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PLUMA´RII were understood by Becker (whom Göll now corrects) to be persons who made stuffs of feather embroidery, presumably like those for which the Aztecs were famous: but Marquardt has shown that the opus plumatum or opus plumarium, which these workers made, was embroidery of needlework in plain stitch as opposed to the embroidery of the Phrygiones, which was in cross stitch. In the opus plumatum the stitches were laid lengthwise, so that they seemed to overlap one another, like the feathers in the plumage of a bird: it might therefore be translated “feather-stitch work” (Rock, Textile Fabrics, 116). An analogous use of pluma appears in Verg. A. 11.770, of the lorica “in plumam squamis auro conserta.” The idea of Georges (Philolog. 32.530) that it was woven work is founded on certain passages where the words texere, textrina are used loosely, and is disproved by an edict of Diocletian (16.38), where the plumarius works at stuffs already woven, obviously embroidering them by hand. The work is mentioned first by Varro (ap. Non. p. 162, 27): it was often, though not necessarily, in gold thread, as “pars auro plumata” (Lucan, Phars. 10.125; cf. Procop. Just. 3.1, p. 53). The plumarii (ποικιλτὴς ὃν λέγομεν πλουμάριον Schol. ad Aeschin. Tim. § 97) are mentioned in many inscriptions (C. . L. 6.9813, &c.). (Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 538; Blümner, Technologie, vol. i. p. 210; Becker-Göll, Charikles, vol. ii. p. 338.)

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

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