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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…

Censuales

(250 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Assessment of citizens for tax purposes (  census ) in republican Rome is carried out by subordinate officials of free status ( scribae) and by bonded state servants ( servi publici a censu or censuales), under the political responsibility of the   censores insofar as they are in office. But supervision of the administration of the tax registers ( libri censuales) is carried out by a chief administrator, probably from early times called magister census. There are also census officials, occasionally termed censuales, in provincial administrations and in cities w…

Cubicularius

(281 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (from cubiculum, literally ‘bedchamber’, also ‘private living space’, cf. Varro, Ling. 8,54) could denote a domestic slave, a personal servant, but also someone responsible for guarding access to a persona publica (Dig. 50,16,203). Officials from as early as the Republic had cubicularii in that sense (Cic. Verr. 2,3,8) and emperors from the very beginning had them as personal servants and confidants in their private domain (Suet. Iul. 4,1; Suet. Dom. 17,2). The higher ranks of the emperor's staff were occupied primarily …

Discessio

(138 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] General ‘dispersal’, in assemblies also ‘closure’ (Gell. NA 1,4,8; Ter. Andr. 5,68; Cic. Sest. 77). In legal terms, discessio describes the loss of a right or withdrawal from a contract (Dig. 18,2,17,18; Dig. 6,1,35 pr.). Politically, discessio was used as a general term for the formation of parties, splits and internal conflicts, such as between patricians and plebeians (Greek ἀπόστασις; apóstasis; Gell. NA 2,12; Sall. Hist. fr. 1,11). In the Roman Senate, discessio refers to the voting procedure in which voters go and assemble on different sides of …

Consul(es)

(841 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word consul is of uncertain etymology (possibly originating from con- and sal- = ‘hastily get together’ or from con- and sell-/ sedl- = ‘sit down together with’ or ‘sit down next to’). The historical tradition (Liv. 1,60,3-4), firmly established in the late Republican period, that following the expulsion of the last king Tarquinius Superbus in 510 BC there were two consules-colleagues at Rome's head is uncertain, because of some contrary indications in the same historical transmission. Initially, consules were probably assigned as advisers to a praetor maximus (…

Corrector

(273 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word corrector (from corrigere, ‘correct’) designates in general the critic who imposes censure or punishment, or the reorganizer, e.g. a pedagogue, overseer, official or politician with duties of this kind (Plin. Pan. 1,6,2; Sen. Dial. 4,10,7; Amm. Marc. 31,4,9). From the time of Trajan the name corrector was given to a senatorial legate of the emperor who was sent to a province with a special mission, e.g. ad ordinandum statum liberarum civitatum (Plin. Ep. 8,24). Arising from this already in the 3rd cent. AD is a form of regular provincial admi…

Curialis, Curiales

(198 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Local counsil Curialis (from curia) is the term used for both individual members of the local council and the council in its entirety as an institution ( decuriones; Dig. 29,2,25,1; 37,1,3,4; 50,16,239,5).  Curia;  Decuriones Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] Member of the municipal Curial class Curalis was the name given to the members of the municipal Curial class, i.e. the members of families who on the basis of family descent ( curiali obstricti sanguine; Cod. Iust. 10,32,43), or, on the basis of the official duties of the heads o…

Concilium

(609 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Concilium (from con-calare) is an assembly (Fest. p. 38) that has been called; also used in a transferred sense (Cic. Tusc. 1,72; Lucr. 3,805). 1. In political usage, concilium frequently differentiates a popular assembly without legal consequences from constitutional   contiones and   comitia ( is qui non universum populum, sed partem aliquam adesse iubet, non comitia, sed concilium edicere iubet, Gell. NA 15,27,4; Liv. 9,45,8). It was also used in the meaning of contio or comitia and then more often in association with populi and plebis (Cic. Sest. 65; lex Iulia muni…

Creatio

(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…

Diribitores

(68 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Diribitores(from diribere = dis-habere) are ‘distributors’ or ‘regulators’, also ‘stewards’, or ‘preparers’ (e.g. of food: Apul. Met. 2,19). In the Roman Republic, diribitores were the publicly appointed and sworn officials of the tabulae/suffragia responsible for the counting of votes in courts of law or in the citizens' assembly (CGIL 5,62,6; lex Malacitensis 55/FIRA 1, 211).  Comitia;  Suffragium Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) Bibliography Mommsen, Staatsrecht 3, 406ff.

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…

Adsignatio

(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…

Exceptor

(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.…

Decretalia

(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…

Cancellarius

(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,

Antiquo

(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…

Adventus

(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…

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…

Curiosi

(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 …

Consularis

(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…

Angusticlavius

(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…

Eminentissimus

(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…

Contio

(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 …

Decemviri

(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 …

Nobilissimus

(174 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word nobilis (pl. nobiles ), in the Republican period and the Imperial period of the first two cents. AD, presumably denotes in particular the members of a senatorial family which included several consuls. From the 3rd cent. AD, with the increasing prevalence of court titles (Court titles C.,) it served to designate especially distinguished members of both the senatorial class and the imperial household (Dig. 1,2,2,43: members of the Senate; Cod. Iust. 6,23,19: members of the sacrum consistorium). From it was derived - probably from the reign of Constan…

Curator rei publicae

(198 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The office of the curator rei publicae (CRP) is first documented for the turn of the 1st to the 2nd cent. AD and is one of the imperial offices held by the equestrian class. It corresponds roughly to the office of the λογιστής ( logistḗs; Cod. Iust. 1,54,3; Dig. 1,22,6) known from Hellenistic times. If appointed by the emperor (Dig. 50,8,12), the CRP assumes the responsibilities of a state procurator (Dig. 1,19, tit . de officio procuratoris Caesaris vel rationalis) -- if necessary -- in the technically autonomous foreign civitates or in the municipia and coloniae governed …

Assectator

(128 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Adsectari/assectari (to stubbornly follow close behind) also describes the elements of the statutory offence of persecuting a respectable person in need of protection contra bonos mores (Gai. 3,220; Cod. lust. 47,10,15,19 ff.). In the political and societal realm, assectator denotes the party supporter, adherent or loyal companion for the most part of a person seeking public office. In his self-portrayal of patrons, Cicero (Mur. 70) differentiates three groups of clients in the adsectatio: una salutatorum, cum domum veniunt, altera deductorum, tertia…

Capite censi

(143 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Literally ‘those who are counted by the head’, but meaning ‘those who are counted only by the head’, i.e. who are not liable for taxation because their assets fall below the census minimum. The alternative term to describe them is proletarii (Cic. Rep. 2,22,40). This group is to be distinguished from the lowest assessment class, the infra classem (in the earlier republican period below two iugera of land or 11,000 asses; from the end of the 2nd cent. BC probably 4,000 asses), which included the capite censi. The infra classem were not expected to provide arms for mili…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…
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