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HA´RPAGO (ἁρπάγη: λύκος: κρεάγρα: κρεαγρίς), a grappling-iron, a drag, a flesh-hook (Ex. 27.3; 1 Sam. 2.13, 14 Sept.=fuscinula Vulg.; Aristoph. Kn. 772, Vesp. 1155, Eccl. 1002; Anaxipp. fr. 6 M.). The iron-fingered flesh-hook (κρεάγρα σιδηροδάκτυλας, Brunck, Anal. 2.215 = Anth. Pal. 6.101) is described by the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Ep. l.c.), as “an instrument used in cookery, resembling a hand with the fingers bent inwards, used to that boiled meat out of the caldron.” Four specimens of it, in bronze, are in the British Museum. [p. 1.934]One of them is here represented. Into its hollow extremity a wooden handle was inserted.

Harpago, flesh-hook. (British Museum.)

A similar instrument, or even the flesh-hook itself (Aristoph. Eccles. l.c.; Eur. Cycl. 33) was used to draw up a bucket or to recover anything which had fallen into a well (Menand. fr. 730 M.; Hesych. s. vv. Ἁρπάγη, Κρεάγρα, Λύκος,). For the name λύκος applied to hooked instruments, cf. L. and S. s. v.

In war the grappling-iron, thrown at an enemy's ship, seized the rigging, and was then used to drag the ship within reach, so that it might be easily boarded or destroyed (Ἅρπαξ, Moschion ap. Ath. v. p. 208 d; Appian, App. BC 5.118; asseres ferreo unco praefixi (harpagones vocant), Liv. 30.10.16). These instruments appear to have been much the same as the manus ferreae (manus ferreae atque harpagones, Caes. B.C. 1.57; Q. Curt. 4.9; D. C. 49.3, 50.32, 34). The manus ferreae were employed by Duilius against the Carthaginians (Flor. 2.2; Front. Strateg. 2.3.24), and were said to have been invented by Pericles (Plin. Nat. 7.209).

[J.Y] [W.W]

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