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Assectator

(128 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Adsectari/assectari (to stubbornly follow close behind) also describes the elements of the statutory offence of persecuting a respectable person in need of protection contra bonos mores (Gai. 3,220; Cod. lust. 47,10,15,19 ff.). In the political and societal realm, assectator denotes the party supporter, adherent or loyal companion for the most part of a person seeking public office. In his self-portrayal of patrons, Cicero (Mur. 70) differentiates three groups of clients in the adsectatio: una salutatorum, cum domum veniunt, altera deductorum, tertia…

Capite censi

(143 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Literally ‘those who are counted by the head’, but meaning ‘those who are counted only by the head’, i.e. who are not liable for taxation because their assets fall below the census minimum. The alternative term to describe them is proletarii (Cic. Rep. 2,22,40). This group is to be distinguished from the lowest assessment class, the infra classem (in the earlier republican period below two iugera of land or 11,000 asses; from the end of the 2nd cent. BC probably 4,000 asses), which included the capite censi. The infra classem were not expected to provide arms for mili…

Candidatus

(444 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Generally a person clothed in white; the colour white can express flawlessness, festive rejoicing, and a pleasant mood (Quint. 2,5,19; Hor. Sat. 1,5,41; Plin. Ep. 6,11,3). In Rome it was customary as early as the 5th cent. BC for candidates for public office to wear white robes (Liv. 4,25,13; 39,39,2; Pers. 5,177; Isid. Orig. 19,24). Thereafter, candidatus became the specific term for a candidate for public office. In the republican period, an applicant for an office that was appointed by public election was obliged to declare himself ( professio) as a candidatus to the…

Diptychon

(271 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek δίς; dís = two times and πτύσσω; ptýssō = fold) can refer to anything folded or appearing as a double, such as mussel shells or twins (Eur. Orest. 633 or respectively Ambr. Hex. 6,8,25), but in particular refers to a folded piece of writing on paper or parchment, or two foldable linked writing tablets ─ or a writing tablet with lid ─ and a writing surface made from wax, gypsum or other, mostly light-coloured, material (λεύκωμα; leúkōma), which would be written on with a stylus, a reed, or a brush. As diptycha protected texts against damage or forgery, it be…

Album

(308 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] [1] see  Writing materials see  Writing materials Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] White board for the publication of official announcements The term album designates a white ( albus) board for the publication of official announcements from various Roman offices and also for court decisions ( in albo propositio: Dig. 2,1,7). Of particular significance is also the album praetoris, which contained complaints or other types of applications, authorized by the praetor in his role as court of justice, as well as the formulas f…

Censores

(732 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Former consuls seem to have been chosen as officers of the census for the first time in 443 BC by a lex de creandis censoribus, the purpose being to free the consuls of this duty (Liv. 4,8,3; similarly Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,62). The tradition of the office being held in common by a patrician and a plebeian probably becomes the norm only after the leges Liciniae Sextiae of 367. Regular censuses every five years ( lustrum) made a regular election of censors necessary from this time. But there were occasional departures from the prescribed interval; even, d…

Coercitio

(359 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The authority of Roman magistrates to intervene where they judged the public order had been violated by citizens and non-citizens, restricting their rights and exercising sovereign power. This authority ranges from an interim order ( interdicta) via the forced collection of public claims, the imposition of fines ( multae), arrests ( vincula, prensio), seizing of property ( pignoris capio), [corporal] punishment ( verbera), right up to the imposition of capital punishment ( c. plenissima, c. capitalis, Dig. 7,1,17,1; 50,16,200). Even in the early republic…

Comitia

(1,614 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In spite of Roman traditionalism, in the course of time the different forms of popular assemblies arising under the Roman constitution undergo a pronounced developmental change on the one hand and must, on the other, be considered in terms of their functional role at any one period. The following forms occur: the comitia curiata, the comitia centuriata, the   concilium plebis, the comitia tributa and the   contiones. It must also be said that, owing to fundamental methodical and factual reservations due to the relatively late d…

Apparitores

(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…

Census

(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…

Ovatio

(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 vic…

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 struggle of the orders, elections and the administration of justice did …

Incensus

(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…

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…

Ambitus

(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 …

Diribitores

(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.

Immunitas

(332 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The exemption of individual legal persons from the obligations to military service, public service and consent, Lat. immunitas (... vacationem militiae munerisque ... immunitatem appellari: Dig. 50,16,18; Greek atéleia, aneisphoría, aleitourgeisía: Dig. 27,1,6,2), can be based on legal, generally formulated non-inclusion of a circle to which they belong, or on a temporary or long-term personal dispensation (Dig. 50,6: de iure immunitatis; 50,5: de vacatione et excusatione munerum). Depending on the duties in question, the immunitas personae exempted from…

Interrex

(417 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (literally ‘interim king’). The Roman official who had to conduct the election of a suffectus when someone holding the highest office became incapacitated. The word and the non-collegial nature of the office suggest that it has its origins in the period of kings (Liv. 1,17,12; Cic. Rep. 2,12,23; Plut. Numa 2). In the Republic the interrex intervened when the supreme office became vacant with the death of both consuls ( interregnum) and substitute elections had to be held that for consuls would normally be held by a consul who was still in office. Th…

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 his dictatorship. Appointment by a consul (Cass. Dio 42,21) or by …
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