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p1148 Tribulus

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p1148 of

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

TRIBULUS, (τρίβολος), a caltrop, also called murex (Val. Max. III.3.7 § 2;º Curt. IV.13 § 36). When a place was beset with troops, the one party endeavoured to impede the cavalry of the other party either by throwing before them caltrops, which necessarily lay with one of their four sharp points turned upwards, or by burying the caltrops with one point at the surface of the ground (Veget. de Re Mil. III.24; Jul. Afric. 69 ap. Vet. Math. Graec. p311). The annexed woodcut is taken from a bronze caltrop figured by Caylus (Recueil, IV pl. 98).


[image ALT: An engraving of a metal ball with 4 very sharp spikes radiating from it in the shape of a regular tetrahedron. It is an illustration of a caltrop or tribulus.]


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Page updated: 2 Jul 04