sponge. The use of sponges has come down from very early times, for the
cleansing both of the body (Hom. Il.
) and of tables (Od. 1.111
For the latter purpose, i. e. cleaning furniture, walls, and floors, it is
more especially noticed in Latin literature (Mart.
; Ulp. Dig.
32, 7, 12): as regards the use
of sponges by invalids in Roman baths, see BALNEAE
Vol. I. p. 279. Small sponges were often
fastened on a stick, and were then called peniculi
4.7, 7; cf.
; Plaut. Stich.
2.2, 23), and were then used not only with long sticks for cleaning walls,
&c., but also with short handles for cleaning boots (Plaut.
2.3, 40; Fest. p. 230). The penicillus
used for painting was no doubt generally a brush
made with hair [PICTURA
for laying on colour broadly and coarsely a penicillus
made with sponge was also used (Plin. Nat. 9.148
4.429). For its use to obliterate writing, see
p. 59 a;
824; and to this use also we must refer
Aesch. Ag. 1283
. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 9
. § § 148-150)
mentions especially the neighbourhood of Torone, the Syrtes, the Hellespont,
and Malea as hunting-grounds for sponges, and the coasts of Lycia for the
softest kind. Three kinds are distinguished--the hard and coarse τράγος,
the softer μανός,
and the fine ἀχίλλειον
]. In this he is
following Aristot. H. A.
5.16, p. 548. The searcher for
sponges is called σπογγοθήρας,
(Poll. 1.96, 7.137 Athen. 7.
c; Becker-Göll, Gallus,
1.36; Hermann-Blümner, iv. p. 31).