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lăpillus, i, m. dim. [lapis], a little stone, a pebble (perh. not ante-Aug.).
- I. In gen.: invitat somnos crepitantibus unda lapillis, Ov. M. 11, 604; Plin. 10, 23, 30, § 59 sq.
Lucky days were marked with white, and unlucky ones with black stones (cf. calculus, 2. e.); hence: felix utraque lux diesque nobis Signandi melioribus lapillis, i. e. with white stones, Mart. 9, 53, 5; cf.: hunc Macrine, diem numera meliore lapillo, Pers. 2, 1; cf. also Plin. 7, 40, 41, § 131.
In trials at law, a white stone was cast as a vote for acquittal, a black stone for condemnation: mos erat antiquus niveis atrisque lapillis, His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa, Ov. M. 15, 41.
- II. In partic.
- A. Stone in the bladder, gravel: ejectus calculoso, Plin. 28, 4, 9, § 42.
- B. A precious stone, gem, jewel; marble, etc.: inter niveos viridesque lapillos, i. e. pearls and emeralds, Hor. S. 1, 2, 80: caris aures onerare lapillis, Ov. A. A. 3, 129: indici, Mart. 1, 110, 4: Libyci, bits of Numidian marble, Hor. Ep. 1, 10, 19.
- C. A tombstone, Inscr. ap. Murat. 1536, 6; cf. Burm. Anth. Lat. 2, p. 269.