(Hermes, xxxv. 1900) regards her simply as a courtesan, whose personality would readily become the subject of rumour, favourable or unfavourable. There is a bust bearing her name in the Pio Clementino Museum in the Vatican.
ASPASIUS, a Greek peripatetic philosopher, and a prolific commentator on Aristotle. He flourished probably towards the close of the 1st century A.D., or perhaps during the reign of Antoninus Pius. His commentaries on the Categories, De Interpretatione, De Sensu, and other works of Aristotle are frequently referred to by later writers, but have not come down to us. Commentaries on Plato, mentioned by Porphyry in his life of Plotinus, have also been lost. Commentaries on books 1-4, 7 (in part), and 8 of the Nicomachean Ethics are preserved; that on book 8 was printed with those of Eustratius and others by Aldus Manutius at Venice in 1536. They were partly (2-4) translated into Latin by Felicianus in 1541, and have frequently been republished, but their authenticity has been disputed. The most recent edition is by G. Heylbut in Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca, xix. 1 (Berlin, 1889).
Another Aspasius, in the 3rd century A.D., was a Roman sophist and rhetorician, son or pupil of the rhetorician Demetrianus. He taught rhetoric in Rome, and filled the chair of rhetoric founded by Vespasian. He was secretary to the emperor Maximin. His orations, which are praised for their style, are lost.
ASPEN, an important section of the poplar genus (Populus) of which the common aspen of Europe, P. tremula, may be taken as the type,—a tall fast-growing tree with rather slender trunk, and grey bark becoming rugged when old. The roundish leaves, toothed on the margin, are slightly downy when young, but afterwards smooth, dark green on the upper and greyish green on the lower surface; the long slender petioles, much flattened towards the outer end, allow of free lateral motion by the lightest breeze, giving the foliage its well-known tremulous character. By their friction on each other the leaves give rise to a rustling sound. It is supposed that the mulberry trees (Becaim) mentioned in 1 Chronicles xiv. 14, 15 were really aspen trees. The flowers, which appear in March and April, are borne on pendulous hairy catkins, 2-3 in. long; male and female catkins are, as in the other species of the genus, on distinct trees.
The aspen is found in moist places, sometimes at a considerable elevation, 1600 ft. or more, in Scotland. It is an abundant tree in the northern parts of Britain, even as far as Sutherland, and is occasionally found in the coppices of the southern counties, but in these latter habitats seldom reaches any large size; throughout northern Europe it abounds in the forests,—in Lapland flourishing even in 70° N. lat., while in Siberia its range extends to the Arctic Circle; in Norway its upper limit is said to coincide with that of the pine; trees exist near the western coast having stems 15 ft. in circumference. The wood of the aspen is very light and soft, though tough; it is employed by coopers, chiefly for pails and herring-casks; it is also made into butchers’ trays, pack-saddles, and various articles for which its lightness recommends it; sabots are also made of it in France, and in medieval days it was valued for arrows, especially for those used in target practice; the bark is used for tanning in northern countries; cattle and deer browse greedily on the young shoots and abundant suckers. Aspen wood makes but indifferent fuel, but charcoal prepared from it is light and friable, and has been employed in gunpowder manufacture. The powdered bark is sometimes given to horses as a vermifuge; it possesses likewise tonic and febrifugal properties, containing a considerable amount of salicin. The aspen is readily propagated either by cuttings or suckers, but has been but little planted of late years in Britain. P. trepida, or tremuloides, is closely allied to the European aspen, being chiefly distinguished by its more pointed leaves; it is a native of most parts of Canada and the United States, extending northwards as far as Great Slave Lake. The wood is soft and neither strong nor durable; it burns better in the green state than that of most trees, and is often used by the hunters of the North-West as fuel; split into thin layers, it was formerly employed in the United States for bonnet and hat making. It is largely manufactured into wood-pulp for paper-making. The bark is of some value as a tonic and febrifuge. P. grandidentata, the large-leaved American aspen, has ovate or roundish leaves deeply and irregularly serrated on the margin. The wood is light, soft and close-grained, but not strong. In northern New England and Canada it is largely manufactured into wood-pulp; it is occasionally used in turnery and for wooden-ware.
ASPENDUS (mod. Balkis Kalé, or, more anciently in the native language, Estvedys (whence the adjective Estvedijys on coins), an ancient city of Pamphylia, very strongly situated on an isolated hill on the right bank of the Eurymedon at the point where the river issues from the Taurus. The sea is now about 7 m. distant, and the river is navigable only for about 2 m. from the mouth; but in the time of Thucydides ships could anchor off Aspendus. Really of pre-Hellenic date, the place claimed to be an Argive colony. It derived wealth from great salines and from a trade in oil and wool, to which the wide range of its admirable coinage bears witness from the 5th century B.C. onwards. There Alcibiades met the satrap Tissaphernes in 411 B.C., and thence succeeded in getting the Phoenician fleet, intended to co-operate with Sparta, sent back home. The Athenian, Thrasybulus, after obtaining contributions from Aspendus in 389, was murdered by the inhabitants. The city bought off Alexander in 333, but, not keeping faith, was forcibly occupied by the conqueror. In due course it passed from Pergamene to Roman dominion, and according to Cicero, was plundered of many artistic treasures by Verres. It was ranked by Philostratus the third city of Pamphylia, and in Byzantine times seems to have been known as Primopolis, under which name its bishop signed at Ephesus in A.D. 431. In medieval times it was evidently still a strong place, but it has now sunk, in the general decay of Pamphylia, to a wretched hamlet.
The ruins still extant are very remarkable, and, with the noble Roman theatre, the finest in the world, have earned for the place (as is the case with certain other great monuments) a legendary connexion with Solomon’s Sheban queen. On the summit of the hillock, surrounded by a wall with three gates, lie the remains of the city. The public buildings round the forum can all be traced, and parts of them are standing to a considerable height. They consist of a fine nympheum on the north with a covered theatre behind it, covered market halls on the west, and a peristyle hall and a basilica on the east. In the plain below are large thermae, and ruins of a splendid aqueduct. But all else seems insignificant beside the huge theatre, half hollowed out of the north-east flank of the hill. This was first published by C. F. M. Texier in 1849, and has now been completely planned, &c., by Count Lanckoronski’s expedition in 1884. It is built of local conglomerate and is in marvellous preservation. Erected to the honour of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and L. Verus by the architect Zeno, for the heirs of a local Roman citizen (as an inscription repeated over both portals attests), its auditorium has a circuit of 313.17 feet. There are forty tiers of seating, divided by one diazoma, and crowned by an arched gallery of rather later date, repaired in places with brick. This auditorium held 7500 spectators. The seats are not perfect, but so nearly so as to appear practically intact. The wooden stage has, of course, perished, but all its supporting structures are in place, and the great scena wall stands to its full height, and produces a magnificent impression whether from within or from without. Inwardly it was decorated with two orders of columns one above the other, with rich entablatures, much of which survives. In the tympanum is a relief of Bacchus (wrongly supposed to be of a female, and called the Bal-Kis, i.e. “Honey Girl”). The position of the sounding board above the stage is apparent. Under the forepart of the auditorium, built out from the hill, are immense vaults. The whole structure was enclosed within one great wall, pierced with numerous windows. This structure was probably put to some ecclesiastical Byzantine use, as certain mutilated heads of saints appear upon it; and later it became a fortress