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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…

Candidatus

(444 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Generally a person clothed in white; the colour white can express flawlessness, festive rejoicing, and a pleasant mood (Quint. 2,5,19; Hor. Sat. 1,5,41; Plin. Ep. 6,11,3). In Rome it was customary as early as the 5th cent. BC for candidates for public office to wear white robes (Liv. 4,25,13; 39,39,2; Pers. 5,177; Isid. Orig. 19,24). Thereafter, candidatus became the specific term for a candidate for public office. In the republican period, an applicant for an office that was appointed by public election was obliged to declare himself ( professio) as a candidatus to the…

Diptychon

(271 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek δίς; dís = two times and πτύσσω; ptýssō = fold) can refer to anything folded or appearing as a double, such as mussel shells or twins (Eur. Orest. 633 or respectively Ambr. Hex. 6,8,25), but in particular refers to a folded piece of writing on paper or parchment, or two foldable linked writing tablets ─ or a writing tablet with lid ─ and a writing surface made from wax, gypsum or other, mostly light-coloured, material (λεύκωμα; leúkōma), which would be written on with a stylus, a reed, or a brush. As diptycha protected texts against damage or forgery, it be…

Album

(308 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] [1] see  Writing materials see  Writing materials Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] White board for the publication of official announcements The term album designates a white ( albus) board for the publication of official announcements from various Roman offices and also for court decisions ( in albo propositio: Dig. 2,1,7). Of particular significance is also the album praetoris, which contained complaints or other types of applications, authorized by the praetor in his role as court of justice, as well as the formulas f…

Officium

(542 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Walde, Christine (Basle)
(etymologically reconstructed from Lat. opi-ficium, 'doing work'; pl. officia). [German version] [1] Duty in general Generally a range of duties with a corresponding sense of duty or subordination (Sen. Ben. 3,18,1; Dig. 37,6,6; Cic. Tusc. 4,61); see Duty. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] Duties as identified in the philosophy of ethics Since Cicero, especially the duties as identified in the philosophy of ethics (as the 'Roman interpretation' of the Stoic concept of tò kathêkon, Cic. Off. 1,2,5-1,3,7); see Duty; Ethics. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) …

Censores

(732 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Former consuls seem to have been chosen as officers of the census for the first time in 443 BC by a lex de creandis censoribus, the purpose being to free the consuls of this duty (Liv. 4,8,3; similarly Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,62). The tradition of the office being held in common by a patrician and a plebeian probably becomes the norm only after the leges Liciniae Sextiae of 367. Regular censuses every five years ( lustrum) made a regular election of censors necessary from this time. But there were occasional departures from the prescribed interval; even, d…

Coercitio

(359 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The authority of Roman magistrates to intervene where they judged the public order had been violated by citizens and non-citizens, restricting their rights and exercising sovereign power. This authority ranges from an interim order ( interdicta) via the forced collection of public claims, the imposition of fines ( multae), arrests ( vincula, prensio), seizing of property ( pignoris capio), [corporal] punishment ( verbera), right up to the imposition of capital punishment ( c. plenissima, c. capitalis, Dig. 7,1,17,1; 50,16,200). Even in the early republic…

Comitia

(1,614 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In spite of Roman traditionalism, in the course of time the different forms of popular assemblies arising under the Roman constitution undergo a pronounced developmental change on the one hand and must, on the other, be considered in terms of their functional role at any one period. The following forms occur: the comitia curiata, the comitia centuriata, the   concilium plebis, the comitia tributa and the   contiones. It must also be said that, owing to fundamental methodical and factual reservations due to the relatively late d…

Apparitores

(224 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] All manner of servants could be called apparitores (from apparere = to appear -- on command). In the public sphere apparitores specifically referred to the free and unfree servants of a magistrate, who (as opposed to the officiales) appeared as aids in official acts. In the Republican period apparitores accompanied consuls and praetors as   lictores with   fasces as symbols of the imperium (Liv. 9,46,2) and served magistrates as scribes, record officials and account keepers ( scribae, librarii), criers ( praecones), messengers ( viatores), ‘assistants’ ( accensi) as…

Court titles

(3,061 words)

