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Libellus

(in form the dim. of liber).


1.

A small book, i. e. roll, usually a book of verse (cf. Birt, Das antike Buchwesen, p. 22 [Berlin, 1882]).


2.

A memorial of any kind, whether an accusation or petition.


3.

A pasquinade, lampoon, or satirical skit (whence our word “libel”), intended to ridicule or defame (libellus famosus). Such were severely punished by the Twelve Tables, and later they were often publicly burned (Dio Cass. lvi. 27); but they were always numerous at Rome, especially in times of political excitement. (See Rein, Das Criminalrecht der Römer, pp. 378 foll., 531.)


4.

See Orationes Principum.


5.

A notice of appeal (libellus appellatorius; cf. Dig. 40, 1).


6.

A hand-bill or programme of the gladiatorial games (libellus gladiatorius or munerarius).


7.

A hand-bill or public notice of any sort posted up in the most frequented parts of the city (Pro Quint. 6, 15, 9; De Benef. iv. 12; Plaut. Rud. v. 2, 7).

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    • Plautus, Rudens, 5.2
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