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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…

Cancellarius

(227 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Cancellarius (from cancelli, ‘barriers, bars’) generally referred to the subaltern official in administration and the courts, who dealt with the public, for instance when controlling admission; however, in the course of the Imperial Age, it came to refer specifically to a ‘chief official of an administrative staff’ (Lydus, Mag. 3,37). In late antiquity, a cancellarius could be ranked equal with a chamberlain for audiences (Not. Dign. Occ. 9,15), and even be of senatorial rank (Cassiod. Var. 11,6; 10). As the leading subordinate official just below the consiliarii,

Antiquo

(202 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] This adverb signifies either ‘long gone’ or ‘long-standing’ (Hor. Epist. 2,1,60; Tac. Germ. 5; Ann. 14,20; Plin. Pan. 42,8). As a forensic term it accordingly covers both laws and statutes made obsolete by more recent legislation as well as the body of traditional law still preserved and interpreted. In the codices of late antiquity it indicates above all the continuously applicable, valid written code of law ( comitia legislation, senatus consulta, constitutiones of the early Empire, e.g. Cod. Iust. 6,51,1,1b -- lex Papia; Dig. 38,17,2,20 -- SC Tertullianum; D…

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…

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…

Consular tribunes

(356 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] more accurately in Lat. tribuni militum consulari potestate, were probably elected for the first time in 443 BC (Liv. 4,7,1f.) -- soon after the two-year-long government of the XII viri legibus scribundis (in 450/449) -- initially by the comitia centuriata, so as to share consular powers of office among more than two colleagues. Livy takes the view that a larger number of bearers of the imperium were needed because of the several war fronts at that time. Other authors see this institution as an expression of the competing interests in the class…

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…

Cooptatio

(371 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from co-optare: ‘to co-opt’) can mean the acceptance of a person into a gens, a client relationship, a society ( collegium), or into a public corporation ( corpus, corporatio, collegium), (Liv. 2,33,2; Suet. Tib. 1,1-2; Plin. Ep. 4,1,4; Cic. Verr. 2,2,120; Dig. Iust. 50,16,85 tres faciunt collegium; Lex col. Genetivae 67=FIRA 1, 177ff.; SC de collegiis, FIRA 1, 291: coire, convenire, collegiumve habere). In the political arena, cooptatio refers to a type of supplementary election that was legitimate but frequently extraordinary. (1) Beginning in…

Conscripti

(295 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from conscribere in the specific sense of‘ to write together’ or ‘to add in writing’, ‘to register’) generally means persons entered into a register. Thus, conscripti means the cives Romani entered in a list of citizens, also the registered colonists of a colonia, the soldiers and officials entered into the matriculation rolls of a military unit and, finally, the tax payers entered into census lists (Liv. 1,12,8; 37,46,10; Suet. Iul. 8; Dig. 50,16,239,5; Cod. Iust. 6,21,16; 11,48,4). In the combined word patres conscripti, conscripti refers to the more clearly …

Diplomacy

(400 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek-Lat.   diploma , Latin diplomaticus, late Latin diplomatus) etymologically derives from the similar late antique word for the holder of a passport, who on imperial business was permitted to use the state postal service for the transfer of documents and to cross the borders into foreign lands ( evectio ─ Cod. Iust. 12,50). In all international relations governed by ius gentium throughout antiquity, such activities were always linked with a national system of rules governing the dispatch and reception of messengers and plenipotentiaries ( nuntii, missi…

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…

Adlectio

(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…

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…

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…

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) …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…
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