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A piece of furniture employed by the Romans for bringing upon table the various dishes comprised in a course (Plin. H. N. xviii. 90), and which was placed with its contents upon a table in the dining-room (Petron. 60, 4). It consisted of a large covered box or case (whence theca repositorii, Petron. 39, 3), either round or square, and sometimes made of choice woods inlaid with tortoise-shell, and enriched by ornaments of silver (Fenestella ap. Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 52; Petron. 35, 2). The whole case was moreover divided into a number of stories, one above the other, each of which held a separate tray (ferculum) furnished with dishes like the dinner-baskets in which a French restaurateur sends out a dinner to his customers. This is clear from Petronius 36, 1 and 2. Compare also 35, 1 and 2, where a repositorium is placed upon the table, and, after the first division has been removed, another tray containing a different course of entrées is exposed to view—superiorem partem repositorii abstulerunt. Quo facto, videmus infra, scilicet in altero ferculo, altilia, etc.— which passage distinctly points out the difference between a repositorium and a ferculum.

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