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On this page: Tabellariae Leges – Tabellarius – Tabellio – Taberna – Tabernaculum


The preceding cut contains a copy of a coin of the Cassian gens, in which a man wearing a toga is re­presented in the act of placing a tabella, marked with the letter A. (i. e. absolve)^ in the cista. The letter on the tabella is evidently intended for A.

For the other meanings of Tabella see tabula.

TABELLARIAE LEGES, the laws by which the ballot was introduced in voting in the comitia. As to the ancient mode of voting at Rome, see suffragium. There were four enactments known by the name of Tabellariae Leges, which are enu­merated by Cicero (de Leg. iii. 16). They are mentioned below according to the order of time in which they were passed.

1. gabinia Lsx, proposed by the tribune Ga-binius b. c. 139, introduced the ballot in the elec­tion of magistrates (Cic. Lc.}; whence Cicero (Agr. ii. 2) calls the tabella " vindex tacitae libertatis."

2. cassia lex, proposed by the tribune L. Cas-sius Longinus b. c. 137, introduced the ballot in the " Judicium Populi," with the exception of cases of Perduellio. The "Judicium Populi" undoubt­edly applies to cases tried in the comitia by the whole body of the people [JuDEX, p. 649], al­though Ernesti (Index Leg.) wishes to give a dif­ferent interpretation to the words. This law was supported by Scipio Africanus the younger, for which he was censured by the aristocratical party. (Cic. de Leg, iii. 16, Brut. 25, 27,/>ro Sextio, 48 ; Ascon. in Cornel, p. 78, ed. Orelli.)

3. papiria lex, proposed by the tribune C. Papirius Carbo B. c. 131, introduced the ballot in the enactment and repeal of laws. (Cic. de Leg. iii. 16.)

4. caelia lex, proposed by C. Caelius Caldus B. c. 107, introduced the ballot incases of Perduel­ lio, which had been excepted in the Cassian law. (Cic. /. c.) . • .

There was also a law brought forward by Marius B. c. 119, which was intended to secure freedom and order in voting. (Cic. de Leg. iii, 17 ; Plut. Mar. 4.)

TABELLARIUS, a letter-carrier. As the Romans had no public post, they were obliged to employ special messengers, who were called Tabel-larii, to convey their letters (tabellae, lUerae)^ when they had not an opportunity of sending them other­wise. (Cic. PMl. ii. 31 ; Cic. ad Fam. xiL 12, xiv. 22.)

TABELLIO, a notary. (Suidas. s. v.) Under the empire the Tabelliones succeeded to the busi­ness of the Scribae in the times of the republic. [scribae.] They were chiefly employed in draw­ing up legal documents,, and for this purpose usu­ally took their stations in the market-places of towns. (Cod. 4. tit. 21. s. 17 ; Novell 73. c. 5, &c.) They formed a special order in the .state* (Gothofr. ad Cod. Theod. 12. tit. 1. s. 3.)

TABERNA is denned by Ulpian as any kind of building fit to dwell in " nempe .ex eo, quod tabidis clauditur " (Dig. 50. tit. 10. § 183), or accord­ing to the more probable etymology of Festus, be­cause it was made of planks. (Festus, s. v. Contu-bemales, Tabernactda.) Festus (s. v. Adtibernalis) assarts that this was the most ancient kind.of abode used among the Romans, and that it was from the early use of such dwellings that the words taberna and tabernaculum were applied to military tents, though the latter were constructed of^skins. We know very little of the form and materials of the ancient tents ; but we may infer from the no­tices we have of them that they were generally i



composed of a covering of skins partly supported by wooden props, and partly stretched on ropes. Sometimes, in a permanent camp, they may have been constructed entirely of planks ; and some­times, in cases of emergency, garments and rushes were spread over any support that could be ob­tained. (Lipsius, de Milit. Roman, in Oper. vol. iii. pp. 154—155.) From taberna, when used in this sense, are derived tabernaculum., the more com­mon name of a tent, and contubernales.

The usual meaning of taberna is a shop. Ori­ginally the shops were stalls or booths in or round the market-place [agora ; forum] ; afterwards they were permanently established both on the sides of the market-place, and in other parts of the city. Neither the ancient authors nor the remains of Pompeii lead us to suppose that tradesmen often had their shops forming part of their houses, as with us. A few houses are indeed found in Pom­peii entirely devoted to the purposes of trade, con­sisting, that is, of the shop and the rooms occupied by the tradesman and his family. Most commonly, however, the shops formed a part of a large house, to the owner of which they belonged, and were by him let out to tradesmen. [Doiwus, p. 430.J Some of the shops round a house were retained by the owner for the sale of the produce of his estates. This arrangement of the shops was probably an im­provement on an older plan of placing them against the walls of houses. Even under the emperors we find that shops were built out so far into the street as to obstruct the thoroughfare. Martial (vii. 61) mentions an edict of Domitian by which this prac­tice was put down, and the shops were confined within the areas of the houses.

The following are the most remarkable classes of shops of which we have notices or remains.

1. Shops for the sale of wine, hot drinks, and ready-dressed meat. [caupona.]

2. Bakers' shops. Of these several have been found at Pompeii, containing the mill as well as the other implements for making bread. [MoLA }


3. Booksellers' shops. [liber.]

4. Barbers' and Hairdressers' shops. [BARBA.j

[P. S.J

TABERNACULUM. [taberna ;templum.] TABLINUM. [domus, p. 428, a.] TA'BULAE. This word properly means planks or boards, whence it is applied to several objects, as gaming-tables (Juv. i. 90), pictures (Cic. de Fin* v. 1 ; .Propert. i. 2. 22), but more especially to tablets used for writing, of which alone we have to speak here. The word Tabulae was applied to any flat substance used for writing upon, whether stone or metal, or wood covered with wax. Livy (i. 24) indeed distinguishes between Tabulae and Cfera, by the former of which he seems to mean tablets of stone or metal ; but Tabulae and Tabellae more frequently signify waxen tablets (tabulae ceratae), which were thin pieces of wood usually of an oblong shape, covered over with wax (cera). The wax was written on by means of the stilus. [stilus.] These tabulae were sometimes made of ivory and citron-wood (Mart. xiv. 3. 5), but generally of a wood of a more .common tree, as the beech, fir, &c. The outer sides of the tablets consisted merely . of the wood ; it was only the inner sides that were covered over with wax. They were fastened together at the back by means of wires, which answered the purpose of hinges, so

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