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CO´RYCUS

CO´RYCUS (κώρυκος), a large leathern sack, filled with flour, fig-grains, or sand, hung up in the gymnasium, for the athletes to swing to and fro by striking it, whence the exercise is called κωρυκομαχία or κωρυκοβολία (Hesych. sub voce Pollux, 10.172; Philostr. de Gymnast. 57; Antyll. ap. Oribas. 6.33; and the other authorities in Krause, Gymnastik, p. 314). The game is alluded to by Plautus (Rud. 3.4, 16), “ego et follem pugilatorium faciam, et pendentem incursabo pugnis.” The corycus is represented in works of art, as in the annexed cut from the celebrated Ficoroni cista. From this game came the proverbial expression, πρὸς κώρυκον γυμνάζεσθαι (Diog. 7.54), of labour in vain. Cicero (Cic. Phil. 13.12, 26) uses the word figuratively in reference to the exercise of the voice. [W.S]

Corycus. (From Ficoroni cista.)

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