The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Fusus – Gabinus Cinctus – Gaesum – Galea

FUSUS.

ment continued to be inflicted in the later times of the republic (Cic. Philip, iii. 6), and under the empire. (Tacit. Ann. iii. 21.)

, Different from the fustuarium was the animad-versio fustium, which was a corporal punishment inflicted under the emperors upon free men, but only those of the lower orders (tenuiores, Dig. 48. tit. 19. s. 28. §2). It was a less severe punish­ment than the flogging with flagella, which'punish­ment was confined to slaves. (Dig. 48. tit. 19. s. 10 ; 47. tit. 10. s. 45.) [flagrum.]

FUSUS (arpatfros), the spindle, was always, when in use, accompanied by the distaff (coins, fjAaKarr?), as an indisputable part of the same apparatus. (Ovid, Met. iv. 220—229.) The wool, flax, or other material, having been prepared for spinning, and having sometimes been dyed (lofivz-(f>ts elpos e%oufra, Horn. Od. iv. 135), was rolled into a ball (roAuTn?, glomus, Hor. Epist. i. 13. 14 ; Ovid, Met. vi. 19), which was, however, sufficiently loose to allow the fibres to be easily drawn out by the hand of the spinner. The upper part of the distaff was then inserted into this mass of flax or wool (colus comta, Plin. //. N~. viii. 74), and the lower part was held in the left hand under the left arm in such a position as was most convenient for conducting the operation. The fibres were drawn out, and at the same time spiralty twisted, chiefly by the use of the fore-finger and thumb of the right hand (SaKTvXots eA«r<re, Eurip. Orest. 1414 \pollice docto, Claud, de Prob. Cons. 177) ; and the thread (Jitum, stamen, vhpcC) so produced was wound upon the spindle until the quantity was as great as it would carry.

The spindle was a stick, 10 or 12 inches long, having at the top a slit or catch (dens, 'dyKia-rpov) in which the thread was fixed, so that the weight of the spindle might continually carry down the thread as it was formed. Its lower extremity was inserted into a small wheel called the whorl (vor-ticellwri), made of wood, stone, or metal (see wood­cut), the use of which was to keep the spindle more steady and to promote its rotation: for the

spinner, who was commonly a female, every now and then twirled round the spindle with her right hand (Herod, v. 12 ; Ovid. Met. vi. 22), so as to twist the thread still more completely ; and when­ever, by its continual prolongation, it let down the spindle to the ground, she took it out of the slit, wound it upon the spindle, and, having replaced it in the slit, drew out and twisted another length. All these circumstances are mentioned in detail by Catullus (bdv. 305— 319). The accompanying

555

GALEA.

woodcut is taken from a series of bas-reliefs repre­senting the arts of Minerva upon a frieze of the Forum Palladium at Rome. It shows the opera­tion of spinning, at the moment when the woman has drawn out a sufficient length of yarn to twist it by whirling the spindle with her right thumb and fore-finger, and previously to the act of taking it out of the slit to wind it upon the bobbin (irfjviov) already formed.

The distaff was about three times the length of the spindle, strong and thick in proportion, com­monly either a stick or a reed, with an expansion near the top for holding the ball. It was some­times of richer materials and ornamented. Theo­critus has left a poem (Idyll, xxviii.) written on sending an ivory distaff to the wife of a friend. Golden spindles were sent as presents to ladies oi high rank (Horn. Od. iv. 131 ; Herod, iv. 162) ; and a golden distaff is attributed by Homer and Pindar to goddesses, and other females of remark­able dignity, who aro called xpuffTjAefocaTOf.

It was usual to have a basket to hold the dis­taff and spindle, with the balls of wool prepared for spinning, and the bobbins already spun. (Brunck, Anal. ii. 12 ; Ovid, Met. iv. 10.) [CALATHUS.]

In the rural districts of Italy women were for­ bidden to spin when they were travelling on foot, the act being considered of evil omen. (Plin. H. N. xxviii. 5.) The distaff and spindle, with the wool and thread upon them, were carried in bridal pro­ cessions ; and, without the wool and thread, they were often suspended by females as offerings of re­ ligious gratitude, especially in old age, or on relin­ quishing the constant use of them. (Piin. H. N. viii. 74.) [DoNaria.] They were most frequently dedicated to Pallas, the patroness of spinning, and of the arts connected with it. This goddess was herself rudely sculptured with a distaff and spindle in the Trojan Palladium. (Apollod. iii. 12. 3.) They were also exhibited in the representations of the three Fates, who were conceived, by their spin­ ning, to determine the life of every man; and at the same time by singing, as females usually did whilst they sat together at their work, to predict his future lot. (Catull. /. c.) [J. Y.]

G.

GABINUS CINCTUS. [toga.]

GAESUM. [hasta.]

GALEA (Kpdvos,poet. tc6pvs, tt-^a^), a helmet; a casque. The helmet was origiaally made of skin or leather, whence is supposed to have arisen its appellation, kui/c'tj, meaning properly a helmet of dog-skin, but applied to caps or helmets made of the hide of other animals (ravpeirj, Kri^erj, Horn. //. x. 258, 335 ; at-ye/77, Od. xxiv. 230 ; Herod, vii. 77 ; compare Kpdvt\ ffKurij/a, Xen. Anab. v. 4. § 13 ; galea Iupina9 Prop. iv. 11. 19), and even to those which were entirely of bronze or iron (rrdy-x^kos, Od. xviii. 377). The leathern basis of the helmet was also very commonly strengthened and adorned by the addition of either bronze or gold, which is expressed by such epithets as %«A-icfiprjSi evxaAKos, xpucreiT?, Helmets which had a metallic basis (xpdvr) x&\Ka, Xen. Anab. i. 2. § 16) were in Latin properly called cassides (Isid. Orig. xviii. 14 ; Tacit. Germ. 6 ; Caesar, B. G. iii. 45), although the terms yulea and cassis are often confounded. A casque (cassis} found at Pompeii is preserved in the collection at Goodrich Court,

o o 3

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

564

565

566
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.