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tăbella , ae (
I.nom. plur. TABELAI, S. C. de Bacch. Corp. I. R. 196). f. dim. tabula.
I. In gen., a small board, a little table or tablet (rare and mostly poet. and in post-Aug. prose): “liminis,” i. e. the door-sill, Cat. 32, 5: “tabella aerea,a brass plate, Plin. 33, 1, 6, § 19: hos (libellos) eme, quos artat brevibus membrana tabellis, little tablets, i. e. small pages, Mart. 1, 3, 3: “parva tabella capit ternos utrimque lapillos,small gamingboards, Ov. A. A. 3, 365; id. Tr. 2. 481: “pistor multiplices struit tabellas,” i. e. thin cakes, Mart. 11, 31, 9.—Of the basket or cradle in which Romulus and Remus were exposed: “heu quantum fati parva tabella vehit,the little bark, Ov. F. 2, 408.—
II. In partic. (class.).
2. Hence, transf., in plur., a writing, written composition, letter, contract, will, etc.: “tabellas proferri jussimus ... Recitatae sunt tabellae in eandem fere sententiam,Cic. Cat. 3, 5, 10: “allatae sunt tabellae ad eam a Stratippocle, eum argentum sumpsisse,Plaut. Ep. 2, 2, 68: “ex tabellis jam faxo scies,id. Ps. 1, 1, 47: “tabellas consignare,id. Curc. 2, 3, 86: “tu quidem tabellis obsignatis agis mecum,with sealed writings, Cic. Tusc. 5, 11, 33: “publicae Heracleensium,public records, id. Arch. 4, 9; cf. Liv. 43, 16, 13: “tabellae quaestionis plures proferuntur,minutes of evidence, Cic. Clu. 65, 184: “cur totiens video mitti recipique tabellas?Ov. Am. 3, 14, 31: “rasae,id. A. A. 1, 437: “nuptiis tabellas dotis ipse consignavit,the marriage contract, Suet. Claud. 29: “falsas signare tabellas,forged wills, Juv. 8, 142: “laureatae,a letter announcing a victory, Liv. 45, 1, 8.—Sing. (rare): “testimonium per tabellam dare,in writing, Tac. Or. 36: ex tabellā pronuntiare sententiam, Suet. Claud. 15.—
B. A tablet for voting, a ballot.
1. In the comitia, used in electing a magistrate or deciding upon the acceptance of a proposed law: in the former case the elector wrote down the name of a candidate; in the latter, each voter received two tablets, on one of which were the letters U. R., i. e. uti rogas, denoting approval; “on the other, A., i. e. antiquo (for the old law), denoting rejection: me universa civitas non prius tabellā quam voce priorem consulem declaravit,Cic. Pis. 1, 3: “an ego exspectem, dum de te quinque et septuaginta tabellae dirimantur?id. ib. 40, 96: “tabella modo detur nobis, sicut populo data est,id. Phil. 11, 8, 19; cf.: “si populo grata est tabella, quae frontis aperit hominum,id. Planc. 6, 16. —
2. In courts of justice; here each judge usually received three tablets; one of which, inscribed A., i. e. absolvo, denoted acquittal; another, with C., i. e. condemno, written on it, denoted condemnation; “and the third, with N. L., i. e. non liquet (it is not clear), left the case undecided: cum tabella vobis dabitur, judices, non de Flacco dabitur solum: dabitur de bonis omnibus,Cic. Fl. 39, 99: “huic judicialis tabella committetur?Cic. Verr. 2, 2, 32, § 79: “de quibusdam etiam imperitus judex dimittere tabellam potest,give his vote, Sen. Ben. 3, 7, 5: “quamlibet austeras de me ferat urna tabellas,Prop. 4 (5), 11, 49. Caes. B. C. 3, 83; cf. Suet. Aug. 33. —
D. A votive tablet, hung up in a temple, and on which one acknowledged by writing or painting the favor or aid he had received from a deity: “nunc, dea, nunc succurre mihi, nam posse mederi, Picta docet templis multa tabella tuis,Tib. 1, 3, 28: “et posita est meritae multa tabella deae,Ov. F. 3, 268: “votiva,Hor. S. 2, 1, 33; so Juv. 12, 27: “memores,Ov. M. 8, 744. —
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