the first letter in both the Greek and Latin alphabets. The principal uses of the letter in abbreviations found in MSS. and inscriptions, or on coins, are given below.

In Greek.—Abbreviations of one or even of two letters are of extreme rarity on Greek coins and inscriptions of the pre-Euclidean period; after this time a few instances occur, owing doubtless to Roman influence, their use being chiefly confined to a few Roman proper names, e. g. A=Αὐλός, Αὐρήλιος, Ἀντωνῖνος. With the general introduction of alphabetic numerals, about the beginning of the fifth century B.C., the letter A, ά, is also used as a numeral for 1 and 1000 (α). Cf. S. Reinach, Traité d'Épigraphie Grecque (1885), pp. 220 ff. 225 ff.

In Latin.—The Romans made an astonishingly extensive use of abbreviations. Only a very few out of many thousands recorded in the indexes to the C. I. L. (ii. 777, iii. 1185, v. 1201, vii. 342, viii. 1103, ix. 795, x. 1165, xii. 945, xiv. 583) can be given here under each letter. On Roman abbreviations in general, cf. R. Mowat, Bull. Épigraph. IV. p. 127 ff. (1884); E. Hübner, in Iwan Müller's Handbuch, i. 496 ff., 523 ff.; R. Cagnat, Cours d'Épigraphie Latine (1889), p. 351 ff.

A=absolvo, written on voting tablets, “I favor acquittal;” hence called littera salutaris (Cic. pro Mil. vi. 15).

A=antiquo, designates a nay vote in the Roman comitia, in rejection of a proposed change.

A=auditor, or adulescens in some of the MSS. of Tusc. Disp., to denote one of the interlocutors as opposed to M=Marcus or magister.

A=Aulus, Augustus, Aurelius, Antoninus, Africa, Aprilis, aedilis.

A=Aurelia (inverted letter always used to designate female names).

A=accipiet, actum, aeternus, annus, annona, ara, armatura, argento, auro, as.

A˙A=Aquae, Aponi, Auli duo.

AAGG=Augusti duo.

AAAGGG=Augusti tres. 1

A˙A˙A˙F˙F=aere argento auro flando feriundo.

A˙B=a balneis (very frequently for a or ab), amicus bonus.

A˙B˙M=amico bene merenti.

A˙C=aere collato, armorum custos, a colonia, a commentariis.

A˙D=ante diem, ager divisus.

A˙D˙A=agris dandis adsignandis.

A˙D˙A˙I=agris dandis adsignandis iudicandis.

A˙E=actum esse.

A˙F˙P˙R=actum fide Publii Rutilii (Cic. De Orat. ii. 69, 280).


A˙G˙IV˙C˙P=arborum genera quattuor, cetera privata.

A˙H˙N˙P=ad heredem non pertinet.

A˙L=actarius legati, [et si qui] alii liberti [erunt], animo libens, Augusti libertus, arca lata.

A˙L˙F(P)=animo libente fecit (posuit).

A˙O˙F˙C=amico optimo faciundum curavit.

A˙P=aedilicia potestate, animo pio, anno provinciae, a populo, arca publica, argentis pondo, ager publicus.

A˙P˙R=aerarium populi Romani.

A˙P˙R˙C=anno post Romam conditam.

A˙Q˙ER˙PP=aut qui erunt proximi.

A˙Q˙E˙R˙P˙P˙R˙L=ad quem ea res pertinet, pertinebit recte licet.

A˙Q˙P=a quaestionibus praefecti.

A˙S=a sacris, a senatu.

A˙S˙F (F˙C)=a solo fecit, faciundum curavit.

A˙V=aediles vici, argenti unciae, ave vale.

A˙V˙C=anno urbis conditae.

1 * The original name for these abbreviations seems to have been litterae singulares or singulariae (cf. Gell. xvii.9.1). At a later period notae became the more common term (cf. Festus, p. 184: Nota nunc significat signum at in pecoribus, tabulis, libris, litterae singulae vel binae). Valerius Probus wrote an elaborate work De Notis, only a part of which has been preserved. In the Digests of Justinian nota is displaced by the term sigla. The word is of doubtful origin. Most scholars regard it as a syncopated form of sigillum; others derive it from singuli; Mommsen thinks it a mere corruption from singulares.

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Cicero, For Milo, 15
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 2.69
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 17.9.1
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