Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/174

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

(plate 2). In a four-wheeled vehicle, drawn by two mules, are no less than four persons, exclusive of the driver. Two of these are seated, face to face, in the inside; and two, back to back, on the roof. The passengers upon the top of the vehicle are all provided with hoods which fall down upon the back; and the driver wears the Gaulish braccæ or trowsers. The centre figure of the upper group is seated in what resembles, in some degree, the body of the common chariot, or biga, while the personage in the rear is seated upon what seems to be a chest, perhaps containing luggage. He carries what appears to be a securis, or long-handled axe, which is, unluckily, broken; but I think may be nevertheless recognized as an axe. The whole gives a striking and interesting picture of the equipment and arrangement of a travelling party in Gaul, not to be found, in all probability, elsewhere; and it may doubtless be depended upon as a very faithful representation.' Mr Smith believes the carriage to be the rheda or petorritum, of which Cicero,[1] Ausonius,[2] Isidore,[3] Quintilian,[4] Juvenal, and Martial speak. He then adds: 'The custom of shoeing horses among the ancients has been much discussed pro and con. If it could remain an unsettled question after the repeated discovery of iron horseshoes themselves, among unquestionable Roman remains, the indications of the nails are so decidedly marked in the feet of the mules in the Vaison monument, as to leave no doubt that the artist intended to show that the mules were shod; and we may conclude that the shoeing of horses, as well as very many more inventions in the useful arts,

  1. Oratio pro Milone; Philippica Secunda; Attico Epist.
  2. Epist. vii.
  3. Originum, 1. XX., c. xii.
  4. Instit. i. 5.