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