Calamus, the reed pen which the ancients used in writing, made of the stem of a reed growing in marshy places, of which the best were obtained from Egypt. The stem was first softened, then dried, and cut and split with a knife, as quill pens are made. To this day the Orientals generally write with a reed.

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Calamus, the traditional name of the sweet flag, which is no doubt the "calamus aromaticus" of Roman authors, and probably the sweet calamus and sweet cane of Scripture.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.