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MELITENSIS VESTIS a specially fine and soft material for dresses and the covering of couches made at Malta, a relic probably of the Phoenicians, who colonised it. Diodorus (5.12, 2) says that the inhabitants were good in all industries, and particularly in manufacturing ὀθόνια λεπτότητι καὶ μαλακότητι διαπρεπῆ (cf. Hesych. sub voce Μελιταῖα). Isidore (Orig. 19.22, 21) speaks of a textrinum ad muliebrem vestem conficiendam, and the same material is spoken of as a luxury in Cic. Ver. 2.72, 176; 74, 183. This gives probability to the reading Melitensia in Lucret. 4.1129.


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