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(224 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] All manner of servants could be called apparitores (from apparere = to appear -- on command). In the public sphere apparitores specifically referred to the free and unfree servants of a magistrate, who (as opposed to the officiales) appeared as aids in official acts. In the Republican period apparitores accompanied consuls and praetors as   lictores with   fasces as symbols of the imperium (Liv. 9,46,2) and served magistrates as scribes, record officials and account keepers ( scribae, librarii), criers ( praecones), messengers ( viatores), ‘assistants’ ( accensi) as well as in other functions (Cic. Verr.…


(447 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] From the general meaning of censere (etymologically from centrum) the following specialized uses of the term census are derived: 1. The census of citizens in the Republican period. According to Roman historical tradition (Liv. 1,42,5), it was first the kings and later the consuls who carried out censuses of the citizenry in order to establish obligations for military and other types of service, and liability for tax. From 443 BC (Liv. 4,8,2) two censors bear responsibility for the census over a term of office lasting five years (  lustrum ). They ha…


(261 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from Lat. ovare, equivalent to Greek euázein,'to cheer'). In its wider sense, it referred to the Roman triumph as well as to smaller official public celebrations in honour of meritorious generals. In its narrower sense, the word referred from the 5th cent. BC to about the 1st cent. AD to the smaller-scale celebration for generals who did not fully meet all the requirements for a large victory celebration, the triumph (Cic. Phil. 14,12: ovantem ac prope triumphantem). The latter was not possible in cases of legal doubt regarding the reason for war, of victories won without bloodshed, or cases whose nature was rather more that of a criminal prosecution, such as fighting slaves or pirates (Gell. 5,6,21-23; Florus 3,19,8). However, if the military success warranted an 'intermediate' level of public recognition (Liv. 39,29,5: medius honos; Serv. Aen. 4,543: ovatio est minor triumphus; Plin. HN 15,125), the general was awarded this in form of an ovatio.  In consequence, he would not enter Rome in a triumphal chariot, but on foot or on ho…

Curiata lex

(383 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Legally binding decision of the comitia curiata (organized by curiae) -- probably the oldest type of Roman popular 's assembly. The early form can hardly be deduced from the sources (cf. Cic. Rep. 2,25). Presumably, all questions of the succession of influential families, religion, citizenship, military call-ups ( legio), taxes, the inauguration of kings and priests and later the responsibilities of the offices were regulated by leges curiatae (Liv. 1,17,8f.; 1,22,1). In the …


(173 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘not appraised’) is one who neglects to have his property assessed by the censor in Rome (  census : Dig. 1,2,2,17) and therefore, due to the non-determination of which voter class he belongs to and his military service obligation, it is possible he cannot be called in for his fundamental civic duties. Incensus is punishable by death in accordance with a legendary law of Servius Tullius (Liv. 1,44,1). In the Republican period the consequence of an omitted tax declaration can be the confiscation of property and being sold into slav…


(229 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
The term referred to the ‘first ten’ in a row (Greek δεκάπρωτοι, dekáprōtoi). [German version] [1] The ten highest-ranking decuriones in the curia of a city Decemprimi was the name for the ten highest-ranking decuriones in the curia of a city with a constitution based on Roman or peregrine law. They handled various tasks; in particular, they were prominent in legations (Liv. 29,15,5; Cic. Verr. 2,2,162). In the Roman Imperial period, the decemprimi gradually become responsible for the legal duty of monitoring the municipal financial administration a…


(828 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Acta identifies the result of agere (to cause or pursue something). In legal language, agere refers to action directed toward the creation or alteration of rights (Dig. 50,16,19) by private persons, but especially through organs of public law such as magistrates, courts and generally holders of ‘jurisdiction’ (Dig. 4,6,35,8). Agere can be exclusively oral, but is often also documented in written form in the interest of enforcement, verification and proof. I. Acta in the legal sense refers to the variously…


