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CO´PHINUS (κόφινος, Engl. coffin, coffer), a large kind of wicker basket, made of osier branches. (Moer. Att. and Hesych. sub voce Ἄρριχος.) From Aristophanes (Aristoph. Birds 1310) it would seem that it was used by the Greeks as a basket or cage for birds. The Romans used it for agricultural purposes, and Columella (11.3.51), in describing a method of procuring early cucumbers, says that they should be sown in well-manured soil, kept in a cophinus, so that in this case we have to consider it as a kind of portable hot-bed. Juvenal (Sat. 3.14, and 6.542), when speaking of the Jews, describes their whole furniture as consisting in cophinus et faenum (a truss of hay). Κόφινος is a more general term, while σπυρίς (sporta) is more properly a basket for food. Cf. Meyer on St. Matt. 16.10. [CORBIS]

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