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(725 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from creare: ‘to create’, ‘to generate’) has the meaning of ‘appointing’ or ‘calling’ in regard to private functions ( tutor: Dig. 26,7,39,6) as well as public offices (  magistratus : Dig. 48,14,1 pr.). It is used as a synonym but not as completely identical in meaning with nominatio and vocatio and at times is joined with lectio, electio (CIC. Verr. 2,2,49; Tac. Agr. 9; Dig. 1,11,1, pr.) or cooptatio (Liv. 2,33,2; 3,64,10). The term implies that an act of installation took place which contributes to the legitimacy. The general principle of creatio is valid for all po…


(450 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] I. In civil law Defensor is not a technical legal term for the defence counsel (but probably nevertheless thus in Quint. Inst. 5,3,13), but rather had various meanings, especially as the sponsor of the defendant primarily in a civil case, and here particularly of the absent defendant ( indefensus). To take on such a defence was the duty of a friend (Dig. 4,6,22 pr.). Termed defensor civitatis, he is also the judicial representative of corporations ( universitates, Dig. 3,4,1,3), above all of statutory public bodies (e.g. communities, provinces; cf. CIL X,1201 and passim)…


(202 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from curiosus ‘prudent’, ‘eager to learn’) was the name given in late antiquity to civil servants of the imperial court of the up to 1,300 agentes in rebus (Cod. Iust. 12,20,3) who were given various special duties to perform locally for the central imperial government, as well as in the provinces or in foreign countries. As a special group, the curiosi are defined as agentes in rebus in curis agendis et evectionibus publici cursus inspiciendis (Cod. Iust. 12,22,2) who above all have to prevent improper use of government posts (Cod. Iust. 12,22,4) and …


(217 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] as a substantive designates a former   consul or a senator who was accorded the honour of a former consul, later used adjectivally to designate the powers, entitlements and responsibilities of a serving or former consul. Since the office of consul was the highest office of state in the Republic and nominally (i.e. eponymously) also in the imperial period, former consuls were accorded precedence, in the Senate's order of speaking and voting, after each of the consuls still in office but ahead of senators holding the rank…


(144 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. means ‘Furnished with narrow stripes’, i.e. in the Republic and in the early imperial era the members of the Roman knightly class and especially the military tribune, whose official toga is thus different from that of a senatorial military tribune ( laticlavius = ‘with broad stripes’) (Vell. Pat. 2,88,2; Suet. Otho 10; Veg. Mil. 2,12). In general there are in a legion (Pol. 6,34,3 ff.) five tribuni angusticlavii and one laticlavius. The designation angusticlavius probably becomes unusual in the 3rd cent. AD as a result of the changed function of a tribunus (Cod. lust…

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…


(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…


(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 …


(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 …


(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,…


(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…

Libellis, a

(186 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The offices of the imperial court included an office primarily responsible for law-related complaints. This office dealt with judicial complaints addressed specially to the emperor as an instance of appeal, whereas working on imperial decisions on petitions as well as rescripts principally was a matter of other offices ( epistulis, ab ). Its purview also included suits which were decided at the imperial court as the primary instance, if the emperor assumed jurisdiction, such as proceedings of crimen laesae maiestatis ( lèse majesté) or maledictio Caesaris (‘slande…


(221 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (1) Recommendation of a person or thing (Dig. 4,3,37), (2) entrusting something for safekeeping (Dig. 50,16,136) and (3) offering evidence for an assertion (Cod. Iust. 6,22,2). (4) In the context of an informal arrangement, i.e. one in principle not legally enforceable by either party, commendatio is an act by which a client entrusts his affairs to a patron to be represented or resolved, committing himself in honour to a debt of gratitude ( se alicui in clientelam, fidem commendare, Ter. Eun. 577; Petron. Sat. 140; Caes. B Gall. 4,27,7; Lex Visig. 5,3,8): a…


(723 words)

Author(s): Schanbacher, Dietmar (Dresden) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Privatrecht In Roman private law the term occupatio, as a technical term (most often in the form of a verb - occupare), meant the act of appropriation (Gai. Inst. 2,65-66).  As a noun it was almost exclusively used in the sense of occupation, holding (e.g. Ulp. Dig. 4,8,15). Occupatio was seen as a 'natural' mode of acquisition of ownership (alongside traditio ) in contrast to acquistion of ownership according to the ius civile ( ius A.; through mancipatio, in iure cessio, usucapio ). Foreigners (non-citizens; peregrinus ) could also acquire ownership by way of occupatio…


(675 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Concept In relation to the term familia (Family IV. B.), originally of a similar meaning. The meaning of patrimonium (etymologically reconstructed from patris munia, 'matters/affairs of the pater familias ') was restricted purely to matters of property, but in legal terminology, it was expanded to include all complex legal matters involving property that were of importance for transactions in private or public law, i.e. generally matters of 'real/physical property'. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] B. Private law The concept of property in…


(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…

Duoviri, Duumviri

(640 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘[office filled by]’ two men; singular ‘ duum vir’, hence also ‘ duumviri’) denotes various kinds of office known to have been occupied by pairs of men. Many of these occur solely or for the most part at particular periods during the Roman Republic. Duumviri perduellionis were judges in matters of high treason in the early Republican period, and by the 1st cent. BC were hardly named any longer (Liv. 1,26,5f.; Cic. Rab. perd. 12f.). Duumviri sacris faciundis are the officials to whom the task of consulting the Sybilline Books was transferred in the 4th cen…


(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] 1. The signing or sealing of a document (Gai. 2,119; Cod. Theod. 11,1,19; Dig. 45,1,126), 2. The written regulation of rights to things and persons (Dig. 50,16,107; 38,8) as well as the contractual handing-over of possessions (Dig. 4,9,1,8; 50,12,1,6), and 3. The judicial assignment of a right to an applicant (Dig. 10,2,22,1). As the assignment of a right to land ownership, the adsignatio gains importance in the political arena with the assignment of land to Roman citizens, especially to groups for founding colonies ( adsignatio coloniaria), since the 1st cent. BC…


(129 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] General meaning: ‘speedwriter’ ( excipere, ‘to record’; Greek synonym ταχύγραφος/ tachýgraphos,  Tachygraphy), specific meaning: an important subaltern official in the civil and military administration of the provinces (in late antiquity also in diocesan and prefecturial administration) besides auditors (  numerarius ), actuaries (e.g.   actarius ) and archivists and registrars. The task of the exceptor was to record protocols and to draw up or copy administrative or legal records (Cod. Iust. 10,12,2 ─ exceptores et ceteri officiales: Cod. Iust. 12, tit. 49 De …

Lectio senatus

(348 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (‘selection for the Senate’). The prerequisite for admission to the Roman Senate from time immemorial was that the contender had rendered outstanding political services in a high public office (Cic. Verr. 2,49; Sall. Iug. 4,4; Liv. 23,23), there were no objections to him based on criminal law or regarding his status and - later - that he had a certain minimum level of assets (under Augustus about a million sesterces: Suet. Aug. 41). If one of the prerequisites ceased to apply, a senator could be removed from office ( senatu movere, eicere: Cic. Clu. 42; Sall. Catil. 23.…
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