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cŏlŭmen , ĭnis, n., and contr. cul-men , mis, n. root cel- of excello; cf.: celsus, culmus, calamus, collis, lit.,
I.that which rises in height, is prominent, projects; hence the point, top, summit, ridge.
I. Form columen, inis, n. (only this form is used by Plautus, v. Ritschl, prol. ad Plaut. p. 65).
A. An elevated object, a pillar, column: ego vitam agam sub altis Phrygiae columinibus, the lofty buildings, or perh. the mountain-heights, Cat. 63, 71 Ellis ad loc.; and of a pillar of fire: Phoebi fax, tristis nunt a belli, quae magnum ad columen flammato ardore volabat, like an ascending column, Cic. poët. Div. 1, 11, 18.—
B. The highest part or top of an object, e. g. of a wall; the coping; Fr. le chaperon, Cato, R. R. 15, 1; of a building, a ridge, a roof, a gable: “in turribus et columinibus villae,Varr. R. R. 3, 7, 1: “aulae,Sen. Herc. Fur. 1000; id. Thyest. 54 Gron.; so of the Capitol, Cic. poët. Div. 1, 12, 20, and of the culmination of heavenly bodies: oritur Canicula cum Cancro, in columen venit cum Geminis, Nigid. ap. Serv. ad Verg. G. 1, 218. —
2. Trop., the top, crown, summit, first, chief, the height, etc.: “columen amicorum Antonii, Cotyla Varius,Cic. Phil. 13, 12, 26: “pars haec vitae jam pridem pervenit ad columen,Plin. 15, 15, 17, § 57; Col. 3, 4, 3: “audaciae,the crown of impudence, Plaut. Am. 1, 1, 211.—
G. An elevated object that supports, sustains something; in archit., the top of a gable-end, a gable pillar, a prop, Vitr. 4, 2, 1; 4, 7, 5.—Esp. freq.,
II. culmen, ĭnis, n. (in Cic. only once; cf. the foll. B.; not in Cat., Lucr., or Hor.; in gen. first freq. since the Aug. per.). *
A. Any thing high; poet., of the stalk of a bean, Ov. F. 4, 734.—
B. The top, summit, e. g. of a building, a roof, gable, cupola, etc.: “columen in summo fastigio culminis,Vitr. 4, 2, 1; Ov. M. 1, 295; 1, 289; Verg. E. 1, 69: “tecta domorum,id. A. 2, 446; 2, 458; 4, 186: “culmina hominum, deorum,” i. e. of houses and temples, id. ib. 4, 671; Liv. 27, 4, 11; 42, 3, 7.—Of the dome of heaven, * Cic. Arat. 26. —Of mountain summits: “Alpium,Caes. B. G. 3, 2: “Tarpeium,Suet. Dom. 23.—Of the crown of the head of men, Liv. 1, 34, 9.—Of the top of the prow of a ship, Luc. 3, 709.—
2. Trop., the summit, acme, height, point of culmination (perh. not ante-Aug.): “a summo culmine fortunae ad ultimum finem,Liv. 45, 9, 7: “principium culmenque (columenque, Sillig) omnium rerum pretii margaritae tenent,Plin. 9, 35, 54, § 106: “ruit alta a culmine Troja,Verg. A. 2, 290 (Hom. Il. 13, 772: κατ̓ ἄκρης); cf. id. ib. 2, 603: “de summo culmine lapsus,Luc. 8, 8: “regale,Claud. VI. Cons. Hon. 64. pastorale, id. B. Get. 355: “honoris,App. Flor. 3.
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