in Latin authors sometimes spelt psilotrum,
application for, removing superfluous hair, a depilatory. The favourite kind
was made of heated arsenic and unslaked lime (Theophr. H. P.
9.20.3); the arsenic is mentioned by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.178
). The roots and juices of various pungent
plants were also used; the root of the wild vine, Theophr. l.c.:
on the other hand, lacrima
Plin. Nat. 23.3
; lacrima hederae,
id. 24.79; other vegetable substances,
20.90, 21.118, 22.134, 24.58, 27.72; animal matters, 28. §
§ 46, 250, 255, 30.132, 32.76. Several receipts are given
32. § § 135-6), with the remark
appended that the hairs must first be pulled out [VOLSELLAE
], when psilothrum will prevent their
growing again. Pitch-plaster (δρῶπαξ
used for the same purpose (Mart. 3.74
; Phrynich. p. 405 Lobeck=488 Rutherford).
The practice of getting rid of hairs from the body (παρατίλλεσθαι, λεαίνεσθαι
) was at first peculiar to women
(Aristoph. Frogs 516
82, 151; a Roman lady's toilet in Mart. 6.93
), but in later times extended to men of
effeminate habits. (See quotations from Theopompus ap. Ath. 6.260
e, 12.518 a; Clearchus, ib. 12.522 d; Antigonus of
Carystus, ib. 13.565 f; and cf. Plin. Nat.
.) The foppish and obscene excesses of the later Romans are
well known (Suet. Jul. 45
; Mart. 3.74
; Pers. 4.35-41; Juv. 2.12
; Clem. Alex. Paedag.
iii. p. 261 P.).
Cf. ALIPILUS; VOLSELLAE.
p. 209 n.;
p. 581; Becker-Göll, Gallus,