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Bronze strigil (Roman, 1st century AD, Walters Art Museum

A strigil is a small, curved, metal tool used in ancient Greece and Rome to scrape dirt and sweat from the body before effective soaps became available. First perfumed oil was applied to the skin, and then it would be scraped off, along with the dirt. For wealthier people, this process was often done by slaves. Strigils were often used in Roman baths and were made in different sizes for different areas of the body.

Motif in art[edit]

A strigil sarcophagus is a sarcophagus carved with S-shaped parallel grooves reminiscent of the shape of many strigils.

Strigil Sarcophagus in Saint-Victor de Marseille Abbey

See also[edit]