Greek and Roman women, like those in the
East of to-day, wore anklets and bangles. These are frequently shown on the
monuments, appearing not only on vase-and wall-paintings (cf. the following
illustration from a Pompeian wall-painting, Museo Borbonico,
vi. tav. xxxiv.), but on statuettes (cf. two bronze
Pompeian painting showing Periscelides.
statuettes of the Portici Collection, Barré,
Herc. and Pomp.
vi. pl. 13). In literature the custom of
wearing them is spoken of by the Scholiast on Horace, Hor. Ep. 1.17
, and by Isidorus (19.31, “crurum ornamenta mulierum quo
gressus earum ornantur” ); while, as late as the third century
after Christ, Cyprian inveighs against it (Hab. Virg.
Pliny (Plin. Nat. 33
. § §
39, 152) says that the plebeian women wore anklets of silver, whereas the
patricians wore them of gold. Such anklets were sometimes called compedes
the Romans borrowed also the Greek name περισκελίς,
--a word which occurs in inscriptions as part of the
catalogue of the jewellery of a temple (Dittenb. Nos. 367-401), as well as
in Menander (Incert.
405) and other passages (Longus, 1.5;
Plut. 2.145 C). Periscelis
is mentioned in
Horace (Hor. Ep. 1.17
) and Petronius (67, 4), and periscelium
in Tertullian (de Cultu
2.13). A certain amount of confusion as to the meaning of the
word has been caused by the use of the kindred words περισκελῆ
which were interpreted by the lexicographers as being βράκκια φεμινάλις,
i. e. drawers reaching from the navel to
the knee (cf. Hieron. Epist. ad Fabiol.
), a use which is
found in the Septuagint (Exod. 28.42, 39.28; Levit. 6.10, 16.4), but the two
words are distinct in meaning. These ornaments are also called περισφύρια
(Clem. Al. Paed.
122; cf. Hdt. 4.176
), but elsewhere are referred
to by more general names, such as πέδαι
320, 11 K.), or ἀμφιδέαι
(Hesych. sub voce
[Cf. Iwan Müller, Handbuch,
iv. p. 435; Marquardt,
p. 705; Hübner in Hermes,
i. p. 354.]