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Nominatio

(247 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] According to research based on the work of Th. Mommsen [1. 917ff.], nominatio is the right of the princeps , deriving from the consular potestas , to scrutinize for electoral suitability and to ‘nominate’ applicants for offices, i.e. place them on the list of candidates [2; 3]. This portrayal of a right of nomination, which draws support esp. from Cassius Dio (53,21,7), Tacitus (Ann. 1,14; 2,36; 1,81) and Pliny (Paneg. 71,1), has not remained uncontested, with esp. the usage of nominatio as a technical term in electoral procedures of the Imperial period being…

Provocatio

(304 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (from Latin provocare, 'to call forth, to summon'). Provocatio denoted the right of each Roman citizen to summon the people to oppose the magisterial power of enforcement ( coercitio ) when it threatened life or limb ( provocatio ad populum). Provocatio was regarded in the Roman Republic as a bastion of civic freedom (Cic. De or. 2,199). Used as a political tool against the licence of the holders of the patrician imperium (consul, praetor) in the struggle of the orders, the provocatio gained legal sanction with the lex Valeria of 300 BC. It was probably intended to tr…

Tribunus

(1,975 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Groß-Albenhausen, Kirsten (Frankfurt/Main)
(Formed from the word tribus with the suffix - unus, which indicates a person of superordinate authority); the administrative and/or military leader of a tribus ; pl.: tribuni. [German version] [1] Tribunus aerarius Presumably originally aides to the Roman magistrates, charged by the state treasury ( aerarium ) with paying the wages of the soldiers of their tribus  (Soldiers' pay). Tribuni aerarii were perhaps also headmen of their tribus. They may have been active in financial matters into the 1st cent. BC, and were subject to distraint ( pignus ), which indic…

Praeco

(247 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] ('town crier'). The praeco publicus (Cic. Sest. 57) was one of the auxiliary personnel of a Roman magistrate ( apparitores ). He was not an office-holder in the Roman legal sense ( magistratus ), but served at the lowest level in the hierarchy of state-salaried subalterns (cf. CIL I2 594, LXII Z. 32-39). His activities, for which fundamentally he needed only a loud voice (mockingly: Mart. 5,56), did not bring high social esteem, and even less political influence. Praecones were mostly freed-men and their sons, but could be freeborn; in any case they were Ro…

Perduellio

(247 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (literally 'intense enmity'). In Roman criminal law, a comprehensive and malleable term referring to any type of hostile action against the Roman polity (Dig. 48,4,11: hostili animo adversus rem publicam). Perduellio specifically referred to delicts committed by a Roman official (e.g. cowardice of a general in the face of the enemy, disregarding the auspices, limiting of tribunician power, maltreatment of allies and presumably also treason) [1]. In early Roman society, the existence of perduellio was judged by the duoviri . The proceedings…

Utilitas publica

(421 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (The 'public weal', the 'common good'). Term from the field of the theory and philosophy of the state in Rome. UP occurs for the first time in Latin literature in Cicero (Cic. Off. 3,47; cf. Cic. Sest. 91), although he makes more frequent use of combinations such as ' utilitas rei publicae' and ' utilitas communis' [7]. Building on the political philosophy of Plato [1], Aristoteles [6] (Aristotle) and Stoicism, Cicero in his conception of the common good defines the state as a naturally determined combination of people bound together …

Rogator

(104 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] The Roman magistrate who proposed bills ( rogatio ) to the people (Lucil. 853 M.; cf. Cic. Phil. 1,26). At the same time, rogatores were also the 'questioners' appointed by the magistrate who recorded the individual oral votes and who supervised the counting of the voting tablets during the later written suffragium , and who recorded the results of their centuria or tribus (Cic. Nat. D. 2,10). de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg) Bibliography E. S. Staveley, Greek and Roman Voting and Elections, 1972  J. Vaahtera, Pebbles, Points, or Ballots: the Mergence of the Indivi…

Magistratus

(2,166 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Term Usually a certain bearer of state power elected by popular vote, however, at the same time it is also in concrete terms the office or in the plural the sum of individual offices of Roman or peregrine provenance. Magistratus is derived from magister ( magis, ‘more’) (Varro Ling. 5,82; Dig. 50,16,57; Fest. p. 113 L.; CIL I2 401: mac[i]steratus). The concept is recorded in inscriptions from the 4th/3rd cents. BC, and in literature by Plautus (CIL I2 25: macistr[a]tos; I2 401; Plaut. Amph. 74; Plaut. Persa 76; Plaut. Rud. 477; Plaut. Truc. 761). The abstra…

Potestas

(280 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] Abstract term for the official powers of the Roman magistrates ( magistratus ). In contrast to auspicium, which provided the oldest designation of magisterial power at Rome, and the more restricted imperium , potestas did not only indicate the content of official power (cf. R. Gest. div. Aug. 34), but also, and esp., served as a reference parameter in the official hierarchy: it regulated the relationships among the Roman magistrates in the interests of the aristocratic society by means of the qualifying terms maior ('greater'), par ('equal') and minor ('lesser'). P ar p…

Vasarium

(95 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (from Latin vas, 'utensil'). Expense allowance paid in advance by the state exchequer ( Aerarium ) to a Roman official leaving for his province, so that he could finance the maintenance of himself, his retinue and his soldiers. It does not refer, as [1. 296] has it, to travelling equipment; against this, see [2. 351 f.], who moreover rejects v. as a technical term and interprets the relevant passage (Cic. Pis. 86) with reference to Cato (Agr. 145,3) as a contractually agreed additional payment. de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 Mommsen, Staatsrecht, Bd…

