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līmen , ĭnis, n. Gr. λέχρις, λοξός; Lat. obliquus, līmus; hence prop. a cross-piece,
I.a threshold; the head-piece or foot-piece of a doorway, the lintel or the sill (limen superum et inferum).
I. Lit.: “limen superum inferumque, salve,Plaut. Merc. 5, 1, 1: limen superum, quod mihi misero saepe confregit caput: Inferum autem, ubi ego omnis digitos defregi meos, Novius ap. Non. 336, 14: “sensim super attolle limen pedes, nova nupta,Plaut. Cas. 4, 4, 1: “imponere foribus,Plin. 36, 14, 21, § 96: “ad limen consulis adesse,Liv. 2, 48: “curiae,id. 3, 41: “primo limine,at the outer threshold, Juv. 1, 96.—Plur. (poet.): “haec limina, intra quae puer est,Juv. 14, 45; 220.—The moment of touching the threshold was regarded as ominous: “ter limen tetigi,Ov. Tr. 1, 3, 55.—Prov.: salutare a limine, to greet in passing, i. e. to touch upon slightly, not go deeply into, Sen. Ep. 49, 6.—
B. Transf.
1. A door, entrance: “ubi hanc ego tetulero intra limen,Plaut. Cist. 3, 19: “intrare intra limen,id. Men. 2, 3, 63: “intra limen cohibere se,to keep within doors, id. Mil. 3, 1, 11: “marmoreo stridens in limine cardo,Verg. Cir. 222; Hor. Ep. 1, 18, 73: “fores in liminibus profanarum aedium januae nominantur,Cic. N. D. 2, 27, 67: “ad valvas se templi limenque convertisse,Caes. B. C. 3, 105: “penetrare aulas et limina regum,the courts and doors, Verg. G. 2, 504: “ipso in limine portae,id. A. 2, 242; cf.: “tremuitque saepe limite in primo sonipes,Sen. Agam. 629: “famuli ad limina,doorkeepers, porters, Sil. 1, 66: “in limine portūs,at the very entrance of the haven, Verg. A. 7, 598: “densos per limina tende corymbos,Juv. 6, 52.—
2. Still more gen., a house, dwelling, abode: “matronae nulla auctoritate virorum contineri limine poterant,in the house, at home, Liv. 34, 1: “ad limen consulis adesse, etc.,id. 2, 48: “limine pelli,Verg. A. 7, 579.—
3. Poet., the barrier in a race-course: “limen relinquunt,Verg. A. 5, 316.—
II. Trop., both entrance and exit.
A. A beginning, commencement (poet. and in post-Aug. prose): “leti limine in ipso,Lucr. 6, 1157: “in limine belli,Tac. A. 3, 74: “in ipso statim limine obstare,Quint. 2, 11, 1: “in limine victoriae,Curt. 6, 3, 10; 6, 9, 17; 9, 10, 26: “a limine ipso mortis revocatus,Plin. 7, 44, 45, § 143; Sen. Ep. 22, 16; Just. 14, 3, 9.—
B. An end, termination (post-class.): “in ipso finitae lucis limine,App. M. 11, p. 267, 18; cf.: “limina sicut in domibus finem quendam faciunt, sic et imperii finem limen esse veteres voluerunt,Just. Inst. 1, 12, § 5.
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