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FALX.

FALX.

518

and Taurus, as it stands in the text of Ulpian, we should read Statilius Taurus, and that the consul­ship of T. Statilius Taurus and L. Scribonius Libo (a. d. 16) is meant. A subsequent senatus-con-sultum, in the fourteenth year of Tiberius, extended the penalties of the law to those who for money undertook the defence of a (criminal ?) cause, or to procure testimony; and by a senatus-consultum, passed between the dates of those just mentioned, conspiracies for the ruin of innocent persons were comprised within the provisions of the law. An­other senatus-consultum, passed a. d. 26, extended the law to those who received money for selling, or giving, or not giving testimony. There were probably other legislative provisions for the pur-poss of checking fraud. In the time of Nero it was enacted against fraudulent persons {falsarii), that tabulae or written contracts should be pierced with holes, and a triple thread passed through the holes, in addition to the signature. (Suet. Nero, c. 17 ; compare Paulus, Sent. Recept. v. tit. 25. s. 6.) In the time of Nero it was also provided that the first two parts (cerae) of a will should have only the testator's signature, and the remain­ing one that of the witnesses : it was also provided that no man who wrote the will should give himself ii legacy in it. The provisions, as to adulterating money and refusing to take legal coin in payment, were also made by senatus consulta or imperial constitutions. Allusion is made to the latter law by Arrian (Epict. iii. 3). It appears from numer­ous passages in the Roman writers that the crime of falsum in all its forms was very common, and especially in ths case of wills, against which legis­lative enactments are a feeble security. (Heinecc. Syntagma,; Rein, Das Oriminalreclit der Romer, where the subject is fully discussed.) [G. L.]

FALX, dim. FALCULA (Sip-irq, fy<Woz/, poet. dp€Trdvn, dim. Speir&viov), a sickle ; a scythe ; a priming-knife, or priming-hook; a bill; a fal­chion ; a halbert.

As culter denoted a knife with one straight edge, " falx " signified any similar instrument, the single edge of which was curved. (Aptiravov eu-«a,U7reF, Horn. Od. xviii. 367 ; curvae falces, Virg. Georg. i. 508 ; curvamine folds aenae. Ovid, Met. vii. 227 ; aduncafalce, xiv. 628.) By additional epithets the various uses of the falx were indicated, and its corresponding varieties in form and size. Thus the sickle, because it was used by reapers, was called falx messoria; the scythe, which was employed in mowing hay, was called falx foenaria ; the priming-knife and the bill, on account of their use in dressing vines, as well as in hedging and in cutting off the shoots and branches of trees, were distinguished by the appellation of falx putatoria, vimtoria, arboraria, or silvatica (Cato, De Re Rust. 10, 11 ; Pallad. i. 43 ; Colum. iv. 25), or by the diminutive falcula. (Colum. xii. 18.)

A rare coin published by Pellerin (Med. de Rois, Par. 1762. p. 208) shows the head of one of the Lagidae, kings of Egypt, wearing the diadem a, and on the reverse a man cutting down corn with a sickle. (See woodcut.)

The lower figure in the same woodcut is taken from the MSS. of Columella, and illustrates his description of the various parts of the falx vinitoria. {De Re Rust. iv. 25. p. 518, ed. Gesner.) [culter.] The curvature in the fore part of the blade is ex­pressed by Virgil in the phrase procurva falx. {Georg. ii. 421.) After the removal of a branch

by the priming-hook, it was often smoothed, as in modern gardening, by the chisel. (Colum, De Arbor. 10.) [dolabra.] The edge of the falx was often toothed or serrated (ap-irqis /cap-XapocJojra, Hesiod, Theog. 174, 179 ; denticulate^ Colum. De Re Rust. ii. 21). The indispensable process of sharpening these instruments (apTryv Xapcunre/xez/cu, Hesiod, Op. 573 ; -apirrjv ey/ca^ir?) veoQjiyea, Apoll. Rhod. iii. 1388) was effected by whetstones which the Romans obtained from Crete and other distant places, with the addition of oil or water which the mower {foenisex) car­ried in a horn upon his thigh. (Plin. H. N. xviii, 67.)

Numerous as were the uses to which the falx was applied in agriculture and horticulture, its employment in battle was almost equally varied, though not so frequent. The Geloni were noted for its use. (Claudian, DeLaud. Stil. i. 110.) It was the weapon with which Jupiter wounded Typhon (Apollod. i. 6) ; with which Hercules slew the Lernaean Hydra (Eurip. Ion, 191) ; and with which Mercury cut off the head of Argus {falcato Qiise^ Ovid, Met. i. 718 ; Imrpen Cyllenida^ Lucan, ix. 662—667). Perseus, having received the same weapon from Mercury, or, according to other authorities, from Vulcan, used it to decapi­tate Medusa and to slay the sea-monster. (Apollod. ii. 4 ; Eratosth, Cataster. 22 ; Ovid, Met. iv. 666, 720, 727, v. 69 ; Brunck,^«oZ. iii. 157.) From the passages now referred to, we may conclude that the falchion was a weapon of the most remote antiquity ; that it was girt like a dagger upon the waist; that it was held in the hand by a short hilt; and that, as it was in fact a dagger or sharp-pointed blade, with a proper falx projecting from one side, it was thrust into the flesh up to this lateral curvature (curvo tenus abdidit homo). In the following woodcut, four examples are selected from works of ancient art to illustrate its form. One of the four cameos here copied represents Perseus with the falchion in his right hand, and the head of Medusa in his left. The two smaller figures are heads of Saturn with the falx in its original form ; and the fourth cameo, representing the same divinity at full length, was probably en­graved in Italy at a later period than the others, but early enough to prove that the scythe was in use among the Romans, whilst it illustrates the adaptation of the symbols of Saturn (Kp6vo$ : senex falcifer, Ovid, Fast. v. 627, in Ibin, 216) for the purpose of personifying Time (Xp6vos).

If we imagine the weapon which has now been

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