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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…

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…

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…

Destinatio

(197 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from reconstr. de-stanare, ‘determine’) generally means the determination of a purpose or a decision, legally also a legally-binding unilateral declaration of will (Cod. Iust. 6,30,6; Dig. 50,17,76). In political life destinatio means the delegation of a subordinate or the installation in an office of a person envisaged for the task by a person authorized to do so. The imperial recommendation of a   candidatus to the Senate was also called destinatio as was the direct appointment of an office bearer by the emperor (Dig. 4,4,18,4; Cod. Iust. 11,74,2…

Aediles

(712 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The original scope of duties of the aediles is still unexplained. Aediles points to aedes (temple) and thus to public buildings; the usual equation in Greek of   agoranomoi leads to an association with market duties (Just. Epit. 21,5,7). Roman tradition (Liv. 3,55,6 f.) places the first two aediles (plebeii) at the side of the tribuni plebis active since 494 BC, probably as assistants in administrative duties at the Temple of Ceres ( aedes Cereris Liberi Liberaeque), the cultic centre of the   plebs , and during market business at the nearby F…

Abrogatio

(306 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In public law, abrogatio refers to the suspension of a right or law. 1a: the complete suspension of a law (  lex ) passed by   rogatio by the assembly (Ulp., prooem. 3: abrogatur legi, cum prorsus tollitur). 1b: in a broader sense also the obsoletion of a paragraph of law due to persistent non-observance (Dig. 1,3,32,1: receptum est, ut leges etiam tacito consensu omnium per desuetudinem abrogentur). 2a: the taking away of an   imperium transferred by the comitia via a rogatio. 2b: in a broader sense the denial of rights by a competent court (Cod. Theod. 9,10,3). The abrogatio i…

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…

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…

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…

Nobilissimus

(174 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word nobilis (pl. nobiles ), in the Republican period and the Imperial period of the first two cents. AD, presumably denotes in particular the members of a senatorial family which included several consuls. From the 3rd cent. AD, with the increasing prevalence of court titles (Court titles C.,) it served to designate especially distinguished members of both the senatorial class and the imperial household (Dig. 1,2,2,43: members of the Senate; Cod. Iust. 6,23,19: members of the sacrum consistorium). From it was derived - probably from the reign of Constan…

Actarius

(168 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] ( actuarius.) Actarius can apply to   acta and also to actus (fast movement, transportation) and can therefore designate activities in various areas: 1. In private life, actarius (= actuarius) refers to the ‘fast scribe’, that is of court speeches or recitations (Suet. Iul. 55; Sen. Epist. 4,4,9; Tac. Ann. 5,4), and therefore also to the bookkeeper or accountant (Petron. Sat. 53,1). A. (= actarius) refers to a record-keeper in private and imperial households (CIL VI 5 182; VI 6 244; VI 9 106 f.). 2. In military life, actuarii are, since Septimius Severus, sometimes h…

Dominatus

(356 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (Lat. dominatus) sometimes has the legal sense of dominium (cf. Nov. Theod. II. 22,2,16), meaning the position of a dominus as mandated authority, master or owner, esp. in family and property law (Dig. 12,6,64; 29,2,78). In the political realm, dominatus stands for ‘foreign’ or ‘arbitrary’ power (Greek tyrannís; Cic. Rep. 1,61). At the core of the concept is statutory power that is freely exercised and not susceptible of control, and thus is subject to abuse (Cic. Rep. 1,61). The modern German loan-word Dominat is a 19th-cent. neologism, and according to [1. 74…

Bruttiani

(130 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Bruttiani were the ushers of Roman magistrates. Because of their desertion to Hannibal and their loyalty to him until the end of the Second Punic War, the southern Italian tribe of the  Bruttii not only had to surrender a large part of their territory to Rome, but also had to declare their readiness from then on to work as ushers in ‘slavish’ positions, albeit as free men. Although these punishments had lost their significance at the latest with the Social War, Bruttiani remained a synonym for   apparitores , because the Bruttii continued in their traditional service as   licto…

Censuales

(250 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Assessment of citizens for tax purposes (  census ) in republican Rome is carried out by subordinate officials of free status ( scribae) and by bonded state servants ( servi publici a censu or censuales), under the political responsibility of the   censores insofar as they are in office. But supervision of the administration of the tax registers ( libri censuales) is carried out by a chief administrator, probably from early times called magister census. There are also census officials, occasionally termed censuales, in provincial administrations and in cities w…
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