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1092

TABULAE.

that they opened and shut like our books ; and to prevent the wax of one tablet rubbing against the wax of the.other, there was a raised margin around each, as is clearly seen in the woodcut under stilus. There were sometimes two, three, four five, or even more, tablets fastened together in the above-mentioned manner. Two such tablets were called Diptycha (8nrTux.a), which merely means " twice-folded" (from irrvcrvct) "to fold"), whence

•we have tttuktio^, or with the t omitted, irvurlov. The Latin word puyillareS) which is the name fre­quently given to tablets covered with wax (Mart, xiv. 3 ; Gell. xvii. 9 ; Plm. Ep. i. 6), may perhaps be connected with the same root, though it is usually derived from pugillus^ because they were small enough to be held in the hand. Such tablets are mentioned as early as the time of Homer, who speaks of a iriva.% tttvictos. (II. vi. 1?69.) Three tablets fastened together were called Triptycha (rptTTTuxa), which Martial (xiv. 6) translates by triplices (cerae) ; in the same way we also read of Pentaptyclia (TrevTctTrruxa) called by Martial (xiv. 4 ) Quintuplices (cerae}, and of Polyptyclia (TroAuyrrvxa) or Multiplier (cerae). The pages of these tablets were frequently called by the name of cerae alone ; thus we read of prima cera, alteracera, "first page," "second page." (Compare Suet. Net: 17.) In ta­blets containing important legal documents, espe­cially wills, the outer edges were pierced through with holes (foramina), through which a triple thread (linum) was passed, and upon which a seal was then placed. This was intended to guard against forgery, and if it was not done such docu­ments were hull"and void. (Suet. Ner. 17 ; Paulus, Sent. Rec. v. 25. § 6 ; testamentum.)

Waxen tablets were used among the Romans for almost every species of writing, where great length was not required. Thus letters were fre­quently written upon them, 'which were secured by being fastened together'with packthread and sealed with wax. Accordingly we read in Plautus (Bacchid1. iv. 4. 64) when a letter is to be written,

" Effer cito stilum, ceram, et tabellas, et linum."

The sealing is mentioned afterwards (1. 96). (Com­pare Cic. in Catil.iu. 5.) Tabulae and tabellae are therefore used in the sense of letters. (Ovid. Met. ix. 522.) Love-letters were Written on very small tablets called Vitelliani (Mart. xiv. 8, 9), of which

•word 'however we do not know the origin. Ta­blets of this kind are presented by Amor to Poly­phemus on an ancient painting. (Mus. Borbon. vol. i. tav. 2.)

Legal documents, and especially wills, were al­most always written on waxen tablets, as men­tioned above. Such tablets were also used for accounts, in which a person entered what he re­ceived and expended (Tabulae or Codex accepti et expensi, Cic. pro Rose. Com. 2), whence Novae Tabulae mean an abolition of debts either wholly or in part. (Suet. Jul. 42 ; Cic. de Off. ii. 23.) The above are merely instances of the extensive

•use of waxen tablets j it is unnecessary to pursue the subject further.

Two ancient waxen tablets have been-discovered In a perfect state of preservation, one in a gold mine four or five miles from the village of Abrud-bany& In Transylvania, and the other in a gold mine in the village itself. Of this interesting dis­covery an account has been published by Massmann In a work intitled " Libelhis Aurarius, sive Tabulae

TABULARIUM.

Ceratae, et antiquissimae et unice Romanae in Fodina Auraria apud Abrudbanyam, oppidulum Transsylvanum, nuper repertae," Lipsiae (1841). An account of these tablets, taken from Mass'mann's description, will serve as a commentary on what has been said above. Both the tabulae are tri-ptycha, that is, consisting of three tablets each. One is made of fir-wood, the other of beech-wood, and each is about the size of what we call a small octavo. The outer part of the two outside tablets of each exhibits the plain surface of the wood, the inner part is covered with wax, which is now al­most of a black colour, and is surrounded with a raised margin. The middle tablet has wa'x on both sides with a margin around each ; so that each of the two tabulae contains four sides or four pages covered with wax. The edges are pierced through, that they might be fastened together by means of a thread passed through them. The wax is- not thick in either ; it is thinner on the beechen tabulae, in which the stilus of the writer has some­times cut through the wax into the wood. There are letters on both of them, but on the beechen ta­bulae they are few and indistinct ; the beginning of the first tablet contains some Greek letters, but they are succeeded by a long set of letters in un­known characters. The writing on the tabulae made of fir-wood is both greater in quantity and in a much better state of preservation. It is written in Latin, and is a copy of a document relating to some business connected with a collegium. The name of the consuls is given, which determines its date to be A. d. 169. One of the 'most extraordi­nary things connected with it is, that it is written from right to left. The writing begins on what we should call the last or fourth page, and ends at the bottom of the third ; and by some strange good fortune it has happened that the same document is written over again, beginning on the second page and ending at the bottom of the first ; so that where the writing is effaced or doubtful in the one it is usually supplied or explained by the other.

Waxen tablets continued to be used in Europe for the purposes of writing in the middle ages ; but the oldest of these with which we are acquainted belongs to the year 1301 a. f»., and is preserved in the Florentine Museum.

The tablets used in voting in the comitia and the courts of justice were also called tabulae as well as tabellae. [tabellae.]

TABULAE PU BLICAE. [tabularium.]

TABULARII were notaries or accountants, who are first mentioned under this name in the time of the empire. (Sen. Ep. 88 ; Dig. 11. tit. 6. s. 7 ; 50. tit. 13. s. 1. § 6.) Public notaries, who had the charge of public documents, were also called tabularii (Dig. 43. tit. 5. s, 3), and these seem to have differed from the tabelliones in the circumstance that the latter had nothing to do with the custody of the public registers. Public tabularii were first established by M. Antoninus in the provinces, who ordained that the births of all children were to be announced to the tabularii within thirty days from the birth. (Capitol. M. Anton. 9.) Respecting the. other duties of the public tabularii, see Cod. Theod. 8. tit. 2, and Gothofr. ad loc.

TABULARIUM, a place where the public records (tabulae publieae) were kept. (Cic. pro C. Rabir. 3, pro Arch. 4.) These records were of various kinds, as for instance Senatusconsulta, Ta-

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