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Lewis : talus

talus, tālus, i, m. from tax-lus; root tak-, tvak-; cf. Gr. τάσσω, whence taxus; cf. taxillus, the ankle, ankle-bone; of animals, the pastern-bone, knuckle-bone (syn. calx). Lit., Ov. M. 4, 343; Cels. 8, 1 fin.; 8, 7 fin.; 8, 22; Plin. 11, 46, 106, § 253; Ov. M. 8, 808: talum expellere, to dislocate, Mart. 8, 75, 3: extorsisse, Sen. Ben. 5, 24, 1.

Transf. The heel: purpura ad talos demissa, Cic. Clu. 40, 111; Hor. S. 1, 2, 29 and 99; cf. id. ib. 1, 9, 11: talos a vertice pulcher ad imos, id. Ep. 2, 2, 4: summaque vix talos contigit unda meos, Ov. Am. 3, 6, 6: nudus, Juv. 7, 16.—Poet.: securus, cadat an recto stet fabula talo, whether it stands or falls, i. e. whether it succeeds or fails, Hor. Ep. 2, 1, 176; cf.: tibi recto vivere talo Ars dedit, i. e. to act well, conduct one's self well, Pers. 5, 104.

A die (orig. made from the knuckle-bones of certain animals) of an oblong shape, rounded at the ends, and marked only on the other four sides (cf. alea); while the tesserae were cubes, and marked on all six sides. Four tali were used in playing, but only three tesserae: ad pilam se aut ad talos se aut ad tesseras conferunt, Cic. de Or. 3, 15, 58; id. Sen. 16, 58; Plaut. Curc. 2, 3, 75; 2, 3, 79; id. Capt. 1, 1, 5; Cic. Div. 1, 13, 23; 2, 21, 48; id. Fin. 3, 16, 54; Aug. ap. Suet. Aug. 71; Prop. 4 (5), 8, 45; Hor. C. 1, 4, 18; id. S. 2, 3, 171; 2, 7, 17; cf. Becker, Gallus, 3, p. 253 sq.