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CETRA or CAETRA (καιτρέα, καίτρα), a target, i. e. a small round shield, made from an animal's hide (Isid. Orig. 18.12; Curt. 3.4; Varr. ap. Non. p. 82, 18), those of elephant's hide having the reputation of being impenetrable (Plin. Nat. 11.227). The caetra is compared by Livy (28.5, 31.36) to the pelta of the Greeks and Macedonians; it was sometimes painted (versicolor, Sil. 3.278), and troops advanced to battle clashing it against their weapons (ib. 3.348, 10.231). It was properly a barbarian arm (see, however, Verg. A. 7.732; Suet. Calig. 19), and was especially used by the Iberians (Caes. B.C. 1.39, 48; Luc. Phars. 7.232; Diod. 5.33; Hesych.), the Mauritanians (Strabo xvii. p.828), and the Britons (Tac. Agric. 36). It is usually identified with the target of the Scottish Highlanders, and may be seen “covering the left arms” (Verg. l.c.) of the two accompanying figures, which

Cetra. (From a MS. of Prudentius.)

are taken from a MS. of Prudentius, probably written in this country as early as the ninth century (Cod. Cotton. Cleop. 100.8). (Cf. Morelli, iii. n. 3; Cohen, Monn. Cons. Caecilia.) [PELTA]

[J.Y] [J.H.F]

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 7.732
    • Lucan, Civil War, 7.232
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 31, 36
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.4
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 5.33
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