[German version] (literally 'that which is written down'), in the field of law, denoted all Roman documents, and (as literacy increased) from the Principate, but esp. in late antiquity, e.g. the testament, the note of hand (
cheirógraphon ), generally the contract, but also a legal opinion or a legal ruling, provided that these were given in writing. In a narrower sense, probably arising from the fact that the Roman tax farmers (
publicani ) 'marked down' transactions of relinquishment of public pasture to private (sub-)lessees,
scriptura was the payment the lessee had to make for this particular transaction, which was a kind of 'allocation' rather than a private lease agreement. Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) Bibliography B. Kübler, s. v. S., in: RE 2 A, 904 f.