a short curved sword, a weapon of the Thracians (sica
Θρακικὸν ξίφος ἐπικαμπές,
cf. Clem. Alex. Strom.
18.8). It was used therefore by the [p. 2.672]Threces
in the gladiatorial combats
(Suet. Cal. 32
; Mart. 3.16
): its shape explains the, “falx supiua”
in Juv. 8.201
(see Mayor ad
GLADIATOR, Vol. I. p. 918 b
). The annexed
woodcut, from a terra-cotta lamp, shows a sica
held by a Thracian (Baumeister, Denkm.
2099). As being smaller than the ordinary sword, and therefore more easily
concealed, and perhaps as being sharp and deadly for a stab, it was the
favourite weapon of robbers and murderers (sicarii
), the ferrum
“grassator agit rem” (Juv.
: cf. Cic. Cat.
, 8; pro Mil.
14, 37); and hence, as a legal term,
comes to mean “on a
trial for murder.” [See LEX CORNELIA