(Latin: rotulus)

A long narrow strip of papyrus or parchment, written on one side, wound like a window-shade about its staff; the earliest "volume" of which we know. In the 4th and 5th centuries these rolls were partly replaced by bound books, but for certain purposes rolls were retained. To this class belong legal records, manuscripts for the chanting of the Exultet, and mortuary rolls or documents employed to publish the names of the deceased of monasteries and other associations.

New Catholic Dictionary

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