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Agentes in rebus

(298 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] The schola of the agentes in rebus (AIR), which was already mentioned in 319 BC, was subject to the praefectus praetorio or the magister officiorum. The AIR had a broad field of duties: from their courier activity for the emperor came supervision of the cursus publicus and the ports ( curiosi litorum) as well as control of travel permits. The AIR also supervised the fabricae subject to the magister officiorum. The activity as informers (Aur. Vict. 39,44; Amm. Marc. 15,3,8; 16,8,9) and corruption of the AIR, who were equipped with extensive powers, aroused public r…

Ascia

(142 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] Tool of woodworkers and bricklayers, described in Isid. (Orig. 19,19,12); it had a short handle and a blade set crosswise; its other end was usually given the shape of a hammer. Suited for lopping branches and for crude shaping. A custom of sub ascia dedicare, said in relation to tombs, is attested in the west through funerary inscriptions; its interpretation has not yet been fully established. Preference should be given to the view that by this formula the tomb was placed immutably at the disposal of its bestower (cf. the expression hoc monumentum heredem non sequitur). Her…

Castellum

(529 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg) | Huß, Werner (Bamberg) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
I. Roman [German version] [I 1] According to Veg. Mil. 3,8 ( Nam a castris diminutivo vocabulo sunt nuncupata castella) the castella are relatively small camps that are probably distinguishable from the permanent auxiliary camps and tended to be established in a rather ad hoc manner to secure supplies or as part of a larger fortification (Veg. Mil. ibid.). Castella are probably comparable in size and number of garrisons with the ‘small citadels’ of the limes or the burgi (Veg. Mil. 4,10: castellum parvulum, quem burgum vocant). Herz, Peter (Regensburg) [German version] [I 2] Rural part o…

Collegium

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] [1] Society A collegium is a group of people coming together for religious, professional and social reasons. The legal basis for the collegia is set out in the Law of Twelve Tables (8,27 = Gaius Dig. 47,22,4): his (sodalibus) potestatem facit lex, pactionem quam velint sibi ferre, dum ne quid ex publica lege corrumpant; sed haec lex videtur ex lege Solonis translata esse. In terms of their internal organization, the collegium followed the model of the civic municipalities with magistrates, a council and plebs. The financial assets of the collegium included the income …

Wood

(2,502 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
[German version] A. General points In Antiquity, as in pre-industrial societies in general, wood was a universally worked material, used even as a substitute for metal and for expendable parts, and beside animal and human muscle power was also the most important source of energy. The tree species and their economic and technical uses are summarized by Theophrastos (H. plant. 5), Vitruvius (2,8,20; 2,9f.) and Pliny (HN. 16). Herz, Peter (Regensburg) [German version] B. Agriculture, crafts, house building Agriculture and industry were to a great extent oriented towards wood…

Suarii

(282 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] In Late Antiquity, the population of the city of Rome was supplied by central administration not only with grain, but also with pork (Meat, consumption of) and wine. The suarii, on whose estates or lands the functio suaria was imposed and who formed a corporation ( collegia , corpora), accordingly had the duty of bringing the pigs provided as tax in kind from southern Italy to Rome (Cod. Theod. 14,4,1, AD 334). The landowners had the option of providing pigs or paying a sum of money ( adaeratio); in the latter case the suarii had to buy the necessary animals in Rome (Cod.…

Magister militum

(1,068 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] Under Constantius [2] II (AD 337-361) the offices of the magister peditum and the magister equitum (for this office in the Roman Republic magister equitum ) were created and the military competencies of the praefecti praetorio were transferred to them (Zos. 2,33,3; Lydus, Mag. 2,10). This arrangement resulted from the separation of military and civilian functions in Roman offices that had started in the 3rd cent. At first, magister peditum and magister equitum were appointed as commanders of the relevant arms of service, although from the outset this …

