“a wax composition,” with different references:--
1. A plaster,
with wax as the principal ingredient
(Hippocr. 397, 48; 398, 54; 402, 27, ed. Foesius); or, like cerion,
wax-like matter (Plin. Val. 1.25 fin.
2. A mixture of oil, wax, and earth, with which athletes under the Roman
empire rubbed themselves before wrestling (Mart.
; Plin. Nat. 35.168
; Plut. 2.638 D):
). To avoid this dirty compound getting on the hair, a cap
) was used (Mart. 14.50
). Prof. Mayor on Juv. 3.68
gives a copious collection of passages showing the
injurious effects which Liv. the sensible Romans considered as having arisen
from this insane practice, which was supposed healthy, and indeed from the
gymnasia generally: cf. Marquardt, Privat.
115-6. We may quote one: Plin. Nat.
, “Illa perdidere imperii mores, illa quae sani patimur,
luctatus, ceromata ceu valitudinis causa instituta [cf. Lucian,
29], balineae ardentes quibus persuasere in
corporibus cibos coqui ut nemo non minus validus exiret.”
Probably the practice existed before: cf. Schol. ad
492, where κηρωματισταί
are placed together with ἀλεῖπται
in explanation of παιδοτρίβαι.
In Diocl. Ed.
7.64, we find
(oddly enough among a
number of intellectual teachers) as a recognised trainer of boys, and a rate
fixed for his services. (Cf. Hermann-Blümner, pp. 350-51.)
3. The place where this unguent was rubbed on (elaeothesium,
); hence generally the wrestling ring:
ἐν παλαίστραις καὶ κηρώμασι
2.790 F, 190 E; Senec.
12.3; Plin. Nat.
; Arnob. adv. Gentes,
Mercurius ceromas :” he considers the word to belong to the first