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VOLSELLAE (τριχολαβίς, τριχολάβιον), a pair of tweezers (Plaut. Curc. 4.4, 21; Mart. 9.28, 5). The extent to which the practice of pulling out hairs was carried, both among Greeks and Romans, has been noticed under PSILOTHRUM For the slaves, both male and female, employed for this purpose, see ALIPILUS Several examples of ancient tweezers have been discovered; some joined with a rivet at the back like scissors, others, as in the illustration, made of flexible metal (Marquardt, Privatl. 581; Becker-Göll, Gallus, 3.241).

Volsellae, tweezers; actual size. (From the Roman villa at Brading, Isle of Wight; preserved on the spot.)

Some of the smaller kinds of forceps used as surgical instruments are likewise called volsellae by Celsus (6.12.1; 6.18.3; 7.10.7). One of these is figured by Rich s.v. see also the cut No. 17 under CHIRURGIA in Vol. I.


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