a missile used in war by the Germans, Gauls, and some
of the Italian nations, ascribed also to Persians and other Orientals (Verg. A. 7.741
; Val, Flacc. 6.83; Aul. Gel. 10.25
), and supposed to resemble the aclys
18.7). Now the aclis
is said by Servius to have been
obsolete in his time, and therefore imperfectly known ; but it is described
(he adds) as a club a foot and a half long, studded with points, and
furnished with a thong, so that it can be recovered by the thrower (ad
7.730, where Virgil himself mentions the thong,
). As far as the two can be
distinguished, the aclys
seems to have been
more of a club, the cateia
more of a spear.
Papias (s. v.) makes it a Persian word: later writers consider it Celtic,
which, as Conington observes (ad Aen.
l.c.), would agree with
Virgil's Teutonico ritu,
the Celtae and
Teutones being often confounded. The weapon was also called teutona
from the name of the people (Isid. l.c.;
Aelfric, Gloss. Saxon.
the peculiar weapon of the Franks, is described as a
two-edged axe used as a missile and carried in the belt: a modification
perhaps of the aclys
rather than the cateia.
Cf. Lersch. Antiq. Verg.
(Bonn, 1843), § 40, de cateia et