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Bill Thayer

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 p220  Calcar

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p220 of

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

CALCAR (μύωψ, ἐγκεντρίς, Pollux, X.53), a spur.​a The Greek name for spurs was taken from the flies, which infest horses with their stings: hence the verb μυωπίζειν, to spur (Xen. de Re Eq. VIII.5, X.1, 2; Heliodor. IX p432, ed. Commelin.). The Athenian gentry sometimes showed their conceit by walking about the Agora in spurs after riding (Theophrast. Char. XXI). Spurs were early used by the Romans, as appears from the mention of them in Plautus (Asin. III.3.118) and Lucretius (V.1074). They are likewise often alluded to by Cicero (De Orat. III.9, ad Att. VI.1), Ovid (De Ponto, II.6.38;º IV.2.35), Virgil (ferrata calce, Aen. XI.714), and subsequent Roman authors.

Thayer's Note:

a See also the much longer and better article Calcar in Daremberg & Saglio's Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, with 7 woodcuts.

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Page updated: 1 Jul 13