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INCUS (ἄκμων), an anvil. The representation of Vulcan and the Cyclopes on various works of art show that the ancient anvil was formed like that of modern times. When the smith wanted to make use of it, he placed it on a large block of wood (ἀκμόθετον, Hom. Il. 18.410, 476, Od. 8.274; positis incudibus, Verg. A. 7.629, 8.451); and when he made the link of a chain, or any other object which was round or hollow, he best it upon a point projecting from one side of the

Incus, anvil, from a gem.

anvil. The annexed woodcut, representing Vulcan forging a thunderbolt for Jupiter, illustrates these circumstances; it is taken [p. 1.1006]from a gem in the Royal Cabinet at Paris. It appears that in the “brazen age” not only the things made upon the anvil, but the anvil itself, with the hammer and the tongs, were made of bronze (Hom. Od. 3.433, 434; Apollon. 4.761, 762). In later times it was made of the finest wrought iron (nucleus quidam ferri), specially hardened for the purpose (Plin. Nat. 34.144). The invention of the anvil and other smith's tools was ascribed to Cinyras of Cyprus (Plin. Nat. 7.195). Cf. Blümner, Technol. 2.187 ff. [MALLEUS]

[J.Y] [W.W]

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