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tablinum (plural tablina)

  1. (historical) An anteroom in a house of ancient Rome, opening out of the atrium opposite the main entry and often containing the family statues and archives.
    • 1715, “Section II, Of Private Buildings”, in The history of many memorable things lost, which were in use among the ancients and an account of many excellent things found, now in use among the moderns ... written originally in latin ... and now done into english ... with several additions (etc.)[1], volume 1, London: John Nicholson, translation of original by Guido Pancirollus, page 72:
      (b) There was also a Pluteus (which we call Tablinum) a Place or Study, where the Pictures of their Ancestors, and their glorious Atchievements, were drawn or pourtray'd: On the other Side was the Kitchin, from whence they came into a Porch built about the Hall, or Cavedium, which, because `twas four-square, it was therefore surrounded with four Porticos, which may properly be called Walks or Piazzas.


Alternative forms[edit]


From tabula (writing tablet, records office).



tablīnum n (genitive tablīnī); second declension

  1. study, archives (room in a Roman villa)
  2. balcony, terrace
  3. picture gallery


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative tablīnum tablīna
Genitive tablīnī tablīnōrum
Dative tablīnō tablīnīs
Accusative tablīnum tablīna
Ablative tablīnō tablīnīs
Vocative tablīnum tablīna

Related terms[edit]


  • tablinum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • tablinum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • tablinum”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • tablinum”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin