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Testudo graeca definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: small land tortoise of southern Europe [syn: European tortoise, Testudo graeca]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Testudo Tes*tu"do, n.; pl. Testudines. [L., from testa the shell of shellfish, or of testaceous animals.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) A genus of tortoises which formerly included a large number of diverse forms, but is now restricted to certain terrestrial species, such as the European land tortoise (Testudo Gr[ae]ca) and the gopher of the Southern United States. 2. (Rom. Antiq.) A cover or screen which a body of troops formed with their shields or targets, by holding them over their heads when standing close to each other. This cover resembled the back of a tortoise, and served to shelter the men from darts, stones, and other missiles. A similar defense was sometimes formed of boards, and moved on wheels. 3. (Mus.) A kind of musical instrument. a species of lyre; -- so called in allusion to the lyre of Mercury, fabled to have been made of the shell of a tortoise.



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