Previous: clavulusNext: claxendix


clāvus, i, m. [root klu-, v. claudo; prop. that which shuts or fastens].

I. A nail, usually of metal.

A. Lit.: offerumentas habebis pluris Quam ulla navis longa clavos, Plaut. Rud. 3, 4, 48: (leges) ad parietem fixae clavis ferreis, id. Trin. 4, 3, 32; so, clavi ferrei, Cato, R. R. 18 fin.; Caes. B. G. 3, 13; Vitr. 7, 3 al.—Sometimes of hard wood: clavis corneis occludere, Cato, R. R. 18 fin.: cornus... lignum utile, si quid cuneandum sit in ligno clavisve figendum ceu ferreis, Plin. 16, 40, 76, 206: clavis religare tigna, Caes. B. C. 2, 10: clavos per modica intervalla figentes, Liv. 28, 20, 4.— Acc. to a Tuscan usage the ancient Romans designated the number of the year by nails, which the highest magistrate annually, at the Ides of September, drove into the wall of Jupiter's temple: clavo ab dictatore fixo, Liv. 7, 3, 3 sqq.; 8, 18, 12 sq.; 9, 28, 6: clavus annalis, Paul. ex Fest. p. 56, 10 Müll.; cf. O. Müll. Etrusk. 2, p. 329 sq., and Dict. of Antiq. p. 263. Also, in a later age, country people seem to have kept an account of the years in this way, Petr. 135, 8, 9.—Prov.: clavo clavum eicere, to drive out one nail by another (Gr. ἥλῳ τὸν ἧλον, παττάλῳ τὸν πάτταλον, sc. δεῖ ἐξελαύνειν): novo quidam amore veterem amorem tamquam clavo clavum eiciendum putant, Cic. Tusc. 4, 35, 75: aliquid trabali clavo figere, to fasten with a large nail, to clinch a matter, id. Verr. 2, 5, 21, 53; Arn. 2, p. 51.—

2. As a symbol of immovable firmness: Necessitas Clavos trabales Gestans, Hor. C. 1, 35, 18: si figit adamantinos Necessitas Clavos, id. ib. 3, 24, 7; cf. O. Müll. as above cit., p. 331.—Hence,

B. Trop.: ex hoc die clavum anni movebis, i. e. reckon the beginning of the year, Cic. Att. 5, 15, 1: fixus animus clavo Cupidinis, Plaut. As. 1, 3, 4.—Prov.: beneficium trabali clavo figere (v. trabalis), Cic. Verr. 2, 5, 21, 53 Zumpt; cf. Arn. 2, p. 51.—

II. Meton. of objects of like form.

A. (Lit. the handle of the rudder, the tiller; hence, pars pro toto.) The rudder, helm, in gen. (only sing.): ut clavum rectum teneam, Enn. ap. Isid. Orig. 19, 2, 12 (Ann. v. 472 Vahl.): clavum ad litora torquere, Verg. A. 5, 177 Serv.; 10, 218.—

b. Trop.: clavum tanti imperii tenere et gubernacula rei publicae tractare, Cic. Sest. 9, 20: abicere, to leave off the care of a thing, Arn. 3, 106: dum clavum rectum teneam, if I keep a steady helm, am not negligent (as in Gr. ὀρθὰν τὰν ναῦν), Quint. 2, 17, 24 Spald.; cf. the passage of Enn. supra. —

B. In medic. lang., a painful tumor or excrescence, a wart, a corn; on the feet, Cels. 5, 28, 14. clavis in pedibus mederi, Plin. 20, 17, 71, 184; 22, 23, 49, 101 sq.; 26, 11, 66, 106; 28, 16, 62, 222; on the eye, Cels. 6, 7, 12; in the nose, Plin. 24, 14, 77, 126; upon the neck of cattle, Col. 6, 14, 6; in sheep, id. 7, 5, 11.—Also a disease of the olive-tree, Plin. 17, 24, 37, 223.—

C. A kind of abortion of bees, Plin. 11, 16, 16, 50.—

D. A purple stripe on the tunica, which, for senators, was broad (latus, cf. laticlavius); for the equites, narrow (angustus; cf. angusticlavius). In the time of the emperors, however, the sons of the senators and equites also, who were preparing for civil office, wore the latus clavus, Liv. 9, 7, 9; Varr. L. L. 9, 79 Müll.; Ov. Tr. 4, 10, 29 Jahn; cf. Hor. S. 1, 5, 36; 1, 6, 28; Quint. 11, 3, 138; Vell. 2, 88, 2; Suet. Aug. 94: tunicam ita consuere, ut altera plagula sit angustis clavis, altera latis, Varr L. L. 9, 47 Müll.—Hence the phrase: latum clavum ab Caesare impetravi, i. e. I have become senator, Plin. Ep. 2, 9, 2; cf.: clavum alicui tribuere, Suet. Claud. 24: impetrare, id. Vesp. 4: adimere, id. Tib. 35: adipisci, id. Vesp. 2.—Rarely a purple stripe on bed or table cloths, Amm. 16, 8, 8.—

2. Poet., a tunic, in gen., either wide or narrow striped: mutare in horas, Hor. S. 2, 7, 10: sumere depositum, id. ib. 1, 6, 25.