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FA´SCIA dim. FASCIOLA (ταινἴα, ἀπόδεσμος), any long narrow strip of cloth employed as a bandage.

1. A band worn round the head as an ensign of royalty (Suet. Jul. 79; Sen. Ep. 80.10) [DIADEMA; first cut to FALX].

2. A band worn by women round the chest for the improvement of the figure (Terent. Eun. 2.3, 23; Propert. 5.9, 49; Ov. A. Am. 3.276, 622; Sen. fr. 83, Haase; Fascia Pectoralis, Mart. 14.134). [STROPHIUM]

3. A band worn round the legs and shins, a kind of stocking: hence called fasciae crurales (Dig. 34, 2, 25) and tibiales (Suet. Aug. 82). That such bandages also covered the feet is clear from the epithet of fasciae pedules (Dig. 34, 2, 26). Cicero reproached Clodius with effeminate habits for wearing purple fasciae upon his feet, and the CALAUTICA a female ornament, upon his head (de Har. Resp. 21.44; Fragm. Or. in Clod. et Cur.; cf. Non. p. 537). Afterwards, when the toga had fallen into disuse, and the shorter pallium was worn in its stead, so that the legs were exposed, fasciae crurales became common even with the male sex. (Hor. Sat. 2.3, 255; V. Max. 6.2.7; Grat. Cyneg. 338; Petron. 100.46.) The Emperor Alexander Severus always wore both fasciae and bracae (Lamprid. Al. Sev. 40), even although, when in town, he wore the toga. Quintilian, nevertheless, insists that the adoption of them could only be excused on the plea of infirm health. (Inst. Or. 11.3.144.) White fasciae, worn by men (Val. Max. l.c.; Phaedr. 5.7, 37), were a sign of extraordinary refinement in dress: the mode of cleaning them was by rubbing them with a white tenacious earth, resembling our pipe-clay (fasciae cretatae, Cic. Att. 2.3). In the imperial times the Roman soldiers wore such fasciae ( “si(miles) tibiale alienavit,” Dig. 49, 16, 14.1). The bandages wound about the legs are shown in the illuminations of ancient MSS., e. g. in the Vatican Virgil. See also cut under LIBRA Vol. II. p. 63.

4. The sacking of the bed on which the mattress rested (Cic. de Div. 2.6. 5, § 134; Mart. 5.62, 14.159; Becker-Göll, Gallus, 2.333; Guhl and Koner, p. 572, ed. 5).

5. Fasciae were also the swaddling clothes in which infants were wrapped (Plaut. Truc. 5.13): see cut under INCUNABULA

[J.Y] [W.W]

hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2.3
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 79
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 82
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, 2.6
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 14.134
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 14.159
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 5.62
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 6.2.7
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