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See also: Paganica



paganica (uncountable)

  1. A Roman ball stuffed with feathers, used in a game that is sometimes considered a precursor to golf (since early golf balls had a similar construction).
    • 1875, Sydney Smith, The Edinburgh Review, A. and C. Black, vol. 141, pages 72-73:
      The folliculus was merely a smaller follis, apparently about the same size as a paganica, also a middle sized ball, stuffed with feathers, and therefore harder than the follis, which was only filled with air, but tenderer than the pila, which was probably as hard and heavy as our tennis-ball. Martial mentions all the three principal balls in a couplet — ‘ Hæc quæ difficilli turget Paganica plumâ / Folle minus laxa est et minus arcta pilâ. ’ ¶ ‘ This Paganica stuffed with stiff feathers is of tougher substance than the balloon, but of less compact substance than the tennis ball ’
  2. The game itself.
    • 1896, Harry Stirling Crawfurd Everard, Golf in theory and practice: some hints to beginners, George Bell & sons, page 4:
      An attempt, a rather lame one, however, has been made to prove that golf was known to the Romans, or at least that a game called Paganica resembled it.
    • 2002, Robert Muir Graves, Geoffrey S. Cornish, Classic Golf Hole Design, John Wiley and Sons, page 15:
      Beginning with paganica in Ancient Rome, golf has had many ancestors in many distant lands, all similar in one way or another to the game we know today.




  1. nominative feminine singular of pāgānicus
  2. nominative neuter plural of pāgānicus
  3. accusative neuter plural of pāgānicus
  4. vocative feminine singular of pāgānicus
  5. nominative neuter plural of pāgānicus


  1. ablative feminine singular of pāgānicus


  • paganica in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • paganica in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin