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Lewis : littera

littera littĕra (less correctly lītĕra), ae, f. lino, q. v., a letter, a written sign or mark signifying a sound. Lit.: cubitum hercle longis litteris signabo jam usquequaque, si quis, etc., Plaut. Rud. 5, 2, 7: quid hae locuntur litterae? id. Bacch. 4, 7, 3; cf.: quid istae narrant? Tox. Perconctare ex ipsis; ipsae tibi narrabunt, id. Pers. 4, 3, 29: sus rostro si humi A litteram impresserit, Cic. Div. 1, 13, 23: priscarum litterarum notae, id. ib. 2, 41, 85: maximis litteris incisum, id. Verr. 2, 2, 63, § 154 fin.: lenis appellatio litterarum, id. Brut. 74, 159: suavis appellatio litterarum, Quint. 11, 3, 35: quae si nostris litteris scribantur, id. 12, 10, 28 litterarum ordine, in alphabetical order, Plin. 37, 9, 54, § 138: verba primis litteris notare, Prob. de Not. Signif. 1 Huschke: digerere in litteram, to arrange alphabetically, Sen. Ep. 68, 18: scire litteras, to be able to read and write, Plaut. Truc. 4, 2, 23; Vitr. 1, 1, 14: nescire litteras, not to be able to read and write, id. Clem. 2, 1, 2; Suet. Ner. 10: scribere aureis litteris, Gai. Inst. 2, 77: scientia litterarum, the art of writing, Dig. 29, 2, 93: facere litteram or litteras, to write, Plaut. As. 4, 1, 22; Cic. Ac. 2, 2, 6.—In the language of comedy: homo trium litterarum, i. e. fur, a thief, Plaut. Aul. 2, 4, 46: litteram ex se longam facere, i. e. to make an I by hanging perpendicularly, to hang one's self: neque quicquam meliust mihi, ut opinor, quam ex me ut faciam litteram longam, meum laqueo collum quando obstrinxero, id. ib. 1, 1, 37: littera salutaris, i. e. A. (absolvo) and tristis, i. e. C. (condemno), which were put on the voting-tablets, Cic. Mil. 6, 15.

Transf. Sing. A word, a line: ad me litteram numquam misit, Cic. Fam. 2, 17, 6: ad litteram, word for word, literally: locum ad litteram subjeci, Quint. 9, 1, 15.

A handwriting: Alexidis manum amabam, quod tam prope accedebat ad similitudinem tuae litterae, Cic. Att. 7, 2, 3; cf.: arguit ipsorum quos littera, Juv. 13, 138 (v. also infra B. 1. fin.).

Usually plur. Littĕrae, ārum, f., a letter, epistle: litteras resignare, to unseal or open a letter, Plaut. Trin. 3, 3, 65: ut litterarum ego harum sermonem audio, id. Ps. 1, 1, 97; Cic. Att. 1, 13, 1: dare alicui litteras ad aliquem, id. Cat. 3, 4, 9: litteras mittere, id. Att. 5, 21, 2: reddere alicui, id. ib. 5, 21, 4: accipere, id. ib. 5, 21, 7: remittere, id. ib. 11, 16, 4: nullas iis praeterquam ad te et ad Brutum dedi litteras, id. Fam. 3, 7, 1: queri apud aliquem per litteras, id. Att. 5, 21, 13: invitare aliquem perlitteras id. ib. 13, 2, 2: civitatum animos litteris temptare, Caes. B. C. 1, 40, 1: litterae missae, a letter sent by a person: litterae allatae, a letter received: hence, liber litterarum missarum et allatarum, a letter-book: L. M. (i. e. litterae missae) ... L. A. (i. e. litterae allatae), etc., Cic. Font. 4, 8; id. Verr. 2, 3, 71, § 167.—In poets also sometimes in sing.: quam legis a rapta Briseide littera venit, Ov. H. 3, 1; 5, 2; id. M. 9, 515; Tib. 3, 2, 27; Mart. 10, 73 al.

A writing, document, paper: litterae publicae, Cic. Verr. 2, 4, 63, § 140; 2, 4, 16, § 35; esp. a written acknowledgment: littera poscetur, Ov. A. A. 1, 428.

An account-book: ratio omnis et litterae, Cic. Quint. 11, 37; id. Verr. 2, 4, 12, § 27.

An edict, ordinance: praetoris litterae, Cic. Verr. 2, 5, 22, § 56: litteras revocavit, letter of appointment, commission, Suet. Vesp. 8.

Written monuments, records, literature: abest historia litteris nostris, is wanting in our literature, Cic. Leg. 1, 2, 5: Graecae de philosophia litterae, philosophical literature, id. Div. 2, 2, 5: genus hoc scriptionis nondum satis Latinis litteris illustratae, id. Brut. 64, 228; id. Tusc. 1, 1, 1; id. Fin. 1, 2, 4: Graecis litteris studere, id. Brut. 20, 78: damnum Hortensii interitu Latinae litterae fecerunt, id. ib. 33, 125: nullam artem litteris sine interprete et sine aliqua exercitatione percipi posse, merely from books, id. Fam. 7, 19: quod litteris exstet, Pherecydes primum dixit animos hominum esse sempiternos, id. Tusc. 1, 16, 38: parvae et rarae per eadem tempora litterae fuere, Liv. 6, 1, 2; 7, 3, 6: Etruscae, id. 9, 36, 3: paucissimos adhuc eloquentes litterae Romanae tulerunt, Quint. 10, 1, 123: amor litterarum, id. prooem. 6.

History, inasmuch as it is derived from written monuments: cupidissimus litterarum fuit, Nep. Cat. 3, 1; id. Pelop. 1: parvae et rarae per eadem tempora litterae fuere, Liv. 6, 1.

Literary labor, composition: omnis varietas litterarum mearum, Cic. Fam. 15, 4, 12: non nihil temporis tribuit litteris, Nep. Hann. 13, 2.

An inscription, Ov. M. 11, 706.

Learning, the sciences, liberal education, scholarship, letters: sit mihi orator tinctus litteris: audierit aliquid, legerit, Cic. de Or. 2, 20, 85: erant in eo plurimae litterae, id. Brut. 76, 265: homo communium litterarum, et politioris humanitatis non expers, id. de Or. 2, 7, 28: homo sine ingenio, sine litteris, id. Verr. 2, 4, 44, § 98: fuit in illo ingenium, ratio, memoria, litterae, cura, cogitatio, diligentia, id. Phil. 2, 45, 116: mihi nihil libri, nihil litterae, nihil doctrina prodest, id. Att. 9, 10, 2: litterarum scientia, id. Brut. 42, 153: litterarum coguitio, id. de Or. 3, 32, 127: nescire litteras, to be without a liberal education, id. Brut. 74, 259: altiores litterae, magic, Plin. 14, 4, 5, § 51.—Comically of the art of love: Litteras didicisti; quando scis, sine alios discere, Plaut. Truc. 4, 2, 22.