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Definition of Testudo

Testudo

  1. 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 Graeca) and the gopher of the Southern United States.
  2. 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. 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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