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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…

Eminentissimus

(165 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Rank at the Roman imperial court; originally used of officials from the equestrian class. With their growing status as representatives and direct subordinates of the emperor (  praefectus praetorio ), their position and form of address was brought into line with the senatorial summae potestates (Dig. 1,11,1) and its nomenclature (cf. Cod. Theod. 12,12,3). In the courtly order of ranking ( ordo dignitatum) in late antiquity the title then had the same meaning as excellentissimus, magnificentissimus, gloriosissimus, sublimissimus or illustrissimus (even in the…

Contio

(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Contio, from ‘ co-ventio’ (general meaning: public gathering) means in a special sense an assembly of Roman citizens convened by a magistrate, not to take decisions but for information and explanatory purposes. It was the precursor of a public assembly that later on had as its rationale the holding of a vote, elections or formal legal proceedings in the comitia. It had no fixed structure but followed the pattern of later, decision-making proceedings. In the case of legal proceedings in the comitia, three contiones had in fact to precede each instance. It may be …

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 …

Dictator

(405 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from dictare, ‘to dictate’, ‘to have recorded in writing’, ‘to arrange’; other etymologies in Cic. Rep. 1,63: quia dicitur). The holder of an exceptional, emergency, comprehensive ─ yet temporary ─ appointment under the Roman Republic. An empowered civil servant, i.e. a consul or if necessary even a praetor, could name a dictator ( dictatorem dicere), theoretically on his own initiative, but in practice after consultation with the Senate and other officials. The dictator would then hold an   imperium limited to six months, free from coll…

Adlocutio

(173 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Generally adlocutio means a greeting or address, in literature and rhetoric among other things the type of the personally encouraging or comforting speech (Greek paraínesis) and the direct address of an auditorium by the rhetorician (Greek apostrophḗ: Quint. Inst. 9,2,37, Sen. Ad. Helv. 1,3; Val. Max. 2,7,4; Varro, Ling. 6,57). In political and military life, adlocutio refers to a personal address to the senate, the citizens' assembly or a military assembly (Suet. Tib. 23; Liv. per. 104; Fronto Hout, Verus 132,1: orationes et adlocutiones nostras ad senatum). Often…

Magister a memoria

(277 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Lat. memoria (Greek mnḗmē) refers to official issuing of documents in the sense of ‘lasting testimonial’ (cf. Aristot. Pol. 1321b 39: mnḗmones). It is accepted that from the time of Augustus an official sphere a memoria existed for the various official activities of the emperor to his court. Its head is, however, not mentioned until the 2nd cent. AD as magister a memoria or magister memoriae; this title survives until late antiquity (ILS 1672; Pan. Lat. 9,11 Baehrens; Cod. Iust. 1,23,7,1). The office head was initially a freedman, later a membe…

Ducenarius

(214 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] ( duceni = ‘two hundred each’) generally indicates a reference to the number 200, as for example in weights ( duceni pondo = two centenarii/two ‘hundredweight’). In the political sphere, after Sulla's judicial reform (82 BC) ducenarius denoted the 200 judges belonging to the equestrian class in the jury panels (  decuriae ) (Vell. Pat. 2,32,3; Liv. per. 89; Suet. Aug. 32 concerns the Augustan reform). In the Principate the term ducenarius derives from the salary of 200,000 HSS for equestrian officials in the Emperor's service and generally refers to …

Decuriales

(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…

Abdicatio

(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…

Admissio

(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…

Immunitas

(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…

Interrex

(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 …

Absentia

(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…

Domain

(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…

Lictor

(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,…

Dediticii

(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…
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