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Senatus consultum

(910 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] A formal resolution of the Roman Senate (SC; sometimes senatus sententia: ILS 18; 35a; 8208; informally also senatus decretum, e.g. Cic. Mil. 87; Cic. Sest. 32, or in archaic form senati decretum: Sall. Cat. 30,3 and passim). The formal resolution by which the Roman Senate pronounced advice or instructions at the request ( consulere) of magistrates; while not binding legally, it was in practice: in the Imperial Period, to some extent it even acquired force of law (Gai. Inst. 1,4; Pompon. Dig. 1,2,12; cf. [3. 432]). An SC that was…

Scriba

(604 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
In Rome, scribae (plural) were professional literates with higher qualifications; they were thus not simple copiers ( librarii) but secretaries and accountants, in the early period even authors (Fest. p. 446). Scribae worked in both private and public spheres. [German version] I. Scribae in private households Slaves who assisted their masters in writing tasks were generally called (servi) librarii (Plin. HN 7,91; ILS 7398; 7401) or amanuenses (Suet. Nero 44,1; ILS 7395). The expression s. librarius is only rarely attested (CIL VI 8881). Secretaries entrusted with more …

Lucretius

(3,448 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Fündling, Jörg (Bonn) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Et al.
Italian surname (on its Etruscan connection cf. [1. 182f.]). In the 5th and 4th cents. BC we encounter the patrician family of the Lucretii Tricipitini (among others with the rare praenomen Hostus) which later died out; from the 3rd cent. BC onwards several plebeian families are known (Gallus, Ofella, Trio, Vespillo). The most important bearers of the name are Lucretia [2] from early Roman history and the poet L. [III 1]. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican period [German version] [I 1] L. Prosecutor of M. Livius Drusus [I 5] Claudianus In 54 BC he prosecuted M. Livius Drusus …

Volumnia

(194 words)

Author(s): Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] [1] Wife of Marcius Coriolanus According to a much-related story about Marcius Coriolanus (in which V. plays only a subordinate role, however), when he and a Volsci army are outside Rome, the pleas of his wife V. and his mother Veturia cause him to refrain from attacking his home city (the story in e.g. Liv. 2,39,1-2,40,11; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 8,40-54; Val. Max. 5,2,1; 5,4,1; Plut. Coriolanus 33,1-36,6, but there, it is not his wife but his mother who bears the name V.). Müller, Christian (Bochum) [German version] [2] Pantomime actress, 1st cent. BC Freedwoman (and lover:…

Annales maximi

(268 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Synonymous with annalespontificum maximorum (Cic. Leg. 1,6). Annales maximi is what the Romans called a chronicle-like work of history, which is based on the records of the pontifex maximus (Paul. Fest. p. 113 L; Macrob. Sat. 3,2,17; Serv. Aen. 1,373; implicitly already in Cic. De or. 2,52). The content was apparently identical to that of the tabula apud pontificem maximum (Cato orig. fr. 77 HRR), which in addition to details about dearths and eclipses surely also contained reports about prodigies ( pace [3]), temple dedications, additions to the priestly coll…

Progenitors

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Knowledge of one's own progenitors in the ancient Near East legitimized one's status and material and immaterial rights in the individual and societal spheres. Such knowledge was based on patriarchal relationships of kinship. Evidence for this comes, for example, from lineage lists (Genealogies; OT: Gn 5; 11:10-32; 22:20-24; 25:1-9; Judges 4:18-22: progenitors of David [1]; 1 Sam 9:1-2: progenitors of Saul; Mt 1:1-17: progenitors of Jesus), the Assyrian Kings' Lis…

Mummius

(1,428 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Blänsdorf, Jürgen (Mainz) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
Name of a Roman plebeian family of little political significance except for L. M. [I 3], the destroyer of Corinth. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican period [German version] [I 1] Author of Atellan farces, propably Augustan According to Pomponius Bononiensis and Novius [I 1], who presumably lived about 90 BC, M. revived the atellan farces, which had laid dormant for some time (Macrob. Sat. 1,10,3). His Old Latin metre (use of iambic shortening) and language (abl. testu) suggest that he probably did not write later than the Augustan period, during which other …

