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An instrument used in ancient Greece and Rome for scraping the skin after a bath.

[Latin strigilis; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]


1. (Archaeology) a curved blade used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to scrape the body after bathing
2. (Architecture) architect a decorative fluting, esp one in the shape of the letter S as used in Roman architecture
[C16: from Latin strigilis, from stringere to graze]


(ˈstrɪdʒ əl)

an implement with a curved blade used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to scrape oil, sweat, and dirt from the skin after exercise.
[1575–85; < Latin strigilis, akin to stringere to touch, shave, skim; see stringent]
strig′il•ate (-ə lɪt, -ˌleɪt) adj.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Eager visitors were shown into the cavaliere's palazzo on Via dei Chiavari where they could spend time admiring innumerable copies of items as varied as lead piping, strigils or milestones, as well as 'all the instruments used in sacrifices' recorded by Ray and Skippon.
Visibly hanging between each of the couples are pieces of athletic equipment, strigils, and aryballoi, which succinctly identify the site where the encounters occur.
Strigils were S-shaped bronze body scrapers used by athletes in the classical period.
In the bathhouse, they used back scratchers or strigils to reach awkward areas.
These strigils were made in bronze and when a typical example appeared in Bonhams it made pounds 336, which suggests they are quite common.
20) Numerous Greek vases depict scenes of clothed men or youths admiring, crowning, or presenting gifts to naked athletes; strigils and oil flasks hanging in the background are also common means of giving a gymnastic setting to courtship scenes.
68), the athlete is clothed, but holds a strigil, as if to emphasize that he has just finished bathing.
26) Here, the strigils would have been painted in ochre, while the lions' bodies were auburn; their mouths and eyes picked out in red and the manes' gilded.
24) Strigil sarcophagi, decorated with lions, represent a special group of fluted coffins: Sichtermann and Koch, pp.