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CAL´AMUS a reed. Under this head it seems desirable to group an account of the most important objects made of reeds of various kinds. The varieties of the reed are described by Theophrastus (H. P. 4.11, 12) and Pliny (Plin. Nat. 16. § § 159-173), one of the most notable being the calamus odoratus, found in Syria and Arabia (Col. 12.52; Plin. Nat. 12.104, 13.9; Veget. 4.13), and used in the manufacture of unguents. Κάλαμος denotes a larger sort of reed than δόναξ, and harundo than canna.

Reeds were extensively used for thatching and wall-building; for making mats, crates, and other articles of plaited work (Hdt. 5.101, 1.179, 2.96; Thuc. 2.76); and for many purposes for which a light stick was needed,--e. g. a signal-post (calamus, Col. 3.15), an Egyptian sign-post (Plin. Nat. 6.166), a rod to brush down cobwebs (harundo, Plaut. Stich. 2.2, 23), the bridge of the lyre (δόϝαξ, Aristoph. Frogs 232), the cross-piece on which the lyre-strings are fastened (κάλαμος ὑπολύριος, Soph. Fr. 34). Reeds were also employed in the following uses:--

1. The Pan's pipes (σῦριγξ), formed of reeds of graduated length bound together by wax, as shown in the accompanying cut (calamus, Lucr. 4.588, 5.1379-1415; Tib. 2.5, 29-32; canna, Ov. Met. 2.682, 11.171; harundo, ib. 1.684, 11.154; κάλαμος, Eur. I. T. 1125, El. 702; δόϝαξ, Aesch. Pr. 574).

2. A light flute, formed of a single reed (harundo, Ov. Met. 6.384; κάλαμος, Pind. O. 10.100,

Calamus, Pan's pipe, from terracotta relief with Judgment of Paris. (British Museum.)

Nem. 5.70; δόναξ, id. Pyth. 12.44; Theocr. 20.29). The reed-flute figured in the following woodcut was found in an Egyptian tomb and is in the British Museum.

Egyptian reed-flute. (British Museum.)

3. The shaft of an arrow, and in poetry an arrow made of a reed which was not hollow, but filled with pith (κάλαμος ϝαστός, τοξικός or Κρητικός, Theophr. l.c.; calamus, Hor. Od. 1.15, 17; Plin. Nat. 16.161; harundo, Ov. Met. 1.471; Verg. A. 4.73; δόναξ, Hom. Il. 11.584).

4. A reed-pen (calamus scriptorius or chartarius, Cels. 5.28, 12, App. Flor. 9), which, like our quill-pens, was sharpened (καλαμογλυφεῖν, Etym. M. 485. 33, calamum acuere, temperare) with a knife (scalprum librarium, Tac. [p. 1.330]Ann. 5.8; Suet. Vitell. 2) and had a cleft point (calamus fissipes, Aus. Epist. 7.49). Pens thus made of knotted reeds are represented in the cut under ATRAMENTUM The case in which they were kept was called καλαμίς, theca calamaria or graphiaria, or theca cannarum (Suet. Cl. 35; cp. Mart. 14.19, Hieron. in Ezech. 9.2). The earliest mention of quill-pens appears to be in Isidore, Orig. 6.14, 3. The best reeds for pen-making came from Egypt, Cnidus and the lacus Anaiticus (Plin. Nat. 16.157; Mart. 14.38; Aus. l.c., and 4.77). Harundo is used in the same sense in Mart. 1.3, 10; Pers. 3.11; κάλαμος in Poll. 10.61.

5. A fishing-rod (κάλαμος, Theocr. 21.43; Arist. P. A. 4.12, 11; καλαμίς, Anth. P. 10.11; calamus, Ov. Met. 3.587; harundo, Plaut. Bud. 2.1, 5; Tib. 2.6, 23).

6. The fowler's limed rod, which was sometimes composed of separate joints, so that it could be lengthened to suit the fowler's convenience. It was then called harundo crescens or texta (Mart. 9.54, 3, 14.218; Sil. 7.674-7; Petr. Sat. 109, 7; Bion, xii. (ii.) 5). In the same sense we have calamus (Prop. 3.13, 46; Mart. 13.68; Sen. Oct. 411) and δόϝαξ (Anth. P. 7.702).

7. A light Egyptian boat made of reeds (canna, Juv. 5.89; Plin. Nat. 7.206).

8. A horizontal rod passed through the warp in weaving (harundo, Ov. Met. 6.55). [TELA]

9. Harundo is also the crown of reeds worn by river-gods (Verg. A. 8.34, 10.205; Ov. Met. 9.3).


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