr. Negotia. Plural==their various pursuits. So Cic. de Or. 2, 6: forensia negotia. Negotium==nec-otium, C. and G. being originally identical, as they still are almost in form. Armati. Cf. note, 11: ut turbae placuit.
Larger parties were not unheard of, even under the Republic, and Vitruvius tells us that some dining-rooms were fitted with three or more triclinia; but to put more than three guests on a single couch, and so increase the number, was not thought courteous or well-bred.
As the guests were made so comfortable, it may be supposed that they were not in a hurry to depart; the mere fact that they were reclining instead of sitting would naturally dispose them to stay. The triclinia were open at one end, i.e. not shut up as our dining-rooms are, and the air would not get close and "dinnery."
The doctor himself, who was the only person present, whose organs were not discomposed, pointing to a couple of couches placed on each side of the table, told his guests that he was sorry he could not procure the exact triclinia of the ancients, which were somewhat different from these conveniences, and desired they would have the goodness to repose themselves without ceremony, each in his respective couchette, while he and his friend Mr.