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δέρρις). A haircloth. The material of which the Greeks and Romans almost universally made this kind of cloth was the hair of goats. The Asiatics made it of camel's-hair. Goats were bred for this purpose in Cilicia; and from this country the Latin name of the cloth was derived. Lycia, Phrygia, Spain, and Libya also produced the same article. The cloth obtained by spinning and weaving goat's-hair was nearly black, and was used for the coarse dress which sailors and fishermen wore, as it was the least likely to be destroyed by being wet; also for horse-cloths, tents, sacks, and bags to hold workmen's tools (fabrilia vasa), and for the purpose of covering military engines, and the walls and towers of besieged cities, so as to deaden the force of the ram (see Aries), and to preserve the woodwork from being set on fire.

Among the Orientals, sackcloth, which was with them always haircloth, was worn to express mortification and grief. After the decline of the Roman power, it passed from its other uses to be so employed in Europe also. Monks and anchorites almost universally adopted the cilicium as fit to be worn for the sake of humiliation, and they supposed their end to be more completely attained if this part of their raiment was never washed.

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