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A two-pronged fork, a hay-fork, pitchfork, etc. ( Georg. i. 264). The name is also given to a flesh-fork (Petron. 95), and to any forked prop or stay—e. g. for vines ( Georg. ii. 259); for planks (Livy, i. 35); for fishingnets (Pliny , Pliny H. N. lx. 9). Table-forks were not used by the ancients, who took their food from the plate with their fingers, except in the case of shellfish and eggs, for which they had a sort of combination fork and spoon. (See Cena, p. 313, and Coclear.) The diminutive Furcilla denotes a smaller fork, but still a large one according to our notions.


As an instrument of punishment, furca means a contrivance something like a yoke passing around the back of the neck and down each arm. This the criminal or slave wore while being whipped through the streets—whence Furcĭfer is an expression equivalent to our “gallows-bird” (Plaut. Amphit. i. 1, 132, and often).


The word is also used of the gibbet or gallows (Dig. 33).


στῆριγξ, στήριγμα). The part of a carriage-pole which fastens into the axle.

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