Rubric

(from the Latin rubrica, “red ochre,” or “vermilion”). An ordinance or law was by the Romans called a rubric, because it was written with vermilion, in contradistinction to praetorian edicts or rules of the court, which were posted on a white ground. (Juvenal, xiv. 192.)

Rubrica vetavit” = the law has forbidden it. (Persius, v. 99.)

“Praetores edicta sua in albo proponebant, acrubricas [i.e. jus civile] translalerunt.” —Quintilian, xii. 3, 11.

“Rules and orders directing how, when, and where all things in divine service are to be performed were formerly printed in red characters (now generally in italics), and called rubrics.” —Hook: Church Dictionary.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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