previous next


DACTYLIOTHE´CA (δακτυλιοθήκη), a case or box where rings were kept (Mart. 11.59). Such a ring-case has been recognised in a round ivory box found at Pompeii (Mus. Borb. ix. pl. 14.8): from the centre of the lid projects a vertical stick, on which the rings might be slid when the wearer took them off at his toilet (cf. Mart. 14.123). The same purpose may have been served by a bronze stand which was found at Talese. It consists of a rod resting on three feet. Down the rod may be slid a ring furnished with catches to hold it steady, to one of which is attached a vertical oval ring broken at the top so as to admit of rings or other articles of jewellery being slid on it. (Ann. dell' Inst. Rom. 1842, p. 82.) The name was also applied to a cabinet or collection of jewels. We learn from Pliny (Plin. Nat. 37.11), that Scaurus, the stepson of Sulla, was the first person at Rome who had a collection of this kind, and that his was the only one till Pompey brought to Rome the collection of Mithridates, which he placed in the Capitol. (Cf. Murat. Inscr. 907, 3.) The question is discussed in Dig. 32, 1, 52, § § 8, 53, whether a legatee to whom a dactyliotheca was devised was to receive also the testator's ring, and the converse.

[W.S] [J.H.F]

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 37.11
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 11.59
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 14.123
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: