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p995 Ricinium

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p995 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

RICINIUM, dim. RECINIUM or RECINUS, an article of dress. The name was according to Festus (s.v.) applied to any dress consisting of a square piece of cloth. It occurs in a fragment of the Twelve Tables (Cic. de Leg. II.23), and the ancient commentators according to Festus explained the word there as a toga for women (if the reading Ver. togam be right instead of virilem togam), with a purple stripe in front. That it was an article of female dress, and more especially a small and short kind of pallium, is stated by Nonius (XIV.33) on the authority of Varro. It was worn in grief and mourning, and in such a manner that one half of it was thrown back (Varro, de Ling. Lat. V.132; Serv. ad Aen. I.286; Isidor. Orig. XIX.25), whence the ancient grammarians derive the word from rejicere, although it is manifestly a derivative from rica, which was a covering of the head used by females (Varro, l.c.; Festus, s.v. Rica). The grammarians appear themselves to have had no clear idea of the ricinium; but after careful examination of the passages above referred to, it appears to have been a kind of mantle, with a sort of cowl attached to it, in order to cover the head. It was also worn by mimes upon the stage (Fest. l.c. and s.v. Orchestra), and the mavortium, mavorte, or mavors of later times was thought to be only another name for what had formerly been called ricinium.


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