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1 The greatest part of this Chapter appears to be taken, with little variation, from Columella, B. vii. c. 2—4.—B.
2 Here Pliny differs from Columella, who remarks, B. vii. c. 2, "Our people considered the Milesian, Calabrian, and Apulian wool as of excellent quality, and the Tarentine the best of all."
3 "Pænula" was a check cloak, used chiefly by the Romans when travelling, instead of the toga, as a protection against the cold and rain. It was used by women as well as men. It was long, and without sleeves, and with only an opening for the head. Women were forbidden by Alexander Severus to wear it in the city. It was made particularly of the woolly substance known as gausapa.
4 The wool of Laodicea is celebrated by Strabo, B. xii.—B.
5 Columella, B. vii. c. 2, particularly notices the excellence of the wool of Altinum, situate near the mouth of the Padus or Po. The following epigram of Martial, B. xiv. c. 155, may be presumed to convey the opinion of the respective merits of the different kinds of wool; it is entitled "Lanæ albæ:" "Velleribus primis Apulia; Parma secundis Nobilis; Altinum tertia laudat ovis." "Apulia is famed for its fleeces of the first quality, Parma for the second, while Altinum is praised for those of the third."—B.
6 About twelve shillings sterling.—B.
7 Varro remarks, B. ii. c. 2, that the term "vellus." obviously from "vello," "to pluck," proves that the wool was anciently plucked from the sheep, before shearing had been invented.—B.
8 "Quas nativas appellant." The term "nativa," as applied to the wool, has been supposed to refer to those fleeces that possess a natural colour, and do not require to be dyed.—B.
9 Martial, B. xiv. Ep. 157, calls the fleeces of Pollentia "lugentes," "mournful," from their black colour; they are also mentioned by Colu- mella, ubi supra, and by Silius Italicus, B. viii. 1. 599.—B.
10 Martial, B. v. c. 37, describing the charms of a lady, says, "surpassing with her locks the fleece of the Bætic sheep," no doubt referring to the colour. In another Epigram, B. xii. E. 200, he speaks of the "aurea vellera," the "golden fleece" of Bætis.—B.
11 Martial has two Epigrams on the wool of Canusium, B. xiv. E. 127, and E. 129. In the former it is designated as "fusca," tawny; in the latter, "rufa," red.—B.
12 "Suæ pulliginis."—B.
13 The term here used, "succidus," is explained by Varro, B. ii. c. 11: "While the newly-clipped wool has the sweat in it, it is called ' succida.'" See B. xxix. c. 9.
14 "Pexis vestibus." According to Hardouin, the "pexa vestis," was worn by the rich, and had a long and prominent nap, in contradistinction to the smooth or worn cloths. He refers to a passage in Horace, B. i. Ep. i. 1. 95, and to one in Martial, B. ii. E. 58, which appear to sanction this explanation. See Lem. vol. iii. p. 524.—B.
15 See B. iv. c. 35.
16 See B. iii. c. 5. Now Pezenas.
18 These were probably much like what we call "Turkey" carpets.
19 The name given to this article, "lana coacta," "compressed wool," correctly designates its texture. The manufacturers of it were called "lanarii coactores," and "lanarii coactiliarii."
20 "I have macerated unbleached flax in vinegar saturated with salt, and after compression have obtained a felt, with a power of resistance quite comparable with that of the famous armour of Conrad of Montferrat; seeing that neither the point of a sword, nor even balls discharged from fire-arms, were able to penetrate it." Memoir on the substance called Plina, by Papadopoulo-Vretos, on the Mein. presented to the Royal Academy of In- scriptions and Belles Lettres, 1845 , as quoted by Littré.
21 Pliny probably conceived that by the removal of all the grease from the wool, or the "purgamentum," it became less combustible.—B.
22 "Tomentum;" an Epigram of Martial, B. xiv. E. 160, explains the meaning of this word.—B.
23 See B. xix. c. 2.
24 Probably in the form of what we call "palliasses."
25 The "gausapa," or "gausapum," was a kind of thick cloth, very woolly on one side, and used especially for covering tables, beds, and making cloaks to keep out the wet and cold. The wealthier Romans had it made of the finest wool, and mostly of a purple colour. It seems also to have been sometimes made of linen, but still with a rough surface.
27 Pliny again makes mention of the "ventrale," or apron, in B. xxvii. c. 28.
28 He seems to allude here to the substance of which the laticlave tunic was made, and not any alteration in its cut or shape. Some further information on the laticlave or broad-striped tunic will be found in B. ix, c. 63.
29 About the time of Augustus, the Romans began to exchange the "toga," which had previously been their ordinary garment, for the more convenient "lacerna" and "pænula," which were less encumbered with folds, and better adapted for the usual occupations of life.—B.
30 See B. ix. c. 62.
31 See B. xxi. c. 12.
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