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σκυτάλη). A staff, used especially in Sparta by the ephors for their secret despatches to officials, particularly to commanders, in foreign countries (Lysand. 19; Gell. xvii.9.3; Suid. s. h. v.). A narrow strip of white leather was wound about a round staff so that the edges came exactly together; it was then written on crosswise, and sent to its destination after being unrolled again. What had been written could only be read when the strip was again would round an exactly similar staff, such as was given to every official when going abroad on public service. See Notae.

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