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Lectio senatus

(348 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘selection for the Senate’). The prerequisite for admission to the Roman Senate from time immemorial was that the contender had rendered outstanding political services in a high public office (Cic. Verr. 2,49; Sall. Iug. 4,4; Liv. 23,23), there were no objections to him based on criminal law or regarding his status and - later - that he had a certain minimum level of assets (under Augustus about a million sesterces: Suet. Aug. 41). If one of the prerequisites ceased to apply, a senator could be removed from office ( senatu movere, eicere: Cic. Clu. 42; Sall. Catil. 23.…

Numerarius

(285 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (Plural numerarii) had the general meaning of ‘arithmetician’ (Aug. De libero arbitrio 2,121; from numerare, ‘count, reckon, pay out’) but in the later Imperial period the special meaning ‘keeper of accounts’ in all civilian and military authorities (cf. Notitia dignitatum ) and the urban authorities of the civitates. The older word is tabularius (Dig. 11,6,7; Cod. Iust. 12,49,2 and 4). The rank and the - always subordinate - authority of a numerarius varies according to the area of employment (imperial headquarters, prefectural administration for ta…

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 (…

Arcarius

(177 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Subaltern official (officialis) in the administration of an   arca , i.e. a public fund in the responsibility of a higher official (Cod. Theod. 11,28,6) or with a special purpose (see Dig. 50,4,1,2), but especially the imperial treasury (Cod. Just. 10,72,13). The duty of an arcarius (Dig. 40,5,41,17; Cod. Just. 10,72,15) was probably performed by a   scriba in Republican times. Both freemen and slaves were arcarii in the administration of towns, provinces, the imperial court, in colleges and corporations and in the military as administrators of the soldiers'   peculium…

Adventus

(211 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] ‘Arrival’ (of a person) or ‘entrance’ (of an event or case) and especially the politically important or ceremonial arrival of a victorious commander, an official or guest of the state or the emperor in Rome and in other places (Verg. Aen. 6,798, Plin. Pan. 22). Adventus in caelo means the apotheosis of the emperor (Sen. Apocol. 5; Claud. Carm. 1,242). In the triumphal ceremony, the adventus of the imperator at the pomerium and at the Capitol Temple has essential significance (Liv. 28,9,7; Cass. Dio 43,21, 2). In the religious realm, adventus refers to both the appearan…

Cursus honorum

(862 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] designates the professional rise through the ranks of Roman politicians in a series of honorary offices (Cic. Fam. 1,9,17; 3,11,2; Amm. Marc. 22,10,6), in a special sense it is the name given to a complex of legal regulations for politicians of the Roman republic, who, starting with official stages that justify a seat in the Senate, wish to reach via a series of offices the highest senatorial rank, that of consul, i.e. a former consul. The whole process involves rules on a) the ac…

Diploma

(257 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (plur. diplomata; from the Greek διπλόω; diplóō = to double, fold over; Lat. duplico) generally refers to a duplicate object, which is folded or in two parts, but in particular to a document on parchment, papyrus or also in the form of a  diptych which has been folded and sealed in order to safeguard the written content. Important private and public records were set down in the form of diplomata, which thus became almost synonymous with document: private letters (Cic. Att. 10,17,4) and legal transactions (testaments, witnessed treaties and contract…

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…

Centesima

(225 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In one particular sense indicates  interest of one hundredth of the sum advanced per month, i.e. after Caesar's reform of the calendar 12 per cent per year. Towards the end of the Republic, this is the maximum rate allowed by law, applying in all cases where there is a justifiable obligation to pay interest, unless a lower rate is agreed (from 1 per cent = uncia to 11 per cent = deunx per centesima in each case; Cic. Ad Att. 5,21,11). It is not impossible that the lex XII tab. (8,18) in effect laid down the same maximum annual rate ( nam primo XII tabulis sanctum, ne quis unci…

Exceptor

(129 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] General meaning: ‘speedwriter’ ( excipere, ‘to record’; Greek synonym ταχύγραφος/ tachýgraphos,  Tachygraphy), specific meaning: an important subaltern official in the civil and military administration of the provinces (in late antiquity also in diocesan and prefecturial administration) besides auditors (  numerarius ), actuaries (e.g.   actarius ) and archivists and registrars. The task of the exceptor was to record protocols and to draw up or copy administrative or legal records (Cod. Iust. 10,12,2 ─ exceptores et ceteri officiales: Cod. Iust. 12, tit. 49 De …

Decuriales

(351 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
(from decuria = a quantity made up of 10 parts, or the tenth part of a quantity) are members of a group of ten or the tenth part of a group (Varro, Ling. 9,86; Vitr. De arch. 7,1,). [German version] [1] Members of an equestrian decuria The members of an equestrian decuria under the orders of a   decurio (Varro Ling. 5,91), and in late antiquity the members of a decuria of foot-soldiers under the orders of a decanus (Veg. Mil. 2,8), are called decuriales. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] Groups within the civil service In the Republican period decuriales were members of particu…

Adsignatio

(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…

Commentariis, a

(336 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] From early times the official organization of the Roman Republican magistrature and pontifical colleges, frequently includes the specialized keeping and storage of minutes of negotiations, journals ( acta diurna), documents, official notes and decrees (  memoria,   commentarii ,   diplomata ,   codicilli ,   mandata ,   hypomnemata ), collections of statutes or catalogues ( tabulae, regesta, notitiae) (Varro, Ling. 6,88 -- consuls; Cic. Verr. 1,1,71; Brut. 55 -- provincial governors; Cic. Dom. 117 -- pontifices). The official titles of the subordinate empl…

Patrimonium

(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) [German version] B. Private law The concept of property in…

Domesticus

(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In the general sense, a slave in a house ( domus), or a person bound to the family or to the head of the household (Dig. 48,19,11,1). However, the word having originally signified the opposite of publicius, during the Republic it already entered the political sphere, to designate the entire cohors of a Roman provincial governor: free and unfree servants ( servi, ministri), subordinate officials ( apparitores, officiales), even subordinates assigned by statute ( adiutores, comites, consiliarii) and the military escort. Although Cicero advised that there sh…

Commendatio

(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…

Lampadarii

(101 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek lampás = torch, light; Greek lychnophóroi). Generally torch-bearer (Suet. Aug. 29,3); in late antiquity, the lampadarii in the Imperial Palace or high departments were collected into scholae (‘units’) and probably given prime responsibility for issues of ‘lighting’ (torches, candles, lamps etc.). The Codex Iustinianus (12,59,10) mentions lampadarii along with invitatores, admissionales, memoriales etc. as auxiliary staff whose numbers had grown out of proportion (cf. also Not. Dign. Or. 11,12-17). Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) Bibliography…

Collega

(674 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Collega generally means the individual who is working together with others to arrange something (from con and leg), including, for example, the member of an association or a corporate body (Dig. 27,1,42; 46,3,101 pr., 50,16,85). In politics, a collega is in particular an official associate in court, administration and government (Dig. 50,16,173 pr.: collegarum appellatione hi continentur, qui sunt eiusdem potestatis). The collegae in the republican offices of consul, praetor, censor, aedile, quaestor and tribune of the people are entitled an…

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…

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 …
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