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Dictator

(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…

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…

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…

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…

Ducenarius

(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 …

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…

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…

Acta

(828 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Acta identifies the result of agere (to cause or pursue something). In legal language, agere refers to action directed toward the creation or alteration of rights (Dig. 50,16,19) by private persons, but especially through organs of public law such as magistrates, courts and generally holders of ‘jurisdiction’ (Dig. 4,6,35,8). Agere can be exclusively oral, but is often also documented in written form in the interest of enforcement, verification and proof. I. Acta in the legal sense refers to the variously documented and archived public records of leg…

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…

Domain

(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The word domain (from the Lat. [ res] dominica through Late Latin domenica, Old French ‘domenie’, ‘domaine’) describes in the Middle Ages and in early modern times, rather more narrowly than the Late Latin original, the ‘feudal’ or ‘allodial real estate’ of a ‘landowner’ (‘noble’) and may denote the property as a whole or a single segment of it. In Roman legal language the res dominica is roughly covered by dominium (Dig. 50,16,195,2; 1,5,20), with the property being taken as plots or other things but possibly also applying to the whole property com…

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) …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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,

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…

Adlocutio

(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…

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…

Dediticii

(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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

Admissio

(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…

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 …

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 …

Absentia

(469 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] Absence of persons or lack of facts with significant public or civil legal consequences: 1. Absence of a civis Romanus on the   census date, when personal presence is required (Vell. Pat. 2,7,7; exceptions: Gell. NA 5,19,16). Inexcused absentia can cause disadvantageous estimation of assets and class assignment (Cic. Att. 1,18,8), and can also bring sanctions as harsh as the forced sale of assets (Zon. 7,19). 2: The absentia of a candidate for public office during registration as a candidate and also during candidacy. Candidacy assumes personal re…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

Consistorium

(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…

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…

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…

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…

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…
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