Since adult manipulation of Maisie is symbolized (and sometimes literally effected) by the grasping of her hand, it makes sense to point out that, according to The Oxford English Dictionary, manipulate derives from the French manipuler and Italian manipolare, meaning "to gripe or claspe with the hands." The English word manipulation ultimately derives from the Latin manipulus
, which means "handful."
Rouse, Preaching, Florilegia and Sermons: Studies on the 'Manipulus
florum' of Thomas of Ireland (Toronto, 1979), 65-90, for an account based on actual sermon practice.
Even without this reminder Ovid's readers would have been well aware that the ordinary prose expression for the object that he was alluding to was manipulus feni.(14)
31 Endt a Romulo coepit hoc signum, ut faeni manipulus praeferretur.
Preachers, Florilegia, and Sermons: Studies on the "Manipulus
florum" of Thomas of Ireland.