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BIRRUS (βίρρος), or BURRUS, a cloak or cape furnished with a hood; a heavy, coarse garment for use in bad weather. (Burmann, Anth. Lat. ii. p. 407; Cod. Theod. 14.10, 1.) Its material was stiff (birrum rigentem--fluentem lacernam, Sulp. Sev. Dial. 1.14), with a long nap--usually wool, sometimes beaver (Claud. Epigr. 42). The word is used as a synonym of lacerna (Schol. ad Pers. 1.54), of cucullus (Schol. ad Juv. 8.145), of sagum (Dioclet. Edict. 16.11, ed. Waddington; Vopisc. Gallien. 6, Carin. 20, with note of Salmasius). Waddington (l.c.) prefers to regard it as a word of barbarous origin, rather than to suppose that it is connected with πυρρός (Festus, s.v. Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 550), on account of the red colour of the wool. The spelling byrrus is rare in MSS. In Diocletian's Edict (l.c.) we read of βίρροι made not of coarse materials, but of the more costly Laodicean and Nervian wools.

[W.S] [J.H.F]

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