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spīca , ae (vulg. spēca :
I.rustici, ut acceperunt antiquitus, vocant specam,Varr. R. R. 1, 48, 2.—Neutr. collat. form spī-cum , Varr. ap. Non. 225, 30; Cic. Sen. 15, 51, acc. to Non. 225, 29; Cic. poët. N. D. 2, 42, 110.—Masc. collat. form spīcus , Poët. ap. Fest. s. v. spicum, p. 333 Müll.), f. root spi-, to be sharp; Gr. σπίλος, rock; σπινός, lean.
I. Prop., a point; hence, in partic., of grain, an ear, spike (syn. arista), Varr. R. R. 1, 48; 1, 63, 2; Cic. Fin. 5, 30, 91; 4, 14, 37; Plin. 18, 7, 10, § 56; Cat. 19, 11: “Cererem in spicis intercipit,Ov. M. 8, 292; 9, 689: “distendet spicis horrea plena Ceres,Tib. 2, 5, 84: “spicas hordaceas gerenti,App. M. 7, p. 191.—Prov.: “his qui contentus non est, in litus harenas, In segetem spicas, in mare fundat aquas,Ov. Tr. 5, 6, 44.—
II. Transf., of things of a similar shape.
A. A top, tuft, head of other plants, Cato, R. R. 70, 1; Col. 8, 5, 21; Plin. 21, 8, 23, § 47; 22, 25, 79, § 161; Prop. 4 (5), 6, 74; Ov. F. 1, 76.—
B. The brightest star in the constellation Virgo, Cic. poët. N. D. 2, 42, 110; German. Arat. 97; Col. 11, 2, 65; Plin. 18, 31, 74, § 311; Manil. 5, 269.—
C. Spica testacea, a kind of brick for pavements, laid so as to imitate the setting of the grains in an ear of corn, Vitr. 7, 1 fin.; cf. spicatus, under spico.—
D. Spicus crinalis, a hair-pin, Mart. Cap. 9, § 903 (al. spicum crinale, al. crinale spiclum; but in Lucr. 3, 198, the better reading is spiritus acer, v. Lachm. ad h. l.).
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