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CESTUS (κεστός). In Horn. Il. 14.214, an adj., applied to the girdle (ἱμάς) of Aphrodite, on which were embroidered all manner of enticements to love (Schol. ap. Ebeling). It means “perforated ;” i.e., with holes made by the needle--“embroidered,” acu pictus--and is derived from the same root (viz. kas = ferire) as κεάζω (Fick, Vergl. Worterb. 1.531), or κεντέω for κενστός (all ancient gramm., Pott, Ahrens). It is to be considered the same as the στρόφιον, ταινία, μίτρα, στηθοδεσμός, fascia pectoralis, mammillare, which is found on statues of Aphrodite worn next the skin ( “ceston de Veneris sinu calentem,” Mart. 14.206: cf. K. O. Müller, Arch. der Kunst, § § 339. 3, 377. 5; and Baumeister, Denkmäler, &c. p. 366, fig. 393). It was accordingly made of some soft substance (Catull. 64, 65; Prop. 5.9, 48). In Mart. 14.66 pellis is probably what we should call kid. Its object was to support and sometimes [p. 1.408]compress too full bosoms, like the modem corset, but it was not used, like the latter, to pinch in the figure. The Greeks and Romans were strangers to this injurious practice (Baumeister, l.c.; Becker-Göll, Charikles, 3.226 ; Gallus, 3.251). Accordingly, every girl did not wear one. Winckelmann (ap. Müller, l.c.) and Saglio (Dict. 1.1176) consider that, owing to its splendour, the κεστὸς of Aphrodite was a belt worn outside the dress. Sometimes Aphrodite is represented as holding the κεστὸς in her hand (Arch. Zeit. 1866, 261; cf. Mart. 6.13); sometimes Cupid wore it on his neck (Mart. 14.206).


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