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PLU´TEUS signified in general any kind of upright, unroofed protection or shelter, and was hence used in the following special significations. 1. A fixed breastwork, whether of planking or of wicker work, and sometimes covered with hides to prevent it from catching fire. These breastworks, mantlets, or blinds were used to shelter combatants on board ship (῀παραρρύματα), Caes. Civ. 3.24: on towers, where they sheltered the soldiers in the various tabulata, or stories, the battlements or shelter on the top being, strictly, pinnae (Caes. Gal. 7.25): on ramparts, as in Caes. Gal. 7.41 and 72. In the latter passage the plutei include the whole breastwork of loricae and pinnae and the vallum behind them, the whole shelter in fact placed on the agger, and the commissurae pluteorum are the points where this work of wood and wattles rose from the earthen agger. 2. A movable [p. 2.440]shelter for the besiegers, distinguished from the vineae and musculi by being unroofed (Liv. 21.61, 34.17; Fest. s.v. Amm. Marc. 21.11; Isid. Or. 18.18). It is particularly described in Veget. 4.15, as being semicircular (in the form of an apse), of wicker work covered with hides, and with three wheels, one in the forepart or middle of the curve, and two at the extremities: it was thus rolled towards the walls, the working party advancing under its cover (cf. Marquardt, Staatsverw. 2.530). 3. The board at the side of a bed [LECTUS p. 18]. 4. Some kind of shelf for holding busts and other ornaments (Juv. 2.7), or books (Sidon. Apoll. Ep. 2.9): it probably had a high ledge to prevent the article placed there from falling off, and so gained its name. Some refer the “pluteum caedit” of Pers. 1.106 to a bookshelf or a desk, but it is probably merely the ordinary pluteus of the reading couch [LECTUS p. 19]. 5. A low wall like a breastwork, closing up spaces between columns (Vitr. 4.4).

[W.S] [G.E.M]

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