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Lewis : epistula

epistula ĕpistŭla (also in Cic. and ante- and post-class., ĕpistŏla, Corss. Ausspr. 2, 141; but cf. Brambach, Hülfsb. p. 35 sq. Ritschl, Opusc. 2, 493 note), ae, f., = ἐπιστολή . In gen., a written communication, a letter, epistle (cf.: litterae, codicilli): venio nunc ad tuas litteras, quas pluribus epistolis accepi, Cic. Q. Fr. 3, 1, 3, § 8; Plaut. Bacch. 3, 6, 32; 4, 9, 83; id. Mil. 4, 6, 10 et saep.; Cic. Phil. 2, 31; id. Verr. 2, 3, 69 fin.; id. Fam. 2, 4 et saep.; Hor. Ep. 2, 2, 22; Ov. H. 15, 219; 17, 1; 18, 217 et saep.: epistolam obsignare, Cic. Att. 8, 6, 1: Narcissus ab epistolis, the secretary, Suet. Claud. 28; cf. ab.—In the plur.: epistulae (cf. litterae), of a single letter (post-class.), Just. 1, 6, 1; 11, 12, 9; Plin. Ep. 10, 5, 1 al.; Tac. A. 1, 30; cf.: unis aut binis epistolis, Mamert. Grat. Act. Jul. 9, 2.

In partic., an imperial letter or reply, stating the emperor's will as law (cf.: rescriptum, decretum, edictum), Just. Inst. 1, 2, 6; Front. Aq. 105 et saep.