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LIMUS was the apron tied round the waist and reaching nearly to the feet worn by the popa, or slaughterer who attended on the priest at a sacrifice (Serv. ad Aen. 12.120), and by servi publici in general (Isid. Orig. 19, 33). Hence servi publici were known as limo cincti; and when (as in C. I. L. 5.3401) apparitores and limo cincti are mentioned together as attending on a magistrate, the former are free, the latter slave attendants (see Mommsen, Staatsrecht, i.3 324). It would appear from Gellius, 12.3, that the word licium was synonymous with limus, and he states that the lictors were girded with this limus or licium in former times; but Mommsen throws doubt upon this (Staatsrecht, 1.375), and thinks it arose from a confusion of lictors with servi publici and a desire to derive their title from licium, since lictors are never represented in such a dress. That the licium alone should be worn by a person seeking stolen property (whence phrase per licium quaerere) no doubt was arranged to prevent his bringing in the goods concealed in his dress (see Gel. 11.18, and cf. Gaius, Inst. 3.192).


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 11.18
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 12.3
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