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(197 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from reconstr. de-stanare, ‘determine’) generally means the determination of a purpose or a decision, legally also a legally-binding unilateral declaration of will (Cod. Iust. 6,30,6; Dig. 50,17,76). In political life destinatio means the delegation of a subordinate or the installation in an office of a person envisaged for the task by a person authorized to do so. The imperial recommendation of a   candidatus to the Senate was also called destinatio as was the direct appointment of an office bearer by the emperor (Dig. 4,4,18,4; Cod. Iust. 11,74,2…

Epistulis, ab

(494 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Correspondence constituted one of the central tasks of the administration; this had to be undertaken within the bounds of the responsibility of a particular authority in an impersonal businesslike manner and in accordance with generally applicable instructions ( officii formae). The term epistula ( Epistle), adopted into Latin administrative terminology from the original Greek, officially referred to a written communication by an authority, delivered to a real addressee. An epistula could result from a previous enquiry, petition, or application by…


(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 …


(284 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Chancellery, Modern High German ‘Kanzlei’ (from Lat. cancelli via OHG canceli, cancli), in abstract terms signifies a functional area in which documents are prepared, issued, transferred and safeguarded for legal dealings. Since antiquity this was particularly the activity of courts and officialdom. In the Roman Imperial period several names for chancellery -- officium, cancelli ( cancer = grid), scrinium (= receptacle for scrolls or shrine) and burellum (late Latin = screen, office) -- and differing organizational forms existed. In provincial c…

Curator rei publicae

(198 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The office of the curator rei publicae (CRP) is first documented for the turn of the 1st to the 2nd cent. AD and is one of the imperial offices held by the equestrian class. It corresponds roughly to the office of the λογιστής ( logistḗs; Cod. Iust. 1,54,3; Dig. 1,22,6) known from Hellenistic times. If appointed by the emperor (Dig. 50,8,12), the CRP assumes the responsibilities of a state procurator (Dig. 1,19, tit . de officio procuratoris Caesaris vel rationalis) -- if necessary -- in the technically autonomous foreign civitates or in the municipia and coloniae governed …


(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…

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…


(174 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word nobilis (pl. nobiles ), in the Republican period and the Imperial period of the first two cents. AD, presumably denotes in particular the members of a senatorial family which included several consuls. From the 3rd cent. AD, with the increasing prevalence of court titles (Court titles C.,) it served to designate especially distinguished members of both the senatorial class and the imperial household (Dig. 1,2,2,43: members of the Senate; Cod. Iust. 6,23,19: members of the sacrum consistorium). From it was derived - probably from the reign of Constan…


(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…


(228 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. designates generally the ‘helper’ or ‘assistant’, but colloquially is rather pejorative, referring to the ‘accomplice’ (Dig. 47,2,51,3) or the subordinate, less important ‘assistant’ (Hor. Sat. 1,9,46; Phaedr. 5,5,14). In legal language, adiutor is the assistant of a functionary in civil legal tasks, e.g. as in the   tutela (Dig. 26,1,13,1), as well as in the sovereign area of magistrates, later for high officials in judicature, even for leading subordinate officials (Caes. B. Civ. 3,62,4; Tac., Ann. 3,12; Cod. lust. 1,18,5; 1,31,1). At the imperial court a procu…


(318 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘Renunciation’, ‘Rejection’) means in a general sense the renunciation of a duty, habit or conviction, but also the formally underlined rejection like the termination of a friendship, refutation of a vice or the Christian renunciation of pagan gods (Cic. Orat. 2,102; Leo the Gr. Sermo. 72,5). Abdicatio acquired a special meaning in legal language: 1. In constitutional law: the premature resignation of an office (also renuntiatio); this can happen voluntarily for political reasons, especially with dictators and consuls (typical reasons include …


(268 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Acceptance into a defined social group (body, class, tax class, clergy), but also into a circle of friends, a citizenry or a people (Varro, Ling. 66; Sen. Epist. 74,25 Haase; CIL XIII 1688; II 3423). In the political sphere since the Republic, adlectio means above all the rare and honourable acceptance of previously nonofficial or insufficiently qualified persons into the circle of magistrates ( adlectio inter consulares, praetorios, quaestorios, aedilicios, tribunicios; CIL XIV 3611; IX 5533; II 4114; Plin. Ep. 1,14,5; Suet. Vesp. 9), and connected…


(399 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A text containing a decretum was called decretale (Sid. Apoll. Epist. 7,9,6) in later Latin. The term decretum (from decernere ‘to decide’) was used for judgements in individual cases as well as general rulings. In the individual case it denote the judicial verdict or decision of a magistrate or other judicial official or authority (also decisions of committees), by which a judicial decision was pronounced after examination of the evidence ( causae cognitio; Dig. 37,1,3,8); to be contrasted to the   rescriptum , which comprised the evidence p…

Magister a memoria

(277 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Lat. memoria (Greek mnḗmē) refers to official issuing of documents in the sense of ‘lasting testimonial’ (cf. Aristot. Pol. 1321b 39: mnḗmones). It is accepted that from the time of Augustus an official sphere a memoria existed for the various official activities of the emperor to his court. Its head is, however, not mentioned until the 2nd cent. AD as magister a memoria or magister memoriae; this title survives until late antiquity (ILS 1672; Pan. Lat. 9,11 Baehrens; Cod. Iust. 1,23,7,1). The office head was initially a freedman, later a membe…

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…


(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…

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 transferred in the 4th cen…


(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 …


(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.


(145 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] literally ‘adoration’, refers to an especially respectful address, not only to the prayer to the gods (Fest. 162,19). 1. In the Roman imperial court, adoratio is the greeting to the emperor by prostrating oneself introduced into court ceremony by Diocletian according to Achaemenid and Hellenistic models ( προσκύνησις, proskýnēsis: Eutr. 9,26). 2. Pejoratively, adoratio is understood as a special form of courtly or also other flattery ( adulatio). 3. Since the beginning of the imperial era, adoratio also stands for the veneration of the genius Augusti and the divi Au…
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