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(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…


(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 …

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…


(144 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Ceremonial admittance to an audience with the emperor. The responsible office ( admissionales, officium admissionum: Suet. Vesp. 14; Amm. Marc. 15,5,18) were subordinated in the late imperial era to the magister admissionum in the area of the magister officiorum (Cod. Theod. 11,18,1; Not. Dign. or. 11,17). Depending on the sometimes generous (Plin. Pan. 47,3), but usually strictly formal (SHA Alex. Sev. 20) practice of the emperor, visitors were divided into classes for the   salutatio depending on their differing degree of distance to the emperor. The imperial amic…


(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…


(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 …


(469 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Absence of persons or lack of facts with significant public or civil legal consequences: 1. Absence of a civis Romanus on the   census date, when personal presence is required (Vell. Pat. 2,7,7; exceptions: Gell. NA 5,19,16). Inexcused absentia can cause disadvantageous estimation of assets and class assignment (Cic. Att. 1,18,8), and can also bring sanctions as harsh as the forced sale of assets (Zon. 7,19). 2: The absentia of a candidate for public office during registration as a candidate and also during candidacy. Candidacy assumes personal re…

Decurio, decuriones

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
Decurio (cf. decuria;  Decurio [4] via decus(s)is f. dec- and as) in general usage refers to a member or representative of a group of ten or tenth-part group (cf. Dig. 50,16,239,5); there is no shared etymology with curialis, a word of partly similar meaning derived from co-viria. In its specialized sense decurio denotes various functionaries: [German version] [1] A member of a curia in municipia and coloniae A member of a   curia , in those municipia and coloniae bound by Roman Law, was called decurio. Appointment of the usually 100 decuriones (occasionally smaller numbers) was regul…


(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word domain (from the Lat. [ res] dominica through Late Latin domenica, Old French ‘domenie’, ‘domaine’) describes in the Middle Ages and in early modern times, rather more narrowly than the Late Latin original, the ‘feudal’ or ‘allodial real estate’ of a ‘landowner’ (‘noble’) and may denote the property as a whole or a single segment of it. In Roman legal language the res dominica is roughly covered by dominium (Dig. 50,16,195,2; 1,5,20), with the property being taken as plots or other things but possibly also applying to the whole property com…


(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The lictores (from ligare = to bind; Greek rhabdoûchos, rhabdophóros = carrier of the rods) were Roman bailiffs ( apparitores ) of the higher magistrates and of some priests (Liv. 1,8.; Lucr. 3,996; 5,1234). They signify the latter's power by carrying the fasces (bundles of rods with the executioner's axe). They are appointed for the term of office of the magistrate or permanently. Their number is determined by the rank of the official (consul 12, praetor 6, more in the Imperial period). Lictores are free-born or freedmen, slaves cannot hold the office (Liv. 2,…


(401 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Members of a community that, having been vanquished in war by Rome, has surrendered unconditionally to the hegemony of the Roman people (  deditio ), and may by a decree of Rome have forfeited its existence as a state. Thus dediticii were all provincial inhabitants ( provinciales) whose community had been dissolved by Rome (Gai. Inst. 1,14): insofar as they had not already acquired Roman or Latin citizenship and been able to retain it, or were now granted it, or autonomous status had not been restored to their community. Diss…

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…


(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…


(723 words)

Author(s): Schanbacher, Dietmar (Dresden) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Privatrecht In Roman private law the term occupatio, as a technical term (most often in the form of a verb - occupare), meant the act of appropriation (Gai. Inst. 2,65-66).  As a noun it was almost exclusively used in the sense of occupation, holding (e.g. Ulp. Dig. 4,8,15). Occupatio was seen as a 'natural' mode of acquisition of ownership (alongside traditio ) in contrast to acquistion of ownership according to the ius civile ( ius A.; through mancipatio, in iure cessio, usucapio ). Foreigners (non-citizens; peregrinus ) could also acquire ownership by way of occupatio…


(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…


(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…


(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…

Nota censoria

(365 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The NC was a ‘note’ from the Roman censores that stated publicly a citizen's discreditable conduct. The official functions of the censores, attested from the 4th cent. BC at the latest ( lex Aemilia of 366 BC: Liv. 9,34,24; but see also Val. Max. 2,9,1; Plut. Camillus 2,2; Cic. Off. 3,31,111), included judging citizens with regard to their ‘honourable behaviour’ ( honor). If in the judgement of the censor the person under scrutiny did not meet the requirements of honour resulting, for example, from the holding of an office, from military disciplin…


(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) …
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