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Immunitas

(332 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The exemption of individual legal persons from the obligations to military service, public service and consent, Lat. immunitas (... vacationem militiae munerisque ... immunitatem appellari: Dig. 50,16,18; Greek atéleia, aneisphoría, aleitourgeisía: Dig. 27,1,6,2), can be based on legal, generally formulated non-inclusion of a circle to which they belong, or on a temporary or long-term personal dispensation (Dig. 50,6: de iure immunitatis; 50,5: de vacatione et excusatione munerum). Depending on the duties in question, the immunitas personae exempted from…

Interrex

(417 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (literally ‘interim king’). The Roman official who had to conduct the election of a suffectus when someone holding the highest office became incapacitated. The word and the non-collegial nature of the office suggest that it has its origins in the period of kings (Liv. 1,17,12; Cic. Rep. 2,12,23; Plut. Numa 2). In the Republic the interrex intervened when the supreme office became vacant with the death of both consuls ( interregnum) and substitute elections had to be held that for consuls would normally be held by a consul who was still in office. Th…

Magister equitum

(385 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The office of the magister equitum (ME) (‘Master of the Cavalry’) was an office assigned to the dictator , and was never an independent office. Like the original designation of the dictator as magister populi (Master of the Infantry) (Cic. Rep. 1,40,63; Varro Ling. 5,82), it contains the word magister (root mag- = ‘head, leader’) and an indication of the original function as cavalry leader ( equites ). The ME was appointed by the dictator as deputy (Liv. 8,32,1-8) for the period of his dictatorship. Appointment by a consul (Cass. Dio 42,21) or by …

Chancellery

(284 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Chancellery, Modern High German ‘Kanzlei’ (from Lat. cancelli via OHG canceli, cancli), in abstract terms signifies a functional area in which documents are prepared, issued, transferred and safeguarded for legal dealings. Since antiquity this was particularly the activity of courts and officialdom. In the Roman Imperial period several names for chancellery -- officium, cancelli ( cancer = grid), scrinium (= receptacle for scrolls or shrine) and burellum (late Latin = screen, office) -- and differing organizational forms existed. In provincial c…

Cooptatio

(371 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from co-optare: ‘to co-opt’) can mean the acceptance of a person into a gens, a client relationship, a society ( collegium), or into a public corporation ( corpus, corporatio, collegium), (Liv. 2,33,2; Suet. Tib. 1,1-2; Plin. Ep. 4,1,4; Cic. Verr. 2,2,120; Dig. Iust. 50,16,85 tres faciunt collegium; Lex col. Genetivae 67=FIRA 1, 177ff.; SC de collegiis, FIRA 1, 291: coire, convenire, collegiumve habere). In the political arena, cooptatio refers to a type of supplementary election that was legitimate but frequently extraordinary. (1) Beginning in…

Conscripti

(295 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from conscribere in the specific sense of‘ to write together’ or ‘to add in writing’, ‘to register’) generally means persons entered into a register. Thus, conscripti means the cives Romani entered in a list of citizens, also the registered colonists of a colonia, the soldiers and officials entered into the matriculation rolls of a military unit and, finally, the tax payers entered into census lists (Liv. 1,12,8; 37,46,10; Suet. Iul. 8; Dig. 50,16,239,5; Cod. Iust. 6,21,16; 11,48,4). In the combined word patres conscripti, conscripti refers to the more clearly …

Diplomacy

(400 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek-Lat.   diploma , Latin diplomaticus, late Latin diplomatus) etymologically derives from the similar late antique word for the holder of a passport, who on imperial business was permitted to use the state postal service for the transfer of documents and to cross the borders into foreign lands ( evectio ─ Cod. Iust. 12,50). In all international relations governed by ius gentium throughout antiquity, such activities were always linked with a national system of rules governing the dispatch and reception of messengers and plenipotentiaries ( nuntii, missi…

Cursus honorum

(862 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] designates the professional rise through the ranks of Roman politicians in a series of honorary offices (Cic. Fam. 1,9,17; 3,11,2; Amm. Marc. 22,10,6), in a special sense it is the name given to a complex of legal regulations for politicians of the Roman republic, who, starting with official stages that justify a seat in the Senate, wish to reach via a series of offices the highest senatorial rank, that of consul, i.e. a former consul. The whole process involves rules on a) the ac…

Adlectio

(268 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Acceptance into a defined social group (body, class, tax class, clergy), but also into a circle of friends, a citizenry or a people (Varro, Ling. 66; Sen. Epist. 74,25 Haase; CIL XIII 1688; II 3423). In the political sphere since the Republic, adlectio means above all the rare and honourable acceptance of previously nonofficial or insufficiently qualified persons into the circle of magistrates ( adlectio inter consulares, praetorios, quaestorios, aedilicios, tribunicios; CIL XIV 3611; IX 5533; II 4114; Plin. Ep. 1,14,5; Suet. Vesp. 9), and connected…

Adoratio

(145 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] literally ‘adoration’, refers to an especially respectful address, not only to the prayer to the gods (Fest. 162,19). 1. In the Roman imperial court, adoratio is the greeting to the emperor by prostrating oneself introduced into court ceremony by Diocletian according to Achaemenid and Hellenistic models ( προσκύνησις, proskýnēsis: Eutr. 9,26). 2. Pejoratively, adoratio is understood as a special form of courtly or also other flattery ( adulatio). 3. Since the beginning of the imperial era, adoratio also stands for the veneration of the genius Augusti and the divi Au…

