The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Buris – Bustuarii – Bustum – Buxum – Byssus – Cacabu

210

BYSSUS.

Verr. i. 58); while children of the libertini were only permitted to wear an ornament of the same kind made of leather (nodus tantum et signum de paupere loro, Juv. v. 165 ; liber tinis scoriea, A scon. ad Cic. I. c.}. The bulla was laid aside, together with the praetexta, and was consecrated on this .occasion to the Lares. (Pers. v. 31.) Examples of boys represented with the bulla are not unfre- quent in statues, on tombs, and in other works of art. (Spon, Misc. p. 2.99 ; Middleton, Ant. Mon. tab. 3.) [J. Y.J

BURIS. [aratrum.]

BUSTUARII. [funus.]

BUSTUM. [funus.]

BUXUM (Tripos), properly means the wood of the box tree, but was given as a name to many things made of this wood. The tablets used for writing on, and covered with wax (tabulae ceratae), were usually made of this wood. Hence we read in Propertius (iii. ,22. 8), " Vulgari buxo sordida cera fuit." These tabeilae were sometimes called •cerata buxa. In the same way the Greek irv^iov^ formed from tti^os, " box-wood," came to be ap­plied to any tablets, whether they were made of this wood or any other substance ; in which sense the word occurs in the Septuagint (to. irv£ia to, XiQivcLj Exod. xxiv. 12; compare Is. xxx. 8 ; Hob. ii. 2).

Tops were made of box-wood (volubile l>uccum, Virg. Aen. vii. 382 ; Pers. iii. 51) ; and also all wind instruments, especially the flute, as is the case in the present day (Ov. Ex Pont. i. 1. 45, Met. xii. 158, Fast. vi. 697; Virg. Acn. ix. 619). Combs also were made of the same wood ; whence Juvenal (xiv. 194) speaks of caput intactum buxo.

BYSSUS (fivo-ffos). It has been a subject of some dispute whether the byssus of the ancients was cotton or linen. Herodotus (ii. 86) says that the mummies were wrapped up in byssine sindon (ffiv^6vos jSuo-ff-iVTjs TeAa/.tcD<n), which Rosellini and many modern writers maintain to be cotton. The only decisive test, however, as to the material of mummy cloth is the microscope ; and from the numerous examinations which have been made, it is quite certain that the mummy cloth was made of flax and not of cotton, and therefore whenever the ancient writers apply the term byssus to the mummy cloth, we must understand it to mean linen.

The word byssus appears to come from the Hebrew Lutz., and the Greeks probably got it through the Phoenicians. (See Gesenius'1s Tlie-saurus.} Pausanias (vi. 26. § 4) says that the district of Elis was well adapted for growing byssus, and remarks that all the people, whose land is adapted for it, sow hemp, flax, and byssus. In another passage (v. 5. § 2) he says that Elis is the only place in Greece in which byssus grows, and remarks that the byssus of Elis is not inferior to that of the Hebrews in fineness, but not so yel­low (^avQi)). The women in Patrae gained their living by making head-dresses (/C€/c/?ucpaAof), and weaving cloth from the byssus grown in Elis. (Paus. vii. 21. § 7.)

Among later writers, the word byssus may per­haps be used to indicate either cotton or linen cloth. Bottiger (Sabina, vol. ii. p 105) supposes that the byssus was a kind of muslin, which was employed in making the celebrated Coan garments. It is mentioned in the Gospel of St. Luke- (xvi. 9) as part of the dress of a rich man. (Compare Rep.

CA CABUS;

xviii. 12.) It was sometimes dyed of a purple or crimson colour (fiixrffivov iroptyvpovv, Hesych.), Pliny (xix. 4) speaks of it as a species of flax (linum\ and says that it served rmilierum maxime deliciis. (Yates, Textrinum Antiquorum, p. 267, &c.)

O.K.

, mysteries, festivals, and orgies solemnised in all places in which the Pelas-gian Cabeiri, the most mysterious and perplexing deities of Grecian mythology, were worshipped, but especially in Samothrace, Imbros, Lemnos, Thebes, Anthedon, Pergamus, and Berytos. (Paus, ix. 25. § 5, iv. ] . § 5, ix. 22. § 5, i. 4. § 6 ; Euseb. Praep. Evang. p. 31.) Little is known respecting the rites observed in these mysteries, as no one was allowed to divulge them. (Strabo, x. p. 470, &c ; Apollon. R.hod. i. 917; Orph. Argon. 469; Valer. Flacc. ii. 435.) Diagoras is said to have provoked the highest indignation of the Athenians by his having made these and other mysteries public. (Athenag. Leg. ii. 5.) The most celebrated were those of the island of Samothrace, which, if we may judge from those of Lenmos, were solemnised every year, and lasted for nine days. The admis­sion was not confined to men, for we find instances of women and boys being initiated. (Schol. ad Enrip. Phoen. 7; Plut. Aleso. 2 ; Donatus ad Terent, Phorm. i. 15.) Persons on their admission seem to have undergone a sort of examination respect­ing the life they had led hitherto (Plut. Laced. Apopldli. Antalcid. p. 141. ed. Tauchnitz), and were then purified of all their crimes, even if they had committed murder. (Li\y. xlv. 5 ; Schol. ad Tlieocrit. ii. 12 ; Hesych. s. v. Koirfs.) The priest who undertook the purification of murderers bore the name of kolt^s. The persons who were ini­tiated received a purple ribbon, which was worn around their bodies as an amulet to preserve them against all dangers and storms of the sea. (Schol. ad Apollon. I. c. ; Diodor. v. 49.)

Respecting the Lemnian Cabeiria we know that their annual celebration took place at night (Cic, De Nat. Deor. i. 42), and lasted for nine days, during which all fires of the island, which were thought to be impure, were extinguished, sacrifices were offered to the dead, and a sacred vessel was sent out to fetch new fire from Delos. During these sacrifices the Cabeiri were thought to be absent with the sacred vessel ; after the return of which, the pure fire was distributed, and a new life began, probably with banquets. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 608.)

The great celebrity of the- Samothracian mys­ teries seem to have obscured and thrown into ob­ livion those of Lemnos, from which Pythagoras is said to have derived a part of his wisdom. (lam- blich. Vit. Pyth. c. 151 ; compare Mailer's Prolego mena, p. 150.) Concerning the celebration of the Cabeiria in other places nothing is known, and they seem to have fallen into decay at a very early period. (Comp. Guthberlet, De Mysteriis Deorum Cabirorum'i Franequerae, 1704, 4to. ; Welcker, Die Aescliyl. Tril. p. 160, &c. ; E. G. Haupt, De Reli- gione Cabiriaca, 1834, 4to. ; Lobeck, Aylaopliamtts, p. 1 281, &c. ; Kenrick, The Egypt of Herod, p. 264, &c.) [L.S.]

CACABUa

Pages
About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index

215

216

217
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.