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Cestus

κεστός). In Homer, an adjective applied to the girdle (ἱμάς) of Aphrodité, on which were embroidered all manner of enticements to love. It means “perforated”—i. e. with holes made by the needle—“embroidered,” acu pictus— and is formed from the same base (viz. kas=ferire) as κεάζω, or κεντέω for κενστός. It is to be considered the same as the στρόφιον, ταινία, μίτρα, στηθοδεσμός, fascia pectoralis, mammillare, which is found on statues of Aphrodité worn next the skin (Mart.xiv. 206). (See Baumeister, Denkmäler, etc., p. 366, fig. 393.) It was accordingly made of some soft substance. In Mart. xiv. 66, pellis is probably what we should call kid. Its object was to support and sometimes to compress too full bosoms, like the modern corset, but it was not used, like the latter, to pinch in the figure. The Greeks and Romans were strangers to this injurious practice (Baumeister, l. c.), and, accordingly, every girl did not wear one. Winckelmann and Saglio consider that, owing to its splendour, the κεστός of Aphrodité was a belt worn outside the dress.

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