Princeps

(1,524 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
('the first') indicates in Latin the primacy of an individual as recognized by (aristocratic) society. Generally, princeps in both singular and plural ( principes) describes the leading men in any – even a non-Roman – state, the members of an order or other elites. [German version] I. Roman Republic In the Roman Republic, princeps ( civitatis) particularly denoted membership in the group of the most influential and most prominent citizens (Varro apud Serv. Aen. 1,740; Cic. Sest. 97 f.). Through their own political and military achievements and those of their family ( gens

Tresviri

(1,068 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
A board of three Roman magistrates with a defined area of competence. Distinction is made between ordinary annual officials, who had ordering functions within the group of viginti(sex)viri , and the extraordinary tresviri, who are known, on occasion, to have amassed a great deal of power. [German version] [1] Tresviri capitales Created c.290 BC, their office belonged to the lowest grade on the Republican career path (Cursus honorum; Liv. Per. 11). At first they were appointed by the praetor , and after 242 BC elected in the comitia tributa (Fest. 468 L). They were responsible for t…

Salarium

(164 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] Originally ‘salt-money’ (Plin. HN 31,89), the regular remuneration of expenses (hence English ‘salary’) for magistrates of senatorial and equestrian status working outside Rome in the imperial administration ( e.g. Cass. Dio 53,15,5). The salary of a proconsul, salarium proconsulare (Tac. Agr. 42,2), e.g., at the time of the emperor Macrinus (AD 217/8), came to 1 million sesterces per year (Cass. Dio 78,22,5). The comites ( comes ) of a governor and a princeps also received a salarium (Suet. Tib. 46; Dig. 1,22,4 et passim). Furthermore, impoverished senators of …

Tumultus

(144 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] Military state of emergency determined by the Senate, primarily a threatened attack by an external enemy (' tumultus Gallicus', ' tumultus Italicus'; Cic. Phil. 8,3). A tumultus could also be decreed in the event of insurgency or an impending civil war [1]. The chief magistrates were authorized, without formal instructions ( dilectus), to carry out ad hoc conscription ( Evocatio ). No account was taken of oath-swearing ( Sacramentum ) or release from service ( Vacatio ). The tumultus decree was as a rule followed by a iustitium and the donning of battle dress ( Sagum

Rogatio

(175 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (from Lat. rogare, to ask). Rogatio refers to the questioning of the people by the consul , praetor or tribunus plebis about proposed bills, elections or accusals. The following question introduced the vote ( comitia ): 'Do you wish, do you command...I ask you, Quirites' ( velitis, iubeatis...vos, Quirites, rogo: Gell. NA 5,19,9). The positive response was 'as you asked' ( uti rogas), the negative one 'I contradict' ( antiquo), later in elections dicit/facit, and in the comitia procedure 'I aquit' ( absolvo) or 'I condemn' ( damno) (RRC 413,1; 428,1; 437,1ab). The c…

Fasces

(500 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] Bundle of rods made of elm or birch, held together by red straps. The fasces, more than likely of Etruscan origin, were carried in front of supreme Roman magistrates (  Consul ,   Praetor ) by public servants ( lictores;   Lictor ) as a symbol of their authority (  Imperium ). Outside of Rome (cf.   Pomerium ), an axe was placed in the centre of the fasces as symbol of absolute military authority over Roman, as well as allied and provincial, soldiers [1. 196 f.; 2. 119 f.]. The   dictator was allotted 24 fascia, the two consuls 12 each, the praetors 6 each, and the proma…

Disability

(872 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] In Greece and Rome disability in the sense of permanent functional damage of a physical or mental nature (acquired by congenital defect, disease, accident, old age or in war) was thought of as a deviation from the customary norm. The term disability is outlined vaguely in the sources (e.g. Greek ἀσθένεια/ asthéneia, Lat. debilitas, literally ‘weakness’). People with disabilities are sometimes called ἀδύνατοι/ adýnatoi (‘powerless’) or Lat. debiles (‘weak’; [8]; cf.. Cic. Leg. 1,55; Sen. Controv. exc. 3,1; Plin. HN 7,104 f.). The afflictions are s…

Principate

(235 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] (Lat. principatus). Principatus denotes the senior rank of a community's most influential man by virtue of origin and accomplishments ( princeps ) and refers esp. to the form of state, monarchical in character and created by Augustus [1], which rested upon the traditional legal structures of the Roman Republic [1; 3]. In 27 BC, the de facto power of the military potentate came to be legally established through the Roman Senate ( Senatus ) by according the former powers of Republican office and personal authority. As a legal construct…

Tabulae publicae

(154 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
[German version] Official records and proclamations in Rome, which were recorded on tablets. The TP usually consisted of wood with whitewash ( album [2]) or a layer of wax ( tabula cerata). Later papyrus, parchment and bronze (for documents posted outdoors) were added as writing materials. The individual tablets could be bound together into a 'book' ( Codex ). Among the things recorded were Senate resolutions ( Senatus consultum ) and laws ( Lex ), magistrates' edicts, electoral and judicial protocols, commentarii , accounts, census lists and treaties. TP w…

Imperator

(1,274 words)

Author(s): de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg)
Old Latin induperator; Greek στρατηγός ( stratēgós), from Sulla onwards, however, αὐτοκράτωρ ( autokrátōr); also transcribed ἰμπεράτωρ ( imperátōr). General term for the supreme military commander of Roman or foreign origin. [German version] A. Republic Imperator was not a title of office. However, holders of the imperium used this expression from the 2nd cent. BC in decrees and dedications, primarily outside of Rome and Italy, instead of the regular name for the office or function, which was only relevant for Rome, such as (pro)consul or (pro)praetor (CIL I2 614: L. Aimilius L.f. …
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