from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. See under Table.
- n. a celebrated body of Roman laws, framed by decemvirs appointed 450 years before Christ, on the return of deputies or commissioners who had been sent to Greece to examine into foreign laws and institutions. They consisted partly of laws transcribed from the institutions of other nations, partly of such as were altered and accommodated to the manners of the Romans, partly of new provisions, and mainly, perhaps, of laws and usages under their ancient kings.
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Now this magic of which you accuse me is, I am told, a crime in the eyes of the law, and was forbidden in remote antiquity by the Twelve Tables because in some incredible manner crops had been charmed away from one field to another.
Tables, which, with the simplicity proper to all legislation, conferred reciprocal rights of succession on all agnates alike, whether males or females, and excluded no degree by reason merely of its remoteness, after the analogy of family heirs; but it was introduced by the jurists who came between the Twelve Tables and the imperial legislation, and who with their legal subtleties and refinements excluded females other than sisters altogether from agnatic succession.
Decemviri appointed, 37; their tyranny, 37; the Twelve Tables, 38;
The Romans had their dii manes, i.e. divine ancestral spirits ( "Eos leto datos divos habento" -- Laws of the Twelve Tables as cited by
Cicero places them between the _Jus Civile_ and the Twelve Tables (De Or. i.