Fabrica, fabricenses

(763 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] Originally fabrica only refers to the finished work (ThlL VI 12ff.), but later it primarily refers to the place where something was manufactured. Fabricae as production centres for equipment first appear in the direct military environment [11]. The first five fabricae with civilian employees were established in the Orient under Diocletian (Ioh. Mal. 307,21ff.). Not. Dign. Or. 11,18ff. and Not. Dign. Occ. 9,15ff provide an overview of the stock at the end of the 4th cent. The fabricae were subordinate to the praefectus praetorio (Cod.Theod. 10,22,2) up to c. 388, then…

Feriale Duranum

(469 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] The feriale Duranum is a papyrus found during excavations in 1931/32 in the garrison town of Dura-Europus (prov. Mesopotamia) with a calendar of feast days dating from the rule of Severus Alexander, which was originally intended for official use by the cohors XX Palmyrenorum (2/3 extant, from beginning of January to the end of September). Alongside date and reason for a particular festival, it also contained information on what kind of sacrificial animal was to be used. It has been possible to identify with a sufficient de…

Meat, consumption of

(1,056 words)

Author(s): Jameson, Michael (Stanford) | Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] I. Greece The diet of the Greeks in Antiquity was largely vegetarian and, as in most pre-modern agrarian societies, consisted of grains, pulses, vegetables and fruit. Olives (pickled or as oil), cheese, fish and meat supplemented the diet and provided animal and plant fats. For most people, only a small part of their diet consisted of meat. Literary sources can be misleading in this regard: The heroes of the Homeric epics appear to have lived on meat and owned large herds, while the…

Mattiarii

(162 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] The mattiarii were Roman soldiers armed with short-shafted weighted darts ( plumbatae, mattiobarbuli) (Veg. Mil. 1,17; 2,16; 3,14; 4,29). The legiones palatinae mattiarii seniores (Not. Dign. Or. 6,42) or mattiarii iuniores (ibid. 5,47) which are attested in the Notitia dignitatum appear to have come from two tetrarchian legiones in Illyricum (Veg. Mil. 1,17). Further, legiones comitatenses of mattiarii constantes (Not. Dign. Or. 9,31) and mattiarii iuniores (ibid. 5,232) as well as of mattiarii Honoriani Gallicani (Not. Dign. Occ. 5,220) have been atte…

Charcoal

(427 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] Alongside  wood, charcoal (ἄνθραξ; ánthrax, carbo) was the most commonly used fuel in antiquity; already known in Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was produced from selected woods (Theophr. Hist. pl. 5,9,1ff.: oak, walnut, pine, spruce) by a controlled reduction process (wood: 50 % carbon; charcoal: 80-90 %), resulting in an appreciable increase in calorific value (29,000 in contrast to 16,500 kJ/kg in wood). Charcoal was produced in kilns (κάμινος; káminos, calyx) constructed from straight, tightly packed timber taken from the trunk of the tree, which…

Navies

(1,799 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] I. General Early navies such as those of the Egyptians and the maritime towns in Syria/Palestine and on Cyprus mostly transported troops and materials. In battle, the ships carried archers, e.g., in the battle of Ramesses III against the Sea Peoples (Medinet Habu). This is similar to early Phoenician and Greek ships, which were used for transportation and fighting. These were ships with one bank of oars (μονόκροτος; monókrotos) with up to 15 rowers on each side (triaconters) and a lateen sail. By introducing a second offset bank of oars (δίκροτος; díkrotos) up to 25 row…

Associations

(1,754 words)

Author(s): Herz, Peter (Regensburg)
[German version] I. Definition Associations are defined as more or less permanent organizations of people in groups for the pursuit of a common end. The reasons for this could be of topographical, religious ( cultores, ‘venerators’ of a deity -- hence the anthropological concept of a ‘cult association’), and/or economic nature (representatives of a certain trade), in each case with consequences regarding the purpose and composition of the membership. In all of this, the boundaries remain fluctuating regarding composition, motive and organization of individual associations. Herz,…