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Tabellariae Leges

Laws by which, for the purpose of weakening the power of the Optimates, the practice of voting by secret ballot was introduced at Rome. There were four of these laws:


the Lex Gabinia (B.C. 139), prescribing the use of the ballot in the election of magistrates;


the Lex Cassia (B.C. 137), prescribing the ballot in the iudicium populi except in cases of treason (perduellio);


the Lex Papiria (B.C. 131), introducing the ballot in voting on the enactment and repeal of laws; and


the Lex Caelia (B.C. 107), extending the use of the ballot to questions even of perduellio. All these laws are mentioned by Cicero (De Leg. iii. 16, 35). See Comitia.

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