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TABELLA´RIUS a letter-carrier. As the Romans had no public post, they were obliged to employ slaves, who were called Tabellarii, as special messengers to convey their letters when they had not an opportunity of sending them otherwise (Cic. Phil. 2.31, 37; ad Fam. 12.12, 14.22). Those who were out of Italy could get their letters conveyed not only by ships' captains, but also by the special tabellarii of the provincial governor (Cic. Att. 5.1. 9; de Prov. Cons. 7, 15), or by those of the publicani (Cic. Att. 5.1. 5 and 16): for these tabellarii of proconsuls, see also Auct. de Bell. Hisp. 2.

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