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FIDI´CULA

FIDI´CULA or plural--AE, an instrument of torture, consisting of a number of strings (Suet. Tib. 62, Calig. 33; Mart. 5.51; Cod. Theod. 9, tit. 35, s. 1). The reticence of the ancients on these subjects has been noticed under ECULEUS; there is, however, a passage which throws some light on the mode of its operation (Quintil. Decl. 19.12, p. 373, Burmann: “tendebam fidiculas,. . .ut leviter sedibus suis emota compago per singulos artus membra laxaret:” cf. ib. 8, pp. 126, 127). We see that, like the eculeus and the modern rack, it stretched the limbs until the joints were dislocated (Marquardt, Privatl. 180).

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