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Creatio

(725 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from creare: ‘to create’, ‘to generate’) has the meaning of ‘appointing’ or ‘calling’ in regard to private functions ( tutor: Dig. 26,7,39,6) as well as public offices (  magistratus : Dig. 48,14,1 pr.). It is used as a synonym but not as completely identical in meaning with nominatio and vocatio and at times is joined with lectio, electio (CIC. Verr. 2,2,49; Tac. Agr. 9; Dig. 1,11,1, pr.) or cooptatio (Liv. 2,33,2; 3,64,10). The term implies that an act of installation took place which contributes to the legitimacy. The general principle of creatio is valid for all political (administrative, legal, military) offices, for the most important priestly offices of the Roman republic and the imperial pe…

Curiosi

(202 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from curiosus ‘prudent’, ‘eager to learn’) was…

Angusticlavius

(144 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. means ‘Furnished with narrow stripes’, i.e. in the Republic and in the early imperial era the members of the Roman knightly class and especially the military tribune, whose official toga is thus different from that of a senatorial military tribune ( laticlavius = ‘with broad stripes’) (Vell. Pat. 2,88,2; Suet. Otho 10; Veg. Mil. 2,12). In general there are in a legion (Pol. 6,34,3 ff.) five tribuni angusticlavii and one laticlavius. The designation angusticlavius probably becomes unusual in the 3rd cent. AD as a result of the changed function of a tribunus (Cod. lust…

Illustris vir

(460 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] As early as the Roman Republican period the word illustris - like the words clarus, spectabilis or egregius - can indicate a high social rank. In the ordo dignitatum of late antiquity, however, illustris, illustrissimus was especially applied to the highest level of office holders and dignitaries (Not. Dign. Or. 2-15 and Occ. 2-13; Cod. Theod. 6,7; 9,1; 14,1; Cod. Iust. 12,8,2; Greek adaptation: illoústrios Nov. Iust. 13,3; 15,1). Similarly, if it was usual to give all members of the senatorial class the title of clari or clarissimi up until the 4th cent. AD, it gra…

Eminentissimus

(165 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Rank at the Roman imperial court; originally used of officials from the equestrian class. With their growing status as representatives and direct subordinates of the emperor (  praefectus praetorio ), their position and form of address was brought into line with the senatorial summae potestates (Dig. 1,11,1) and its nomenclature (cf. Cod. Theod. 12,12,3). In the courtly order of ranking ( ordo dignitatum) in late antiquity the title then had the same meaning as excellentissimus, magnificentissimus, gloriosissimus, sublimissimus or illustrissimus (even in the…

Contio

(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Contio, from ‘ co-ventio’ (general meaning: public gathering) means in a special sense an assembly of Roman citizens convened by a magistrate, not to take decisions but for information and explanatory purposes. It was the precursor of a public assembly that later on had as its rationale the holding of a vote, elections or formal legal proceedings in the comitia. It had no fixed structure but followed the pattern of later, decision-making proceedings. In the case of legal proceedings in the comitia, three contiones had in fact to precede each instance. It may be …

Decemviri

(530 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
(‘Ten Man (Committee)’) occur in the following, historically recorded forms: [German version] [1] Decemviri legibus scribundis (selected committees in 451 and 450 BC) According to tradition, the decemviri legibus scribundis were the committees selected in 451 and 450 BC to record the entire common and statute law valid in Rome ( Tabulae duodecim), against which a  

Actarius

(168 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] ( actuarius.) Actarius can apply to   acta and also to actus (fast movement, transportation) and can therefore designate activities in various areas: 1. In private life, actarius (= actuarius) refers to the ‘fast scribe’, that is of court speeches or recitations (Suet. Iul. 55; Sen. Epist. 4,4,9; Tac. Ann. 5,4), and therefore also to the bookkeeper or accountant (Petron. Sat. 53,1). A. (= actarius) refers to a record-keeper in private and imperial households (CIL VI 5 182; VI 6 244; VI 9 106 f.). 2. In military life, actuarii are, since Septimius Severus, sometimes high…

Dominatus

(356 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (Lat. dominatus) sometimes has the legal sense of dominium (cf. Nov. Theod. II. 22,2,16), meaning the position of a dominus as mandated authority, master or owner, esp. in family and property law (Dig. 12,6,64; 29,2,78). In the political realm, dominatus stands for ‘foreign’ or ‘arbitrary’ power (Greek tyrannís; Cic. Rep. 1,61). At the core of the concept is…

