auctĭo, ōnis, f. [augeo].
- I. An increasing, increase, αὐξησις: auctio frumenti et tributorum, Tac. Agr. 19: dierum, Macr. S. 1, 14: rerum crescentium, Paul. ex Fest. p. 17 Müll.
- II. A sale by increase of bids, a public sale, auction. Auctions were held either in an open place, or in particular rooms or halls, called atria auctionaria (v. auctionarius), or simply atria (Juv. 7, 7). There was a spear (hasta) set up therein, as the legal sign of the sale, like our red flag; the price was called out by a crier (praeco), and the article sold was adjudged to the highest bidder by the magistrate who was present. A money-broker (argentarius) was also present to note down the price and receive the money or security for it; v. Smith, Dict. Antiq. (this is the class. signif. of the word): auctionem facere, Plaut. Men. 5, 9, 91-94; so id. Poen. 1, 3, 2; 5, 6, 27; id. Stich. 2, 2, 60; Cic. Quinct. 4; id. Att. 12, 3 al.: Dicam auctionis causam, ut animo gaudeant, Ipse egomet quam ob rem auctionem praedicem, announce, Plaut. Stich. 1, 3, 55; so, auctionis diem obire, Cic. Att. 13, 14: proscribere, id. ib. 13, 37; and proponere, Quint. 6, 3, 99: proferre, to defer, adjourn, Cic. Att. 13, 13: amplissima praedia ex auctionibus hastae minimo addixit, by the sales of the spear, i. e. by auctions (v. supra), Suet. Caes. 50 (cf.: praebere caput dominā venale sub hastā, Juv. 3, 33): auctio hereditaria constituta, Cic. Caecin. 5: auctionis tabula, id. Agr. 2, 25 (v. auctionalis): auctio fortunae regiae, Liv. 2, 14: vendere aliquid in auctione, by auction, Plin. 29, 4, 30, § 96: res in auctione venit, Gai. 4, 126: ex auctione rem emere, Dig. 31, 4, 2, § 8: auctionem dimittere, Quint. 11, 2, 24.
- B. Meton. (abstr. pro concr.), goods to be sold by auction: cum auctionem venderet, Cic. Quinct. 5, 19 (B. and K.; others, auctione).