(428 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] designates the (circling) going round, the bending, spreading, outline, carried over also to a discursive speech or vain behaviour, since the XII Table Law (table VII, 1) also the building spacing (Varro, Ling. 5,22; Dig. 47,12,15; Cod. lust. 8,10,12,2). 1. In the political arena ambitus is the ‘circulation and supplication’ (Fest. 12: circumeundo supplicandoque) for the purpose of campaigning, usually in a negative sense, as laws verifiable since the 4th cent. BC against unauthorized methods of ambitus demonstrate: it originates first in connection with the class struggles between patricians and plebeians ( lex Poetelia de ambitu, 358 BC: Liv. 8,15,12), directs itself then in the context of moral lawgiving against Hellenistic cultural influences ( lex Cornelia Baebia de ambitu 181 BC: Liv. 40,19,11) and becomes at the end of the 2nd cent. BC a means of party struggles, which leads before 114 to the introduction of a constant special court ( quaestio perpetua de ambitu) after the model of the lex Calpurnia des repetundis of 149 and to numerous laws against ambitus: lex Cornelia (81 BC) and a further 10 leges in the years 70, 67-63, 61, 55, 52 and 18 BC ( lex Iulia). These laws change or confirm prohibitions and limitations with respect to campaigns for office: in the beginning (438) the wearing of ‘white’ ( ca…


(68 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Diribitores(from diribere = dis-habere) are ‘distributors’ or ‘regulators’, also ‘stewards’, or ‘preparers’ (e.g. of food: Apul. Met. 2,19). In the Roman Republic, diribitores were the publicly appointed and sworn officials of the tabulae/suffragia responsible for the counting of votes in courts of law or in the citizens' assembly (CGIL 5,62,6; lex Malacitensis 55/FIRA 1, 211).  Comitia;  Suffragium Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) Bibliography Mommsen, Staatsrecht 3, 406ff.

Magister equitum

(385 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The office of the magister equitum (ME) (‘Master of the Cavalry’) was an office assigned to the dictator , and was never an independent office. Like the original designation of the dictator as magister populi (Master of the Infantry) (Cic. Rep. 1,40,63; Varro Ling. 5,82), it contains the word magister (root mag- = ‘head, leader’) and an indication of the original function as cavalry leader ( equites ). The ME was appointed by the dictator as deputy (Liv. 8,32,1-8) for the period of hi…


(469 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Absence of persons or lack of facts with significant public or civil legal consequences: 1. Absence of a civis Romanus on the   census date, when personal presence is required (Vell. Pat. 2,7,7; exceptions: Gell. NA 5,19,16). Inexcused absentia can cause disadvantageous estimation of assets and class assignment (Cic. Att. 1,18,8), and can also bring sanctions as harsh as the forced sale of assets (Zon. 7,19). 2: The absentia of a candidate for public office during registration as a candidate and also during …


(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word domain (from the Lat. [ res] dominica through Late Latin domenica, Old French ‘domenie’, ‘domaine’) describes in the Middle Ages and in early modern times, rather more narrowly than the Late Latin original, the ‘feudal’ or ‘allodial real estate’ of a ‘landowner’ (‘noble’) and may denote the property as a whole or a single segment of it. In Roman legal language the res dominica is roughly covered by dominium (Dig. 50,16,195,2; 1,5,20), with the property being taken as plots or other things but possibly also applying to the whole property complex. The term was not limited to real estate (Dig. 7,2,1,1; 14,3,13,2) but acquired more or less this meaning in describing particular large holdings of property (l…


(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The lictores (from ligare = to bind; Greek rhabdoûchos, rhabdophóros = carrier of the rods) were Roman bailiffs ( apparitores ) of the higher magistrates and of some priests (Liv. 1,8.; Lucr. 3,996; 5,1234). They signify the latter's power by carrying the fasces (bundles of rods with the executioner's axe). They are appointed for the term of office of the magistrate or permanently. Their number is determined by the rank of the official (consul 12, praetor 6, more in the Imperial period). Lictores are free-born or freedmen, slaves cannot hold the office (Liv. 2,…


