Naturalis Historia

C. Plinius Caecilius

In theatris tenta umbram fecere, quod primus omnium invenit Q. Catulus cum Capitolium dedicaret. Carbasina deinde vela primus in theatro duxisse traditur Lentulus Spinther Apollinaribus ludis. Mox Caesar dictator totum forum Romanum intexit viamque sacram ab domo sua et clivum usque in Capitolium, quod munere ipso gladiatorio mirabilius visum tradunt.

Linen cloths were used in the theatres as awnings, a plan first invented by Quintus Catulus when dedicating the Capitol. Next Lentulus Spinther is recorded to have been the first to stretch awnings of cambric in the theatre, at the games of Apollo. Soon afterwards Caesar when dictator stretched awnings over the whole of the Roman Forum, as well as the Sacred Way from his mansion, and the slope right up to the Capitol, a display recorded to have been thought more wonderful even than the show of gladiators which he gave.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from C. Plinius Caecilius: Natural History (Volume V. Books 17-19), Loeb Classical Library Vol. 371, translated by H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1950, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.