from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The sacred shield of the Ancient Romans, said to have fallen from heaven in the reign of Numa. It was the palladium of Rome.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The sacred shield of the Romans, said to have-fallen from heaven in the reign of Numa. It was the palladium of Rome.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The sacred shield of Mars, said to have fallen from heaven in the reign of Numa, and declared by the diviners to be the palladium of Rome so long as it should be kept in the city.
The 'ancile' or sacred shield of Numa hung lustrous in the air over this very city, till that pious prince took it down and hung it in the temple of Jupiter.
It is a sophisma pigrum, and (as Bacon hath said) the arrogance of pusillanimity, which lifts up the idol of a mortal's fancy and commands us to fall down and worship it, as a work of divine wisdom, an ancile or palladium fallen from heaven.
"Miserable men," he says elsewhere, "you refuse to worship the ancile, yet you worship the wood of the cross, and sign it on your foreheads, and fix it on your doors.