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1 As Hardouin remarks, "This story is told by others, of Gyges, and not of Midas." He refers to Cicero, De Off. B. iii. c. 9, in confirmation of his assertion.—B. Both Gyges and Midas were noted for their wealth.
2 "Sinistræ." The play here upon the word "sinister" cannot be so well transferred into the English language; but it bears reference to the double meaning of the word, "on the left hand," and "unlucky," "illomened," or, as we say "sinister." We may remark, that rings were very generally employed by the Romans, not merely as ornaments, but as indications of office and rank.—B.
3 From Corinth, it was said: Damaratus of Corinth being the father of the first Tarquin. See B. xxxv. c. 5.
4 On the subject of "Bullæ," golden balls, worn hy the children of the nobles, see Dr. Smith's Dict. Antiq. p. 168.—B.
5 As to the "Toga prætexta," see B. viii. c. 74.
6 "Lorum." This word literally signifies a leather strap or thong, and Pliny is supposed by Hardouin to mean simply, that, in this latter case the strap was worn without the bulla, which was in other cases attached to it. Juvenal, Sat. v. l. 164, speaks of the "lorum" of the children of the poor.—B.
8 Festus says that this was the Oscan name for a ring. It would appear to be allied to the word "unguis," which means a nail of the finger or toe, and would perhaps signify a "nail ornament."
9 As meaning a seal or signet, for which purpose, as we shall find explained in the sequel, the ring was used.
10 This seems to be the meaning of "Vulgoque sic triumphabant."
11 As to these crowns, see B. xxi. c. 4.
12 As to some other particulars connected with this usage, see the end of B. xxviii. c. 7.
13 And yet, as Hardouin remarks, before his time, when Scipio was besieging Carthage, the bodies of the Roman tribunes, when selected for burial by Hasdrubal, were distinguished by their rings of gold. The object of Marius, no doubt, was to ingratiate himself with the upper classes.
14 A. U. C. 651.
15 Known as the "anulus pronubus," or "engaged ring," according to Dalechamps.
16 "Codicillos." Il. B. vi. l. 168.
17 See B. xiii. c. 21.
18 Od. B. viii. ll. 424, 443, 447.
19 See the Iliad. B. iii. and B. vii. l. 175, et seq.
20 His meaning is, that although were used, lots or balls made of earth, we do not read that the impressions on them were made by the aid of signet-rings.
21 "Fabrieæ deûm." He alludes to the forge of Vulcan, described in the Eighteenth Book of the Iliad, l. 400, et seq.
22 This seems to be the meaning of "In primordio factitâsse."
23 The "fibulæ" were the brooches of the ancients, consisting of a pin, and of a curved portion furnished with a hook. See Dr. Smith's Diet. Antiq. p. 417.
24 As the meaning of this passage has been the subject of much discussion with commentators, we give it in full, as found in the Edition of Sillig. "Et quisquis primus instituit, cunctanter id fecit, lævis manibus latentibusque induit, cum, si honos securus fuisset, dextrâ fuerit ostentandus. Quodsi impedimentum potuit in eo aliquod intelligi, etiam serior is usus argumentum est, et majus in lævâ fuisset, quâ seutum capitur." Sillig is of opinion that Pliny is here alluding to the reason given by Ateius Capito (quoted in Maerobius, Saturn. B. vii. c. 13), for wearing the ring on the left hand. It was so worn, he says, from an apprehension that the precious stone with which it was set, might receive injury from the continual use made of the right hand.
25 Under the folds of the toga.
26 Il. B. xvii. l. 52.
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