Fenestella

(270 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Roman historian of the early Imperial period. The exact dates of his life are uncertain: according to Jerome he died at the age of 70 in AD 19 (Chron. p. 172 Helm), according to Pliny only ‘late in the reign of Tiberius’ ( novissimo Tiberii Caesaris principatu; HN 33,146). F. wrote an annalistic history in more than 22 books (Fr. 21 Peter from book 22 [= HRR 2, 85f.] relates to 57 BC) that extended from the early Roman period to the late Republic and perhaps even included the Augustan period (Fr. 24 Peter [= HRR 2, 86]). The …

Vennonius

(183 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Fündling, Jörg (Bonn)
[German version] [1] Roman historian, 2nd cent. BC Roman historian of the late 2nd cent. BC (in Cic. Leg. 1,6 ordered after C. Fannius [I 1]); nothing is known of him as a person. His presumably annalistic work (Annalists) began with stories of the founding of Rome and the period of the kings (Origo gentis Romanae 20,1; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 4,15,1), but its scope and end point are unknown. Cicero felt the need of it in 46 BC in his literary work in Tusculum (Cic. Att. 12,3,1). Fr. in HRR I2 142 and [1]. Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) Bibliography 1 M. Chassignet (ed.), L'annalistique romain…

Cato

(1,353 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
Roman cognomen perhaps of Etruscan origin [1. 310, 315, 418], in conjunction with catus (‘astute’, ‘crafty’ [2; 3. 250]. In Republican times widespread in the families of the Hostilii and Valerii, prominent among the Porcii, according to whose model C. is used now and again as a synonym for a conservative Roman; quite rarely also as gentilicium [1. 303].  Porcius Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [1] Porcius C., M. Cato the Elder, 234-149 BC (234-149 BC), ‘Cato the Elder’, ‘Censorius’, energetic politician and founder of Roman prose literature, is the b…

Sempronius

(6,399 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Bartels, Jens (Bonn) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Et al.
Name of a Roman family. According to tradition, its members of the 5th cent. BC (Atratini, S. [I 3-8]) are supposed to have been patricians and champions of patrician privileges (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 10,41,5; 10,42,3), an assumption that may have been a retrospective invention (the Sempronii only became patricians under Caesar or Augustus); in the historical period, we know only of plebeian branches of the family during the Republic (Asellio, Blaesus, Gracchus, Longus, Tuditanus) who played an important role in the 3rd and 2nd cents. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican Period …

Prothesis

(231 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (πρόθεσις/ próthesis, first [1. 22B], 6th century BC; first in literature Pl. Leg. 947b 3; 959e 5). Term for the laying out of a corpse, which was an indispensable part of every burial in Greece from the earliest times. The dead person was laid on a klínē , usually covered by a pall (φᾶρος/ phâros), and was lamented and mourned both by family members and unrelated mourners. Prothesis scenes are described in the Homeric epics (esp. Hom. Il. 18,352-355; 24,719-776). Ritual gestures of grief are often depicted, particularly on Attic pottery (cf. [6…

Conclamatio

(176 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] An old element in Roman mortuary customs: when the eyes of the deceased were closed the attending relatives repeatedly called his name (Serv. Aen. 6,218; Luc. 2,23; Sen. Dial. 9,11,7; with the same meaning Ov. Tr. 3,3,43 clamor supremus ; Ps.-Quint. Decl. mai. 8,10 conclamata suprema). Since this word also describes the ordinary death lament (e.g., Tac. Ann. 3,2,2; Oratio imperatoris Hadriani in CIL 14, 3579, 19; Sen. Ep. 52,13 and passim), a lot of evidence cannot be clearly attributed. This custom, which was obviously no longer understood in the hi…

Fabius

(6,346 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Scholz, Udo W. (Würzburg) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Et al.
Roman patrician family name, probably derived from Etruscan fapi [1. 162]. According to ancient etymology, however, either from faba ‘(broad)bean’ (‘legume grower’: Plin. HN 18,10; [2]) or from the original ‘Fodius’, ‘Fovius’ (‘wolf pit hunter’: Plut. Fabius 1,2; Fest. 77 L.) because the Fabii with the Quinctii originally appointed the priesthood of the Luperci; the  Lupercalia were also the family celebration of the Fabii (Ov. Fast. 193ff.). Early Imperial pseudogenealogy, which perhaps arose in the literary ci…

