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mensa, ae, f [Sanscr, ma, measure; Gr. μέτρον; cf. manus, mane, etc.], a table for any purpose, as a dining-table; a market-stand for meat, vegetables, etc.; a money-dealer's table or counter, a sacrificial table, etc.

I. Lit. Of the table itself as a fabrid: non ferre mensam nisi crebris distinctam venis, Sen. Dial. 3, 35, 5: mensa inanis nunc si adponatur mihi, Plaut. Pers. 3, 1, 26: cibos in mensam alicui apponere, id. Men. 1, 3, 29: surgunt a mensā saturi, poti, id. Ps. 1, 3, 62: ad mensam consistere. to wait at table, Cic. Tusc. 5, 21, 61: auferre mensam, Plaut. Truc. 2, 4, 14: apud mensam, at table, id. Trin. 2, 4, 77; Gell. 2, 22, 1; 19, 7, 2: arae vicem praestare posse mensam dicatam, Macr. S. 3, 11, 5.—

II. Transf.

A. Food; a table, meal, course: quocum mensam sermonesque suos impertit, Enn. ap. Gell. 12, 4 (Ann. v. 240 Vahl.): communicabo te semper mensā meā, Plaut. Mil. 1, 1, 51: ita mensas exstruit, id. Men. 1, 1, 25: parciore mensā uti, Tac. A. 13, 16: Italicae Syracusiaeque mensae, Cic. Tusc. 5, 35, 100: cui Quintus de mensa misit, id. Att. 5, 1, 4; so, parāsti mensam adversus eos qui tribulant me, Vulg. Psa. 23, 5: una mensa, at a single meal, Juv. 1, 138: prior, proxima mensa, the first, the second rank at table; the first or second in esteem: Raeticis uvis prior mensa erat, Plin. 14, 1, 3, 16; id. 9, 17, 29, 63: secunda mensa, the second course, the dessert (at which much wine was used), Cels 1, 2: haec ad te scripsi, appositā secundā mensā, during the dessert, Cic. Att. 14, 6, 2; 14, 21, 4: Agesilaus coronas secundamque mensam servis dispertiit, Nep Ages. 8, 4: secunda mensa bono stomacho nihil nocet, Cels. 1, 2, fin.: mensae tempore, meal-time, Juv. 13, 211.—

B. The guests at table: cum primum istorum conduxit mensa choragum, Suet. Aug. 70.—

C. A money-changer's counter: decem minas dum hic solvit, omnis mensas transiit, Plaut. Curc. 5, 3, 4: mensam poni jubet atque Effundi saccos nummorum, Hor. S. 2, 3, 148: nummulariorum, Vulg. Matt. 21, 12: publica, a public bank, Cic. Fl. 19, 44; id. Pis. 36, 88.—

D. A butcher's table: mensa lanionia, butcher's stall, shambles, Suet. Claud. 15.—

E. Mensa lusoria, a gaming-table (late Lat.), Aug. Conf. 8, 6.—

F. A sacrificial table: Curiales mensae, in quibus immolabatur Junoni, quae Curis est appellata, Paul. ex Fest. s. v. Curiales, p. 64 Müll.: mensae deorum, Verg. A. 2, 764: Jovis mensa, Plin. 25, 9, 59, 105: a small altar: super tumulum statuere, Cic. Leg. 2, 26, 66.—

G. The long flat part, the table, of a military engine (e. g. of a catapult), Vitr. 10, 16.—

H. A stand or platform on which slaves were exposed for sale: servus de mensā paratus, App. M. 8, p. 213; id. Mag. 17, p. 285, 15.