or--AE (mostly plural: τὰ ἡνία, αἱ ἡνίαι
) was, generally speaking, a leathern
thong, by means of which things were held, bound, drawn, or fastened. Hence
the word was in particular applied--1. To the reins by means of which horses
were guided and managed (Verg. A. 10.576
). The habenae were, as
with us, fixed to the bit or bridle [FRENUM
]. 2. To the thong attached to a lance, by which it was
held and wielded (Lucan 6.218
); called also
), and more usually amentum
]. 3. To the thong which was formed into a sling,
by means of which stones were thrown (Lucan
; Valer. Flacc. 5.608). [FUNDA
] 4. To straps by which low shoes (soleae
) or sandals were fastened to the feet (Gellius, 13.21.4
). 5. To the thong of a whip for
chastising young slaves (Hor. Ep. 2.2
; Ov. Ep.
), or for whipping a top (Verg. A.
). The habena
was one of the milder
forms of corporal punishment (Dig. 29
, tit. 5, s.
33, “impuberes servi terreri tantum solent, et habena vel ferula
caedi;” Marquardt, Privatl.