rota

n.

  1. An ecclesiastical court of Rome, called also Rota Romana, that takes cognizance of suits by appeal. It consists of twelve members.
  2. A short-lived political club established in 1659 by J.Harrington to inculcate the democratic doctrine of election of the principal officers of the state by ballot, and the annual retirement of a portion of Parliament.
  3. A species of zither, played like a guitar, used in the Middle Ages in church music; -- written also rotta.