an inflated ball of leather, no doubt originally the skin of a quadruped
filled with air. The Roman games of ball (Marquardt reckons five of them)
are described under PILA
follis was the largest as well as the lightest and softest ball in use, as
was the hardest, the paganica
being intermediate between the two (Mart. 14.45
; cf. 7.32). According to Marquardt,
the follis might be either filled with air (κενή
) or lightly stuffed with feathers; but this is perhaps a
wrong inference, as the plumea pondera follis
) may simply mean “light as
a feather;” and it is only the paganica
expressly stated to have been so stuffed. We must not think, however, of the
tightly-blown modern football; it was much more like a child's ball, so soft
that it could hurt no one, and hence is recommended as a gentle exercise,
fit for small boys and old men, but to which juvenes
would not condescend (Mart.
). The folliculus
(τὸ φούλλικλον καλούμενον
) is said to have been
invented by one Atticus of Naples, a teacher of gymnastics (παιδοτρίβης
), for the benefit of Pompeius Magnus
f). Augustus, who
was rather delicate in health, took to it comparatively early in life, soon
after the civil wars (Suet. Aug. 83
). For the
3.4, 16), see CORYCUS
3.171 ff.; Marquardt, Privatl.
and Koner, ed. 5, p. 680.) The term follis
also applied to a leather purse or bag (Plaut. Aul.
); and the diminutive folliculus
to the swollen capsule of a plant, the husk of a seed, or anything of
similar appearance (Senec. Nat. Quaest.
124.11; Tertull. de Res. Carn.
Under the later empire, follis was the name of a small debased coin (see As,
last paragraph). In the absence of a better currency, large sums had to be
paid in this coinage, which for the purpose was done up in bags, also called
analogous to the “purses of
piastres” still used in reckoning in the East. The number of
coins. [p. 1.870]
that went to a bag was probably 500, and
its worth 1/12 of a solidus, or less than 1s
From this the follis became, under
Constantine and his successors, a “money of account,” which was
used in reckoning gold and silver as well as copper (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 10.6.1
Theod. 6.2, 8; 6.4, 21). The silver unit in Constantine's system was the miliarense,
representing the value of 1/1000 of a
pound of gold, now coined into 72 gold solidi.
The follis of silver contained 125 miliarensia,
of a pound of gold, or 9 solidi.
So debased was
the coinage at this time, and so high the premium on gold, that the
denarius, the unit of copper, had dwindled to 1/6000 of a gold coin, the
solidus, worth no more than the English mark or about 13s.
while in the impoverished last
days of the Western Empire as many as 7200 denarii went to a solidus
of Valentinian III., A.D. 445,
tit. 14.1). One of the compulsory presents to the emperor, exacted from
senators, was also called follis (Marquardt, Staatsverw.
3.236 n.). Many points about the mode of reckoning by folles still remain
obscure: the above facts may be regarded as tolerably well established.
p. 839; Hultsch,
pp. 251, 252; and especially Marquardt,
iii. pp. 42-47).
Two inflated skins, constituting a pair of bellows,
and having valves adjusted to the natural apertures at one part for
admitting the air, and a pipe inserted into another part for its emission,
were an essential piece of furniture in every forge and foundry (Il. 18.372
; Verg. A. 8.449
). The Greek word is usually φῦσαι
from Homer downward, poetically πρηστῆρες,
: the ζώπυρα
of Ephorus (ap. Strab.
), sometimes translated “bellows” (as by
L. and S., ed. 7), are more probably some sort of tinder, touchwood, or
“kindlers,” Lat. fomes,
Photius and Suidas likewise explain ζωπύρια
According to the nature and extent of the work to be
done the bellows were made of the hides of oxen (taurinis
Verg. G. 4.171
), or of goats (hircinis,
1.4, 19), and other smaller animals. The Homeric bellows were small, and
used in large numbers; there was one to every melting-pot or crucible (Il. 18.470
). So in Herodotus (1.68
) δύο φῦσαι
are not “a pair of bellows,” but, as the context shows, two
distinct pairs, each sending forth a separate blast. The nozzle of the
bellows was called ἀκροφύσιον
Bellows. (From a lamp.)
4.100; Eust. on Il.
l.c.). In bellows made after
the fashion of those exhibited in the lamp here introduced from Bartoli
3.21), we may imagine the skin to have
been placed between the two boards so as to produce a machine like that
which we now employ.