Nota censoria

(365 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The NC was a ‘note’ from the Roman censores that stated publicly a citizen's discreditable conduct. The official functions of the censores, attested from the 4th cent. BC at the latest ( lex Aemilia of 366 BC: Liv. 9,34,24; but see also Val. Max. 2,9,1; Plut. Camillus 2,2; Cic. Off. 3,31,111), included judging citizens with regard to their ‘honourable behaviour’ ( honor). If in the judgement of the censor the person under scrutiny did not meet the requirements of honour resulting, for example, from the holding of an office, from military disciplin…

Maiestas

(1,003 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Definition As noun to the adjective maius (‘increasing’, ‘bigger’), maiestas in general means an unusual, unquestionably superior power and dignity to be respected, notably 1. the sacredness of the gods or of a god (Cic. Div. 1,82; Christian: Cod. Iust. 1,1,1, pr.), 2. the patria potestas of the pater familias towards the relatives and slaves subordinate to him (Liv. 4,45,8; Val. Max. 7,7,5; Cod. Iust. 6,20,12; see below B.) and especially 3. the majesty of the populus Romanus (Cic. Balb. 35; Cic. Part. or. 105; Dig. 48,4,1,1), the res publica (Cic. De orat. 2,164) …

Lampadarii

(101 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from the Greek lampás = torch, light; Greek lychnophóroi). Generally torch-bearer (Suet. Aug. 29,3); in late antiquity, the lampadarii in the Imperial Palace or high departments were collected into scholae (‘units’) and probably given prime responsibility for issues of ‘lighting’ (torches, candles, lamps etc.). The Codex Iustinianus (12,59,10) mentions lampadarii along with invitatores, admissionales, memoriales etc. as auxiliary staff whose numbers had grown out of proportion (cf. also Not. Dign. Or. 11,12-17). Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) Bibliography…

Diploma

(257 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (plur. diplomata; from the Greek διπλόω; diplóō = to double, fold over; Lat. duplico) generally refers to a duplicate object, which is folded or in two parts, but in particular to a document on parchment, papyrus or also in the form of a  diptych which has been folded and sealed in order to safeguard the written content. Important private and public records were set down in the form of diplomata, which thus became almost synonymous with document: private letters (Cic. Att. 10,17,4) and legal transactions (testaments, witnessed treaties and contract…

Domesticus

(374 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In the general sense, a slave in a house ( domus), or a person bound to the family or to the head of the household (Dig. 48,19,11,1). However, the word having originally signified the opposite of publicius, during the Republic it already entered the political sphere, to designate the entire cohors of a Roman provincial governor: free and unfree servants ( servi, ministri), subordinate officials ( apparitores, officiales), even subordinates assigned by statute ( adiutores, comites, consiliarii) and the military escort. Although Cicero advised that there sh…

Arcarius

(177 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Subaltern official (officialis) in the administration of an   arca , i.e. a public fund in the responsibility of a higher official (Cod. Theod. 11,28,6) or with a special purpose (see Dig. 50,4,1,2), but especially the imperial treasury (Cod. Just. 10,72,13). The duty of an arcarius (Dig. 40,5,41,17; Cod. Just. 10,72,15) was probably performed by a   scriba in Republican times. Both freemen and slaves were arcarii in the administration of towns, provinces, the imperial court, in colleges and corporations and in the military as administrators of the soldiers'   peculium…

Adiutor

(228 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. designates generally the ‘helper’ or ‘assistant’, but colloquially is rather pejorative, referring to the ‘accomplice’ (Dig. 47,2,51,3) or the subordinate, less important ‘assistant’ (Hor. Sat. 1,9,46; Phaedr. 5,5,14). In legal language, adiutor is the assistant of a functionary in civil legal tasks, e.g. as in the   tutela (Dig. 26,1,13,1), as well as in the sovereign area of magistrates, later for high officials in judicature, even for leading subordinate officials (Caes. B. Civ. 3,62,4; Tac., Ann. 3,12; Cod. lust. 1,18,5; 1,31,1). At the imperial court a procu…

Destinatio

(197 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from reconstr. de-stanare, ‘determine’) generally means the determination of a purpose or a decision, legally also a legally-binding unilateral declaration of will (Cod. Iust. 6,30,6; Dig. 50,17,76). In political life destinatio means the delegation of a subordinate or the installation in an office of a person envisaged for the task by a person authorized to do so. The imperial recommendation of a   candidatus to the Senate was also called destinatio as was the direct appointment of an office bearer by the emperor (Dig. 4,4,18,4; Cod. Iust. 11,74,2…

Aediles

(712 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The original scope of duties of the aediles is still unexplained. Aediles points to aedes (temple) and thus to public buildings; the usual equation in Greek of   agoranomoi leads to an association with market duties (Just. Epit. 21,5,7). Roman tradition (Liv. 3,55,6 f.) places the first two aediles (plebeii) at the side of the tribuni plebis active since 494 BC, probably as assistants in administrative duties at the Temple of Ceres ( aedes Cereris Liberi Liberaeque), the cultic centre of the   plebs , and during market business at the nearby F…

Abrogatio

(306 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] In public law, abrogatio refers to the suspension of a right or law. 1a: the complete suspension of a law (  lex ) passed by   rogatio by the assembly (Ulp., prooem. 3: abrogatur legi, cum prorsus tollitur). 1b: in a broader sense also the obsoletion of a paragraph of law due to persistent non-observance (Dig. 1,3,32,1: receptum est, ut leges etiam tacito consensu omnium per desuetudinem abrogentur). 2a: the taking away of an   imperium transferred by the comitia via a rogatio. 2b: in a broader sense the denial of rights by a competent court (Cod. Theod. 9,10,3). The abrogatio i…
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