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(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.…


(399 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A text containing a decretum was called decretale (Sid. Apoll. Epist. 7,9,6) in later Latin. The term decretum (from decernere ‘to decide’) was used for judgements in individual cases as well as general rulings. In the individual case it denote the judicial verdict or decision of a magistrate or other judicial official or authority (also decisions of committees), by which a judicial decision was pronounced after examination of the evidence ( causae cognitio; Dig. 37,1,3,8); to be contrasted to the   rescriptum , which comprised the evidence p…


(227 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Cancellarius (from cancelli, ‘barriers, bars’) generally referred to the subaltern official in administration and the courts, who dealt with the public, for instance when controlling admission; however, in the course of the Imperial Age, it came to refer specifically to a ‘chief official of an administrative staff’ (Lydus, Mag. 3,37). In late antiquity, a cancellarius could be ranked equal with a chamberlain for audiences (Not. Dign. Occ. 9,15), and even be of senatorial rank (Cassiod. Var. 11,6; 10). As the leading subordinate official just below the consiliarii,


(202 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] This adverb signifies either ‘long gone’ or ‘long-standing’ (Hor. Epist. 2,1,60; Tac. Germ. 5; Ann. 14,20; Plin. Pan. 42,8). As a forensic term it accordingly covers both laws and statutes made obsolete by more recent legislation as well as the body of traditional law still preserved and interpreted. In the codices of late antiquity it indicates above all the continuously applicable, valid written code of law ( comitia legislation, senatus consulta, constitutiones of the early Empire, e.g. Cod. Iust. 6,51,1,1b -- lex Papia; Dig. 38,17,2,20 -- SC Tertullianum; D…


(211 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] ‘Arrival’ (of a person) or ‘entrance’ (of an event or case) and especially the politically important or ceremonial arrival of a victorious commander, an official or guest of the state or the emperor in Rome and in other places (Verg. Aen. 6,798, Plin. Pan. 22). Adventus in caelo means the apotheosis of the emperor (Sen. Apocol. 5; Claud. Carm. 1,242). In the triumphal ceremony, the adventus of the imperator at the pomerium and at the Capitol Temple has essential significance (Liv. 28,9,7; Cass. Dio 43,21, 2). In the religious realm, adventus refers to both the appearan…

Commentariis, a

(336 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] From early times the official organization of the Roman Republican magistrature and pontifical colleges, frequently includes the specialized keeping and storage of minutes of negotiations, journals ( acta diurna), documents, official notes and decrees (  memoria,   commentarii ,   diplomata ,   codicilli ,   mandata ,   hypomnemata ), collections of statutes or catalogues ( tabulae, regesta, notitiae) (Varro, Ling. 6,88 -- consuls; Cic. Verr. 1,1,71; Brut. 55 -- provincial governors; Cic. Dom. 117 -- pontifices). The official titles of the subordinate empl…

Consular tribunes

(356 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] more accurately in Lat. tribuni militum consulari potestate, were probably elected for the first time in 443 BC (Liv. 4,7,1f.) -- soon after the two-year-long government of the XII viri legibus scribundis (in 450/449) -- initially by the comitia centuriata, so as to share consular powers of office among more than two colleagues. Livy takes the view that a larger number of bearers of the imperium were needed because of the several war fronts at that time. Other authors see this institution as an expression of the competing interests in the class…


(711 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Mondin, Luca
[German version] I. Meaning The etymology may be related to the Latin scribere, 'to write' [1; 2]: a closable Roman cupboard or a container for scrolls, letters, documents, etc., then also an archive or office (Plin. Ep. 7,27,14; 10,65,3) and, since Diocletian (end of the 3rd cent. AD), specifically an office in the imperial court administration or in a civil administration or military authority outside the court with a large scope of files to manage in official correspondence. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] II. Book container The scrinium (or capsa) was a rectangul…


(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…


(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…


(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 …


(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…


(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…


(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…
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