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Lewis : crux

crux, crux, ŭcis, f. (m., Enn. ap. Non. p. 195, 13; Gracch. ap. Fest. s. v. masculino, p. 150, 24, and 151, 12 Müll.) [perh. kindred with circus]. Lit. In gen., a tree, frame, or other wooden instruments of execution, on which criminals were impaled or hanged, Sen. Prov. 3, 10; Cic. Rab. Perd. 3, 10 sqq.

In partic., a cross, Ter. And. 3, 5, 15; Cic. Verr. 2, 1, 3, § 7; 2, 1, 4, § 9; id. Pis. 18, 42; id. Fin. 5, 30, 92; Quint. 4, 2, 17; Tac. A. 15, 44; Hor. S. 1, 3, 82; 2, 7, 47; id. Ep. 1, 16, 48 et saep.: dignus fuit qui malo cruce periret, Gracch. ap. Fest. l. l.: pendula, the pole of a carriage, Stat. S. 4, 3, 28.

Transf. As a term of reproach, a gallows bird, a hempen rascal, Plaut. Pers. 5, 2, 17.

Transf., torture, trouble, misery, destruction, etc. (so most freq. in Plaut. and Ter., and in the former esp. freq. in connection with mala): aliqua mala crux, tormentor (of a prostitute), Plaut. Aul. 3, 5, 48; cf.: illae cruces, Ter. Eun. 2, 3, 92: quae te mala crux agitat? what tormentor troubles you? Plaut. Bacch. 4, 2, 2: abstraxit hominem in maximam malam crucem, id. Men. prol. 66: quaerere in malo crucem, Ter. Phorm. 3, 3, 11.—Prov.: summum jus antiqui summam putabant crucem, Col. 1, 7, 2.—Hence, in colloq. lang.: I (abi, etc.) in malam crucem! go to the devil! go and be hanged! Plaut. Cas. 3, 5, 17; id. Ps. 3, 2, 57; 4, 7, 86 al.; Ter. Phorm. 2, 3, 21; cf.: Cy. Num quid vis? Me. Ut eas maximam in malam crucem, Plaut. Men. 2, 2, 53; id. Capt. 3, 1, 9.—Without mala: I in crucem, Plaut. As. 5, 2, 91.—And ellipt.: in malam crucem! Plaut. Cas. 5, 4, 8; id. Ps. 5, 2, 5. —Hence, Ital. croce; Fr. croix.