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COVI´NUS or COVINNUS (Celtic, kowain), a kind of car, the spokes of which were armed with long sickles, and which was used as a scyth<*>chariot chiefy by the ancient Belgians and Britons. (Mel. 3.6; Lucan 1.426; Sil: 17.422.) The Romans designated, by the name of covinus, a kind of travelling carriage, which seems to have been covered on all sides with the exception of the front. It had no seat for a driver, but was conducted by the traveller himself, who sat inside. (Mart. 12.24.) There must have been a great similarity between the Belgian scythe-chariot and the Roman travelling carriage, as the name of the one was transferred to the other, and we may justly conclude that the Belgian car was likewise covered on all sides, except the front, and that it was occupied by one man, the covinarius only, who was, by the structure of his car, sufficiently protected. The covinarii (the word occurs only in Tacitus) seem to have constituted a regular and distinct part of a British army. (Tacit. Agr. 35, 36; Bötticher's Lexicon Tacit. s. w.; Göll-Becker, Gallus, iii. p. 18; Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 713; compare the article ESSEDUM


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