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AEGIS. - This, according to the Greek etymology of the word, was the skin of a goat; some authors affirming it to be that of the goat Amalthea, others pretending it to have been the skin of the destructive monster, Aegis, whom Minerva fought and slew - after which she is said to have placed its skin over her breast, partly to serve as a garment, partly as a protection against dangers, but also as a lasting evidence of her bravery: in the sequel she placed on it the snake-haired head of Medusa. Roman Emperors often appear, in their statues and on their coins, with their chests covered with the Aegis as with a cuirass; and several coins of Domitian and of Trajan exhibit those Emperors, with the head of Medusa affixed to the bust, as part of the body armour. - See Lorica - also Domitianus.

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