) properly means the
wood of the box tree, but was given as a name to many things made of this
wood. The tablets used for writing on, and covered with wax (tabulae ceratae
), were usually made of this wood.
Hence we read in Propertius (3.22
), “Vulgari buxo sordida cera fuit.”
were sometimes called cerata buxa.
In the same way the Greek πυξίον, πυξίδιον,
formed from πύξος,
“box-wood,” came to be applied to any tablets, whether they
were made of this wood or any other substance; in which sense the word
occurs in the Septuagint (τὰ πυξία τὰ
Exod. 24.12; compare Is. 30.8; Hab. 2.2). Tops were made
of box-wood (volubile buxum,
Verg. A. 7.382
; Pers. 3.51); also all wind
instruments, especially the flute (Ov. Pont.
6.697 ; Verg. A. 9.619
); combs (whence Juv.
, speaks of caput intactum buxo
and boxes (Luc. Asin.