PA´RMULA (Hor. Carm. 2.7.10
), a round shield, three feet in diameter,
carried by the velites
in the Roman army.
Though small compared with the CLIPEUS
it was sufficiently large and strong to be a very
effectual protection (Plb. 6.22
). This was
probably owing to the use of iron in its framework. In the Pyrrhic dance it
was raised above the head and struck with a sword so as to emit a loud
ringing noise (Claud. de VI. Cons. Honor.
628). The parma was
also worn by the EQUITES
(Sallust. Frag. Hist.
iv.); and for the sake of state and
fashion it was sometimes adorned with precious stones (Propert. 5.10, 21).
Parma. (From a terra-cotta relief in the Louvre.)
We find the term parma
often applied to the
], which was also a
small round shield, and therefore very similar to the parma (Propert. 5.10,
40; Mela, 1.5.1; Verg. A. 10.817
in like manner, applies the term to the clipeus of the Palladium, because,
the statue being small, the shield was small in proportion
The annexed woodcut shows a votive parma, suspended in a portico, represented
on a terra-cotta relief in the Louvre.