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TABELLA´RIAE LEGES the laws by which the ballot was introduced in voting in [p. 2.752]the Comitia; tabellae being the tablets overlaid with wax on which votes were secretly inscribed. Secret voting was introduced for the purpose of weakening the power of the optimates. As to the ancient mode of voting at Rome, see TABELLA There were four enactments known by the name of Tabellariae Leges, which are enumerated by Cicero (de Legg. 3.16, 35). They are mentioned below according to the order of time in which they were passed.

1. LEX GABINIA proposed by the tribune Gabinus B.C. 139, introduced the ballot in the election of magistrates (Cic. l.c.); whence Cicero (Cic. Agr. 2.2, 4) calls the tabella “vindex tacitae libertatis.”

2. LEX CASSIA proposed by the tribune L. Cassius Longinus B.C. 137, introduced the ballot in the “Judicium Populi,” with the exception of cases of Perduellio. The “Judicium Populi” undoubtedly applies to cases tried in the Comitia by the whole body of the people [JUDEX Vol. I. p. 1027], although Ernesti (Index Leg.) wishes to give a different interpretation to the words. This law was supported by Scipio Africanus the younger, for which he was censured by the aristocratical party (Cic. de Legg. 3.1. 6, 37; Brut. 25, 97; pro Sestio, 48, 103;--Ascon. in Cornel. p. 78, ed. Orelli).

3. LEX PAPIRIA proposed by the tribune C. Papirius Carbo B.C. 131, introduced the ballot in the enactment and repeal oflaws (Cic. de Legg. 3.1. 6, 35).

4. LEX CAELIA, proposed by C. Caelius Caldus B.C. 107, introduced the ballot in cases of Perduellio, which had been excepted in the Cassian law (Cic. l.c.; pro Planc. 6, 16;--Plin. Ep. 3.20).

There was also a law brought forward by Marius B.C. 119, which was intended to secure freedom and order in voting (Cic. de Legg. 3.1. 7, 38; Plut. Mar. 4).

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