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“A cart or wagon. It had commonly two wheels, but sometimes four, and it was then called the plaustrum majus. Besides the wheels and axle the plaustrum consisted of a strong pole (temo), to the hinder part of which was fastened a table of wooden planks. The blocks of stone, or other things to be carried, were either laid upon this table without any other support, or an additional security was obtained by the use either of boards at the sides, or of a large wicker basket tied upon the cart. The annexed cut exhibits a cart, the body of which is supplied by a basket. The commonest kind of cart-wheel was that called tympanum, the “drum,” from its resemblance to the musical instrument of the same name. It was nearly a foot in thickness, and was made either by sawing the trunk of a tree across in a horizontal direction, or by nailing together boards of the requisite shape and size. These wheels advanced slowly, and made a loud creaking, which was heard to a great distance.” — Smith, 1873


cart, wagon, Plaustrum


William Smith, A School Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1873) 251


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