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p706 Librarii

Unsigned article on pp706‑707 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

LIBRARII, the name of slaves, who were employed by their masters in writing or copying in any way. They must be distinguished from the Scribae publici, who were freedmen [Scribae], and also from the booksellers [see the entry Liber], to both of whom this name is occasionally applied. The slaves, to whom the name of librarii was given, may be divided into three classes:—

  1. Librarii who were employed in copying books, called Scriptores Librarii by Horace (Ars Poët. 354). These librarii were called in later times antiquarii (Cod. 12 tit. 19 s10; Cod. Theod. 4 tit. 8 s2; Isid. Orig. VI.14). Isidore p707(l.c.) says that the librarii copied both old and new books, while the antiquarii copied only old books. Becker (Gallus, vol. I p164), however, thinks that, when the cursive character came into general use, the name of antiquarii was applied to the copyists who transcribed books in the old uncial character. The name of librarii was also given to those who bound books (Cic. ad Att. IV.17),º and to those who had the care of libraries.

  2. Librarii a studiis were slaves who were employed by their masters when studying to make extracts from books, &c. (Orell. Inscr. 719; Suet. Claud. 28; Cic. ad Fam. XVI.21). To this class the notarii, or short-hand writers, belonged, who could write down rapidly whatever their masters dictated to them (Plin. Ep. III.5; Martial, XIV.208). [Notarii.]

  3. Librarii ab epistolis, whose principal duty was to write letters from their master's dictation (Orelli, Inscr. 2437, 2997, &c.; Becker, Gallus, vol. I p180). To this class belonged the slaves called ad manum, a manu, or amanuenses. [Amanuensis.]


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