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ψέλεον, ὄφις). A bracelet or armlet. Among the Persians and Medes these ornaments were worn by men, probably as a mark of distinction (Herod.viii. 113); but in Greece they seem to have been confined to women, or to effeminate men. The Greek name ὄφεις (also δράκοντες) was given them because of their serpentine shape.

Bracelets were likewise worn at Rome by ladies of rank, but it was considered a mark of effeminacy for men in an ordinary way to use such feminine ornaments (Suet. Cal. 52; Suet. Ner. 30). They were, however, publicly conferred by a Roman general upon soldiers for deeds of extraordinary merit (Liv.x. 44; Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 37), in which case they were worn as a mark of honour, and probably differed in form from the ordinary ornaments of the kind.

Roman Bracelets.

The cut below shows the Roman military bracelet. The original, which is of pure gold, was found in Cheshire, England.

Roman Military Bracelet.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.113
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 10, 44
    • Suetonius, Caligula, 52
    • Suetonius, Nero, 30
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 33.37
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