Tabula ansata
A tabula ansata or tabella ansata (Latin for tablet with handles, plural tabulae ansatae or tabellae ansatae) is a tablet
Tablet (disambiguation)
A tablet is a mixture of pharmacological substances pressed into a small cake or bar; colloquially called a "pill".Tablet may also refer to:-Electronic devices:* Tablet computer, a mobile computer which is primarily operated by touching the screen...

 with dovetail
Dovetail joint
A dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joint technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart , the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front....

Handle (grip)
A handle is a part of, or attachment to, an object that can be moved or used by hand. The design of each type of handle involves substantial ergonomic issues, even where these are dealt with intuitively or by following tradition...

s. It was a favorite form for votive tablets in imperial Rome.
Tabulae ansatae identifying soldiers' units have been found on the tegimenta (leather covers) of shields
Scutum (shield)
Scutum is the Latin word for "shield", although it has in modern times come to be specifically associated with the rectangular, semi-cylindrical body shield carried by Roman legionaries.-History:...

, for example in Vindonissa
Vindonissa was a Roman legion camp at modern Windisch, Switzerland. It was probably established in 15 AD. In an expansion around 30, thermal baths were added....

 (Windisch, Switzerland). Sculptural evidence, for example on the metope
Metope (architecture)
In classical architecture, a metope is a rectangular architectural element that fills the space between two triglyphs in a Doric frieze, which is a decorative band of alternating triglyphs and metopes above the architrave of a building of the Doric order...

s from the Tropaeum Traiani
Tropaeum Traiani
The Tropaeum Traiani is a monument in Roman Civitas Tropaensium , built in 109 in then Moesia Inferior, to commemorate Roman Emperor Trajan's victory over the Dacians, in 102, in the Battle of Tapae. The monument was erected on the place where legio XXI Rapax had previously been defeated in 92...

 (Adamclisi, Romania), shows that they were also used for the
same purpose on the shields.

Modern era

Tabulae ansatae have been used by modern artists as early as the 15th century, as shown on the tomb of Charles, Count of Maine attributed to Francesco Laurana
Francesco Laurana
Francesco Laurana, also known as Francesco de la Vrana was a Dalmatian-born sculptor and medallist. He is considered as both Croatian and Italian sculptor.-Life and works:...

, in Le Mans Cathedral.
The Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

 is holding one such tablet on which "July 4th 1776" is inscribed using Roman numerals.

External links

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