Author(s): Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] A. Antecedents in the ancient Orient Court titles (CT) and court ranks in antiquity, used for the description and creation of personal proximity of members of courtly society to the  ruler or to the hierarchical rank classification of the upper class involved in administration, are a consequence of the emergence of territorial monarchies from the time of Alexander [4] the Great and the resulting organization of  courts as centres of political rule. The question of ancient Oriental antec…

Census

(447 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] From the general meaning of censere (etymologically from centrum) the following specialized uses of the term census are derived: 1. The census of citizens in the Republican period. According to Roman historical tradition (Liv. 1,42,5), it was first the kings and later the consuls who carried out censuses of the citizenry in order to establish obligations for military and other types of service, and liability for tax. From 443 BC (Liv. 4,8,2) two censors bear responsibility for the census over a term of office lasting five years (  lustrum ). They ha…

Centuria

(874 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
In general signifies an amount measured by or divided into units of 100, and can therefore relate e.g. to plots of land as well as to people. Thus the relationship to the figure 100 can be lost, the word then referring merely to a mathematically exactly measured or divided amount. [German version] A. Political Centuria is particularly used in the constitution of the Roman Republic to denote the electorate for the   comitia centuriata . In this meaning, the term probably derives from the contingent of 100 foot soldiers that, according to the histo…

Ovatio

(261 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from Lat. ovare, equivalent to Greek euázein,'to cheer'). In its wider sense, it referred to the Roman triumph as well as to smaller official public celebrations in honour of meritorious generals. In its narrower sense, the word referred from the 5th cent. BC to about the 1st cent. AD to the smaller-scale celebration for generals who did not fully meet all the requirements for a large victory celebration, the triumph (Cic. Phil. 14,12: ovantem ac prope triumphantem). The latter was not possible in cases of legal doubt regarding the reason for war, of vic…

Bureaucracy

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] I. General The term bureaucracy has no roots in the political terminology of antiquity, but is a modern French-Greek hybrid formation (Old Fr. ‘bure’, ‘burrel’ from Lat. burra). Bureaucracy refers -- also in a critical sense -- to specific organizational structures of modern states [1]. As an ‘ideal type’ in Max Weber's definition, bureaucracy in general terms refers to a special form of legal rulership: its rulers employ officials in their administration, who -- in full-time salaried positions with a clear…

Curiata lex

(383 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Legally binding decision of the comitia curiata (organized by curiae) -- probably the oldest type of Roman popular 's assembly. The early form can hardly be deduced from the sources (cf. Cic. Rep. 2,25). Presumably, all questions of the succession of influential families, religion, citizenship, military call-ups ( legio), taxes, the inauguration of kings and priests and later the responsibilities of the offices were regulated by leges curiatae (Liv. 1,17,8f.; 1,22,1). In the struggle of the orders, elections and the administration of justice did …

Incensus

(173 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘not appraised’) is one who neglects to have his property assessed by the censor in Rome (  census : Dig. 1,2,2,17) and therefore, due to the non-determination of which voter class he belongs to and his military service obligation, it is possible he cannot be called in for his fundamental civic duties. Incensus is punishable by death in accordance with a legendary law of Servius Tullius (Liv. 1,44,1). In the Republican period the consequence of an omitted tax declaration can be the confiscation of property and being sold into slav…

Decemprimi

(229 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
The term referred to the ‘first ten’ in a row (Greek δεκάπρωτοι, dekáprōtoi). [German version] [1] The ten highest-ranking decuriones in the curia of a city Decemprimi was the name for the ten highest-ranking decuriones in the curia of a city with a constitution based on Roman or peregrine law. They handled various tasks; in particular, they were prominent in legations (Liv. 29,15,5; Cic. Verr. 2,2,162). In the Roman Imperial period, the decemprimi gradually become responsible for the legal duty of monitoring the municipal financial administration and, in case of im…

Acta

(828 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Acta identifies the result of agere (to cause or pursue something). In legal language, agere refers to action directed toward the creation or alteration of rights (Dig. 50,16,19) by private persons, but especially through organs of public law such as magistrates, courts and generally holders of ‘jurisdiction’ (Dig. 4,6,35,8). Agere can be exclusively oral, but is often also documented in written form in the interest of enforcement, verification and proof. I. Acta in the legal sense refers to the variously documented and archived public records of leg…
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