Pomponius

(5,501 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Et al.
Name of a Roman plebeian family probably deriving from the Italic praenomen Pompo, tracing back, like the Aemilii, Calpurnii and Pinarii, to one of the sons of Numa Pompilius (Plut. Numa 21,2; cf. Nep. Att. 1,1). In the 3rd century BC the Mathones (cf. P. [I 7-9]) achieved consulship, but later the family was insignificant. The most prominent member was a friend of Cicero, T. P. [I 5] Atticus. I. Republican Period [German version] [I 1] P., Cn. People's tribune in 90 BC People's tribune in 90 BC, killed in the Civil War in 82; Cicero quite often heard him in his youth; his j…

Cassius

(5,432 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf) | Et al.
Name of a plebeian gens (cf. Tac. Ann. 6,15,1), the representatives of whom have been known historically since the middle of the 3rd cent. BC. The most important family, especially in the 1st cent. BC, are the Cassii Longini. A patrician C. (around 500 BC, C. I 19) is rare. I. Republican age [German version] [I 1] C., C. Governor of Asia 89-88 BC Praetor 90 BC (?), in 89-88 governor of the province of Asia whence he, with M'. Aquillius [I 4], induced Nicomedes of Bithynia to attack  Mithridates (MRR 2,34). He then had to retreat from the victorious Mithridat…

Tanusius Geminus

(126 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (the cognomen only in Suet. Iul. 9,2). Roman historian of the Late Republic of whose life nothing is known. It is also unclear whether his work, which (because of Plut. Caesar 22,3) was not finished until after 55 BC and contained accounts hostile to Caesar (especially fr. 1 P. = HRR 2, p. 50: on the 'conspiracy' of 66 BC), was an account of contemporary events only [1. 327] or whether it was organised as an annalistic comprehensive history (as in [2. 265]; annales in Sen. Ep. 93,11). According to Seneca, the work was voluminous and 'ponderous' ( ponderosi); he may have been…

Libitinarii

(196 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] was the name the Romans gave to undertakers because of their seat in the sacred grove of Libitina ( qui libitinam faciunt, ILS 6085,94). On behalf of the affected families (or the state: Sen. Dial. 9,11,10), they organized the burials and supplied the necessary implements as well as the personnel (partly slaves: Ulp. Dig. 14,3,5,8), e.g. pollinctores , bearers, musicians (cf. Petron. Sat. 78,6), specialists for burning the corpses ( ustores). The funeral practices in the Roman cities of Italy were apparently similarly organized (ILS 6726 attests a bu…

Laudatio funebris

(1,002 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General According to Roman linguistic usage, laudatio funebris (LF; Quint. Inst. 3,7,2; Gell. NA 13,20,17; mostly just laudatio: Cic. Mil. 33; Liv. 27,27,13; Tac. Ann. 13,3,1; explanatory laudatio pro rostris: Tac. Ann. 3,76,2 et passim) means the eulogy for the deceased, held in connection with the burial ( funus). At upper class funerals, the funeral procession stopped (probably from the end of the 4th cent. BC) at the forum, where a son or other close relative gave the speech from the rostrum ( pro rostris: Sen. Dial. 6,15,3; Tac. Ann. 3,5,1 et passim), which along …

Memmius

(1,801 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Frigo, Thomas (Bonn) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
Roman plebeian gens name, whose bearers may have originated from the territory of the Volscians and who rose to prominence (in several branches) during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. They rose to consular rank only with M. [I 4]. The descent of the gens from the Trojan Mnestheus (Verg. Aen. 5,117) is a late-Republican construction. An aedile called M. supposedly instituted the Cerealia (before 211 BC; RRC 427). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican Period [German version] [I 1] M., C. Popular politician at the end of the 2nd cent. BC Popular politician at the end of the 2nd centur…
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