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On this page: Nomon G – Nonae – Norma – Nota


which two votes of different assemblies were ne­cessary. (Demosth. c.Neaer. 1375.)

Propositions to be submitted to the people were first approved by the senate of 500, and then called Trpo§ov\ev/j.ara. The mover of a law was said &€ivai or ypd<peiv v6jj.ov, the people who passed it &eV0ai. To indict a man for proposing illegal measures was called ypdtyecrQai riva Trapav6luo0v. As to the proceedings in such a case, see para-


NONAE. [calendarium.]

NORMA (yv&i.i<av\ a square, used by carpen­ters, masons, and other artificers, to make their work rectangular. (PhiLo de 7 Orb. Specjk. 2 ; Vi­truv. vii. 3; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 22. s. 51 ; Pru­dent. Psychom. 828.) It was made by taking three flat wooden rulers [regula] of equal thickness^ one of them being two feet ten inches long, the others each two feet long, and joining them to­gether by their extremities so as to assume the form of a right-angled triangle. (Isid. Orig. xix. 39.) This method, though only a close approxi­mation, must have been quite sufficient for all com­mon purposes. For the sake of convenience, the longest side, i. e. the hypotenuse of the triangle, was discarded, and the instrument then assumed the form, in which it is exhibited among other tools in woodcut at p. 283. A square of a still more simple fashion, made by merely cutting a rectangular piece out of a board, is shown on anr other sepulchral monument, found at Rome and published by Gruter (I. c. p. 229), and copied in the woodcut which is here introduced. The square was used in making the semicircular striae of Ionic columns [columna], a method founded on the proposition in Euclid, that the angle contained in a semicircle is a right angle (Vitruv. iii. 5. § 14).



From the use of this instrument a right angle was also called a normal angle. (Quintil. xi. 3. p, 446, ed. Spalding.) Any thing mis-shapen was called abnormis. (Hor. Sat. ii. 2. 3.) [J. Y.]

NOTA, which signified a mark or sign of any kind, was also employed for an abbreviation. Hence notae signified the marks or signs used in taking down the words of a speaker, and was equivalent to onr short-hand writing, or steno­graphy; and notarii signified short-hand writers. It must be borne in mind, however, that notae also


signified writing in cipher; and many passages in the ancient reciters which are supposed to refer to short-hand, refer in reality to writing in cipher. Thus both Julius Caesar and Augustus wrote many of their letters in cipher (per notas. Suet. JuL Goes. 56? Aug. 88 ; comp. Gell. xvii. 9). Still short-hand was well known and extensively em­ployed. Among the Greeks it is said to have been invented by Xenophon (Diog. Lae'rt. ii. 48), and their short- hand writers were called raxvypdfyot, b£vypd(f>oi .and o"rj^ieioypd^>oi. The first introduc­tion of the art among the Romans is ascribed to Cicero. Plutarch, in speaking of the speech of Cato in the senate on the punishment of theCatilina-rian conspirators, relates, " They gay that this is the only speech of Cato which is preserved, and that it was owing to Cicero the consul who had previously instructed those clerks, who surpassed the rest in quick writing, in the use of certain signs which comprehended in their small and brief marks the force of many characters, and had placed them in different parts of the senate-house. For the Romans at this time were not used to employ nor did they possess what are called note-writers (crifiiJLeioypdfyoi)) but it was on this occa­sion, as they say, that they were first established in a certain form.1" (Cat. min. c. 23, Long's transl.) Cicero himself sometimes wrote in short-hand for the sake of brevity or secrecy (Sta a^jueicoy scrip-seram, Cic. ad Att. xiii. 32). Dion Cassius (Iv. 7) attributes the . invention of stenography to Mae­cenas. Eusebius, in his Chronicon, ascribes it to Tiro, the freedman of Cicero, and hence the system of abbreviated writing, in which some manuscripts are written, has received the name of Notae Tiro-nianae ; but there is no evidence to show whether this species of short-hand was really the invention of Tiro. It would appear, moreover,, from several passages in ancient writers, that the system of short-hand employed in the time of the Roman empire must have been of a much simpler and moi^e .expeditious kind than the Notae Tironianae. Tims ;Seneca says (Ep. 90): " Quid verborum notas., quibus quamvis citata excipitur oratio, et celeritatem linguae manus seqiiitur." Manilius speaks to the same effect (iv. 197): —

" Hie et scriptor erit velox, cui iitera verbum est, Quique notis linguam superet, cursimque loquentis Excipiet longas nova per compendia voces."

And likewise Martial (xiv. 208): —

" Currant verba licet; manus est velocior illis: Nondum lingua suum, dextra peregit opus/'

Many of the wealthy Romans kept slaves, who were trained in the art. (Senec. Ep. I. c.) Thus the elder Pliny, when travelling, used to carry a notarius-.with him, that the slave might be ready to take down any thing that he wished. (Plin. Ep. iii. 5.) The art was also learnt even by the Roman nobles, and the emperor Titus was a great proficient in it. (Suet. Tit. 3.) At a later time, it seems to have been generally taught in the schools, and hence Fulgentius (Mytliolog. iii. 10) divides the writing taught in schools into two kinds, the Abecedaria and Notaria ; the former being the regular letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, D, &c., and the latter, stenograph}^ There were, moreover, short-hand writers (notarii) by profession, who were chiefly employed in taking down (notare, excipere) the proceedings in the courts of justice., At a later

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