E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A sort of hue and cry; so called because among the Romans the names of the persons proscribed were written out, and the tablets bearing their names were fixed up in the public forum, sometimes with the offer of a reward for those who should aid in bringing them before the court. If the proscribed did not answer the summons, their goods were confiscated and their persons outlawed. In this case the name was engraved on brass or marble, the offence stated, and the tablet placed conspicuously in the market-place.