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Chancellery

(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…

Adoratio

(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…

Maiestas

(1,003 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Definition As noun to the adjective maius (‘increasing’, ‘bigger’), maiestas in general means an unusual, unquestionably superior power and dignity to be respected, notably 1. the sacredness of the gods or of a god (Cic. Div. 1,82; Christian: Cod. Iust. 1,1,1, pr.), 2. the patria potestas of the pater familias towards the relatives and slaves subordinate to him (Liv. 4,45,8; Val. Max. 7,7,5; Cod. Iust. 6,20,12; see below B.) and especially 3. the majesty of the populus Romanus (Cic. Balb. 35; Cic. Part. or. 105; Dig. 48,4,1,1), the res publica (Cic. De orat. 2,164) …

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

Comes, comites

(1,145 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] A. Roman Republic and Imperial period Comes (from com- and ire, ‘to go with’) in its wider sense is a companion, trusted friend, or one entrusted with duties of aid and protection towards another (Dig. 47,10,1; 47,11,1,2). In public life, already in the Republican period comes means a member of the retinue of a travelling official, especially a provincial magistrate (Gr. ε̃πόμενος; hepómenos); the comes himself may be an official, a personal friend, slave, freedmen, client or even a high dignitary (Suet. Iul. 42; Dig. 1,18,16). In its special sense, from the beginn…

Decretalia

(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…

Consistorium

(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…

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…

Defensor

(450 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] I. In civil law Defensor is not a technical legal term for the defence counsel (but probably nevertheless thus in Quint. Inst. 5,3,13), but rather had various meanings, especially as the sponsor of the defendant primarily in a civil case, and here particularly of the absent defendant ( indefensus). To take on such a defence was the duty of a friend (Dig. 4,6,22 pr.). Termed defensor civitatis, he is also the judicial representative of corporations ( universitates, Dig. 3,4,1,3), above all of statutory public bodies (e.g. communities, provinces; cf. CIL X,1201 and passim)…

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 …

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…

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…

Adiutor

(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…

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…

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   provocatio was not permissible. A first committee, consisting of patricians only, is said to have produced 10 tables while a second one, consisting of patricians and …

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…
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