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pĕcus , pecŏris, n. Zend, pacu, cattle; cf. Goth. faihu; Angl.-Sax. feó, cattle; Germ. Vieh; Engl. fee. Fick refers the word to root pag- of pango, etc.,
I.cattle, as a collective, a herd (opp.: pecus, pecudis, a single head of cattle).
I. Lit.
A. In gen.: “bubulum pecus,horned cattle, Varr. R. R. 2, 1, 13; Col. 6, 13, 2: “ovile,sheep, id. 1 prooem.: “caprile,id. ib.: “pecus majus et minus ... de pecore majore, in quo sunt ad tres species naturā discreti, boves, asini, equi,Varr. R. R. 2, 1, 12: “equinum,a stud, Verg. G. 3, 72: setigerum pecus, the bristly herd, i. e. the herd of swine, Ov. M. 14, 288: “flammatum pecus,the thirsty steeds, Stat. Th. 4, 733: “volatile pecus,fowls, hens, Col. 8, 4: “ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent,” i. e. the drones, Verg. G. 4, 168.—So of bees, Col. 9, 8, 6.—Of seals: “omne cum Proteus pecus egit altos Visere montes,Hor. C. 1, 2, 7; cf. “of fish: aquatile,Col. 8, 17, 7.—
B. In partic, of sheep, small cattle, a flock: “pecori et bubus diligenter substernatur. Scabiem pecori et jumentis caveto (shortly after: frondem substernito ovibus bubusque),Cato, R. R. 5, 7: boni pastoris est pecus tondere non deglubere, Tiber. ap. Suet. Tib. 32: “balatus pecorum,Verg. G. 3, 554; Plin. 8, 47, 72, § 187.—
II. Transf.
A. Of a single animal: “inque pecus magnae subito vertare parentis = pecudem,the young lion, Ov. Ib. 459; Mos. et Rom. Leg. Coll. 6, 7, 9.—In late and eccl. lat. the distinction between pecus, f., and pecus, n., nearly disappears, and the latter is found in all senses of the words; cf. Vulg. Lev. 20, 15; id. 2 Par. 14, 15; id. Isa. 66, 3.—
B. Contemptuously, or as a term of abuse, of persons, cattle: “mutum et turpe pecus,Hor. S. 1, 3, 100: “o imitatores, servum pecus,id. Ep. 1, 19, 19: “simul ite, Dindymenae dominae vaga pecora,Cat. 63, 13: “sed venale pecus Corythae posteritas,Juv. 8, 62.
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