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FORFEX dim. FORFICULA (ψαλίς. dim. ψαλίδιον), shears (Serv. in Verg. A. 8.453), used (1) in shearing sheep, as represented in the annexed woodcut, which is taken from a carnelian in the Stosch collection of antique gems at Berlin; (2) in cutting hair (Schol. in Eur. Orest. 954; Brunck, Anal. 3.9; Verg. Catal. 8.9; ferro bidenti, Ciris, 213); (3) in clipping

Forfex, shears. (From a gem.)

hedges, myrtles, and other shrubs (ψαλιστοὶ μυρρινῶνες, Hierocles, ap. Stob. Serm. 65, p. 415).

In military manœuvres the forfex was a tenaille, i. e. a body of troops arranged in the form of a V, so as to receive and overcome the opposite body, called a cuneus (Gel. 10.9).

In architecture the term ψαλὶς denoted a construction which was probably the origin of the arch, consisting of two stones leaning against each other so as to form an acute angle overhead, as is seen in the ruins of Tiryns and other prehistoric buildings (Plat. Legg. 12.947 D; Diod. 2.9; see the second cut under ARCUS p. 171 b). Later the ψαλὶς is hardly to be distinguished from the true arch; see references in L. and S., ed. 7. [CAMARA]

[J.Y] [W.W]

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