The first thing done after the birth of a child was to wash it; the second to
wrap it in swaddling clothes, and the rank of the child was indicated by the
splendour and costliness of this its first attire. Sometimes a fine white
shawl, tied with a gold band, was used for the purpose ([Hom.] Hymn.
in Apoll. Del.
121, 122); at other times a small purple scarf,
fastened with a brooch (Pind. P. 4.114
Longus, 1.2.3). The poor
used broad fillets of common cloth (panni,
2.7, 12, Ezek. 16.4, Vulg.:
comp. Hom. Hymn. in
151, 306; Apollod. 3.10.2
Aelian, Ael. VH 2.7
; Dion Chrysost. vi. p. 203,
Incunabuls, from a bas-relief.
ed. Reiske; Plaut. Amphitr.
5.13). The preceding woodcut, taken from a beautiful
bas-relief at Rome, which is supposed to refer to the birth of Telephus,
shows the appearance of a child so clothed, and renders in some degree more
intelligible the fable of the deception practised by Rhea upon Saturn in
saving the life of Jupiter by presenting a stone, enveloped in
swaddling-clothes, to be devoured by Saturn instead of his new-born child
(Hes. Th. 485
). It was one of the
peculiarities of the Lacedaemonian education to dispense with the use of
and to allow children to
enjoy the free use of their limbs (Plut. Lyc.
). Plato also is in favour of freedom, and ridicules the notion
that infants are to be kept for two years in swaddling-clothes
vii. p. 789 E). Aristotle mentions mechanical
appliances as used by some nations to prevent children from growing crooked
7.17 = p. 1336 a, 11). (Cf.
p. 289; FASCLA.）