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p1044 Sica

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p1044 of

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

SICA, dim. SICILA, whence the English sickle, and SICILICULA (Plaut. Rud. IV.4.125), a curved dagger, adapted by its form to be concealed under the clothes, and therefore carried by robbers and murderers [Acinaces] (Cic. Cat. III.3). Sica may be translated a scimitar to distinguish it from Pugio, which denoted a dagger of the common kind. Sicarius, though properly meaning one who murdered with the sica, was applied to murderers in general (Quintil. X.1 § 12). Hence the forms de sicariis and inter sicarios were used in the criminal courts in reference to murder. Thus judicium inter sicarios, "a trial for murder" (Cic. pro Rosc. 5); defendere inter sicarios, "to defend against a charge of murder" (Phil. II.4).


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