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δίπτυχα). Two writing-tablets fastened at the back by wires upon which, as upon hinges, they opened and shut. They were also

Diptychon. (Herculaneum.)

known as pugillares. When three or more tablets are joined they are called triptycha or polyptycha. For further details see Writing and Writing Materials.

The Diptycha Consularia, frequently mentioned in the later times of the Empire, were made of ivory, and were presented by the consuls to the emperor and to their friends on the day on which they entered upon their office. Other magistrates, such as the quaestors, also distributed diptycha on the same occasion (Symmach. Ep. ii. 81). These diptycha contained the portraits and names of the consuls, with other representations in bas-relief. Several of these diptycha are still extant—sixty-one in all, according to Marquardt—the earliest bearing the date of A.D. 406 and the latest of 541.

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