(401 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Members of a community that, having been vanquished in war by Rome, has surrendered unconditionally to the hegemony of the Roman people (  deditio ), and may by a decree of Rome have forfeited its existence as a state. Thus dediticii were all provincial inhabitants ( provinciales) whose community had been dissolved by Rome (Gai. Inst. 1,14): insofar as they had not already acquired Roman or Latin citizenship and been able to retain it, or were now granted it, or autonomous status had not been restored to their community. Diss…

Libellis, a

(186 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The offices of the imperial court included an office primarily responsible for law-related complaints. This office dealt with judicial complaints addressed specially to the emperor as an instance of appeal, whereas working on imperial decisions on petitions as well as rescripts principally was a matter of other offices ( epistulis, ab ). Its purview also included suits which were decided at the imperial court as the primary instance, if the emperor assumed jurisdiction, such as proceedings of crimen laesae maiestatis ( lèse majesté) or maledictio Caesaris (‘slande…


(221 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (1) Recommendation of a person or thing (Dig. 4,3,37), (2) entrusting something for safekeeping (Dig. 50,16,136) and (3) offering evidence for an assertion (Cod. Iust. 6,22,2). (4) In the context of an informal arrangement, i.e. one in principle not legally enforceable by either party, commendatio is an act by which a client entrusts his affairs to a patron to be represented or resolved, committing himself in honour to a debt of gratitude ( se alicui in clientelam, fidem commendare, Ter. Eun. 577; Petron. Sat. 140; Caes. B Gall. 4,27,7; Lex Visig. 5,3,8): a precursor in Roman law to the concept of commendation, central to feudal law in the Middle Ages. (5) In the political realm, commendatio is especially an address by which the Roman emperor recommended a candidatus for office to the popular assembly or, as early as Tiberius, to the Senate. As in the case of statutes proposed by the emperor, s…


(675 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Concept In relation to the term familia (Family IV. B.), originally of a similar meaning. The meaning of patrimonium (etymologically reconstructed from patris munia, 'matters/affairs of the pater familias ') was restricted purely to matters of property, but in legal terminology, it was expanded to include all complex legal matters involving property that were of importance for transactions in private or public law, i.e. generally matters of 'real/physical property'. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) …


(259 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] can mean a place of assembly ( consistere means to discuss a topic: Cic. Fin. 4,72). From the time of Constantine [1] the Great it came to apply to the group of close collaborators of the emperor previously called the   consilium principis (as in sacrum consistorium, sometimes also auditorium, Greek θεῖον συνέδριον: Cod. Iust. 1, 14,8; [Aur. Vict.] Epit. Caes. 14). The consistorium serves for deliberations about political and administrative matters as well as, when the need arises, court procedures and the particularly solemn sanctioning of i…

Duoviri, Duumviri

(640 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘[office filled by]’ two men; singular ‘ duum vir’, hence also ‘ duumviri’) denotes various kinds of office known to have been occupied by pairs of men. Many of these occur solely or for the most part at particular periods during the Roman Republic. Duumviri perduellionis were judges in matters of high treason in the early Republican period, and by the 1st cent. BC were hardly named any longer (Liv. 1,26,5f.; Cic. Rab. perd. 12f.). Duumviri sacris faciundis are the officials to whom the task of consulting the Sybilline Books was transfe…


(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] 1. The signing or sealing of a document (Gai. 2,119; Cod. Theod. 11,1,19; Dig. 45,1,126), 2. The written regulation of rights to things and persons (Dig. 50,16,107; 38,8) as well as the contractual handing-over of possessions (Dig. 4,9,1,8; 50,12,1,6), and 3. The judicial assignment of a right to an applicant (Dig. 10,2,22,1). As the assignment of a right to land ownership, the adsignatio gains importance in the political arena with the assignment of land to Roman citizens, especially to groups for founding colonies ( adsignatio coloniaria), since the 1st cent. BC increasingly to individual veterans ( adsignatio viritana). Thereby shares of the   ager publicus are transferred for free usage, but mostly for usage in exchange for tribute ( vectigal, later also canon) on the basis of the lex agraria ( Agrarian laws), which was passed by the people. This lex (the earliest example is the rogatio Cassia agraria of 483 BC) regulates only t…
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