Bruttiani

(130 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Bruttiani were the ushers of Roman magistrates. Because of their desertion to Hannibal and their loyalty to him until the end of the Second Punic War, the southern Italian tribe of the  Bruttii not only had to surrender a large part of their territory to Rome, but also had to declare their readiness from then on to work as ushers in ‘slavish’ positions, albeit as free men. Although these punishments had lost their significance at the latest with the Social War, Bruttiani remained a synonym for  

Censuales

(250 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Assessment of citizens for tax purposes (  census ) in republican Rome is carried out by subordinate officials of free status ( scribae) and by bonded state servants ( servi publici a censu or censuales), under the political responsibility of the   censores insofar as they are in office. But supervision of the administration of the tax registers ( libri censuales) is carried out by a chief administrator, probably from early times called magister census. There are also census officials, occasionally termed censuales, in provincial administrations and in cities w…

Cubicularius

(281 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from cubiculum, literally ‘bedchamber’, also ‘private living space’, cf. Varro, Ling. 8,54) could denote a domestic slave, a personal servant, but also someone responsible for guarding access to a persona publica (Dig. 50,16,203). Officials from as early as the Republic had cubicularii in that sense (Cic. Verr. 2,3,8) and emperors from the very beginning had them as personal servants and confidants in their private domain (Suet. Iul. 4,1; Suet. Dom. 17,2). The higher ranks of the emperor's staff were occupied primarily …

Discessio

(138 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] General ‘dispersal’, in assemblies also ‘closure’ (Gell. NA 1,4,8; Ter. Andr. 5,68; Cic. Sest. 77). In legal terms, discessio describes the loss of a right or withdrawal from a contract (Dig. 18,2,17,18; Dig. 6,1,35 pr.). Politically, discessio was used as a general term for the formation of parties, splits and internal conflicts, such as between patricians and plebeians (Greek ἀπόστασις; apóstasis; Gell. NA 2,12; Sall. Hist. fr. 1,11). In the Roman Senate, discessio refers to the voting procedure in which voters go and assemble on different sides of …

Consul(es)

(841 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word consul is of uncertain etymology (possibly originating from con- and sal- = ‘hastily get together’ or from con- and sell-/ sedl- = ‘sit down together with’ or ‘sit down next to’). The historical tradition (Liv. 1,60,3-4), firmly established in the late Republican period, that following the expulsion of the last king Tarquinius Superbus in 510 BC there were two consules-colleagues at Rome's head is uncertain, because of some contrary indications in the same historical transmission. Initially, consules were probably assigned as advisers to a praetor maximus (…

Corrector

(273 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word corrector (from corrigere, ‘correct’) designates in general the critic who imposes censure or punishment, or the reorganizer, e.g. a pedagogue, overseer, official or politician with duties of this kind (Plin. Pan. 1,6,2; Sen. Dial. 4,10,7; Amm. Marc. 31,4,9). From the time of Trajan the name corrector was given to a senatorial legate of the emperor who was sent to a province with a special mission, e.g. ad ordinandum statum liberarum civitatum (Plin. Ep. 8,24). Arising from this already in the 3rd cent. AD is a form of regular provincial admi…

Curialis, Curiales

(198 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Local counsil Curialis (from curia) is the term used for both individual members of the local council and the council in its entirety as an institution ( decuriones; Dig. 29,2,25,1; 37,1,3,4; 50,16,239,5).  Curia;  Decuriones Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] Member of the municipal Curial class Curalis was the name given to the members of the municipal Curial class, i.e. the members of families who on the basis of family descent ( curiali obstricti sanguine; Cod. Iust. 10,32,43), or, on the basis of the official duties of the heads o…

Concilium

(609 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Concilium (from con-calare) is an assembly (Fest. p. 38) that has been called; also used in a transferred sense (Cic. Tusc. 1,72; Lucr. 3,805). 1. In political usage, concilium frequently differentiates a popular assembly without legal consequences from constitutional   contiones and   comitia ( is qui non universum populum, sed partem aliquam adesse iubet, non comitia, sed concilium edicere iubet, Gell. NA 15,27,4; Liv. 9,45,8). It was also used in the meaning of contio or comitia and then more often in association with populi and plebis (Cic. Sest. 65; lex Iulia muni…

Decemprimi

(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 and, in case of im…

Acta

(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 documented and archived public records of leg…
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