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Bill Thayer

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 p203  Birrus

Unsigned article on p203 of

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

BIRRUS (βίῤῥος), a cape or hood, which was worn out of doors over the shoulders, and was sometimes elevated so as to cover the head. On the former account it is classed by an ancient grammarian with the lacerna, and on the latter with the cowl, or cucullus. It had a long nap, which was commonly of sheep's wool, more rarely of beaver's wool. It probably​a derived its name from the red colour (πύῤῥος) of the wool of which it was made. It is only mentioned by later writers (Vopisc. Carin. 20; Claudian, Epigr. 37).

Thayer's Note:

a Far from certain. See Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, VI.154 n. (and especially the long entry in Ducange cited there).

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Page updated: 23 Jun 20