It was of the nature of a contract, entered into by mutual promise, the clasping of hands, and exchange of an agreement in writing (tabula hospitalis) or of a token (tessera or symbolum), and was rendered hereditary by the division of the tessera.
In the Tabula Peutingeriana it appears as Prisca, in the Antonine Itinerary as Serantaprista, in the Notitia as Seragintaprista and in Ptolemy as Priste Polis.
(i.) The Latin alphabet of the latest Tables resembles that of the Tabula Bantina, and might have been engraved at almost any time between 150 B.C. and 50 B.C. It is quite likely that the closer relations with Rome, which began after the Social War, led to the adoption of the Latin alphabet.
1 The ancient Greeks called a map Pinax, The Romans Tabula geographica.
Mappa mundi was the medieval Latin for a map of the world which the ancients called Tabula totius orbis descriptionem Topographical maps and plans are drawn on a scale sufficiently large to enable the draughtsman to show most objects on a scale true to nature.
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