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dē-spĭcĭo, exi, ectum, 3 (inf. perf. despexe, Plaut. Mil. 2, 6, 72), v. n. and a.

I. To look down upon any thing (for syn. cf.: contemno, sperno, aspernor).

A. Lit. (mestly poet.).

(a). Neutr.: ad te per impluvium tuum, Plaut. Mil. 2, 6, 72; 2, 3, 16: de vertice montis in valles, Ov. M. 11, 504: a summo caelo in aequora, id. A. A. 2, 87: medios in agros, id. M. 1, 601: in vias, Hor. Od. 3, 7, 30 al.Absol.: vultus suspicientis et despicientis, Plin. 35, 8, 34, 56.—Pass. impers.: colles, qua despici poterat, Caes. B. G. 7, 36, 2; Liv. 44, 6; Amm. 19, 5.—

(b). Act.: si quis Pacuviano invehens curru multas et varias gentis et urbis despicere et oculis conlustrare possit, Cic. Rep. 3, 9, 14: Juppiter aethere summo Despiciens mare velivolum terrasque jacentis, etc., Verg. A. 1, 224 (v. Conington ad loc.); cf. Ov. M. 2, 178; id. F. 4, 569: e tumulis subjectam urbem, Sil. 12, 488: culmine cuncta, Luc. 5, 251: cavā montis convalle, Verg. G. 2, 187 (Forb. ad loc.): quos (populos) despicit Arctos, Luc. 1, 458.—(Acc. to Lachm. ad Lucr. vol. 2, p. 236, despicio with acc. always has the trop. force, to despise; and in all these passages should be read dispicere; and so Rib. in Verg., Munro ad Lucr. 4, 418; cf. dispicio.)—

B. Trop. as v. act., to look down upon, to despise, disdain (class. and very freq. —syn.: contemnere, spernere): ut omnes despiciat, ut hominem prae se neminem putet, Cic. Rosc. Am. 46 fin.; cf. id. Fin. 3, 18 fin.; id. Rep. 1, 17: divitias (with contemnere honores), id. Lael. 23: suos, Caes. B. C. 3, 59, 3; ipsos, id. B. G. 1, 13, 5: legionem propter paucitatem, id. ib. 3, 2, 3; cf. copias, id. B. C. 3, 23; 87: paucitatem militum, id. ib. 3, 111; id. B. G. 6, 39 fin.: ullum laborem aut munus, to disdain, decline, shun, id. B. C. 3, 8 fin. et saep.: dum despicis omnes, Verg. E. 8, 32; Ov. M. 9, 438 et saep.—In part. perf.: homines despecti et contempti, Cic. Sest. 40, 87; cf.: huic despecto saluti fuit, Nep. Thras. 2, 2 (corresp. with contemptus and contemnentibus).—Partic. with the gen.: despiciens sui, Cic. de Or. 2, 89 extr.; and poet.: despectus taedae, Sil. 8, 54.—

II. To look away, not to regard, not to attend: simul atque ille despexerit, Cic. Rosc. Am. 8, 22.— Hence, P. a., dēspectus, a, um, contemptible, despicable: natura ejus, Tac. A. 13, 47: Euphrates, ingens modo, inde tenuis rivus, despectus emoritur, Mela, 3, 8, 5.—Comp.: improbos despectiores facere, Boëth. Cons. Phil. 3, pros. 4, p. 47 Obbar.