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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…

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…

Officium

(542 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Walde, Christine (Basle)
(etymologically reconstructed from Lat. opi-ficium, 'doing work'; pl. officia). [German version] [1] Duty in general Generally a range of duties with a corresponding sense of duty or subordination (Sen. Ben. 3,18,1; Dig. 37,6,6; Cic. Tusc. 4,61); see Duty. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] [2] Duties as identified in the philosophy of ethics Since Cicero, especially the duties as identified in the philosophy of ethics (as the 'Roman interpretation' of the Stoic concept of tò kathêkon, Cic. Off. 1,2,5-1,3,7); see Duty; Ethics. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) …

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…

Court titles

(3,061 words)

Author(s): Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] A. Antecedents in the ancient Orient Court titles (CT) and court ranks in antiquity, used for the description and creation of personal proximity of members of courtly society to the  ruler or to the hierarchical rank classification of the upper class involved in administration, are a consequence of the emergence of territorial monarchies from the time of Alexander [4] the Great and the resulting organization of  courts as centres of political rule. The question of ancient Oriental antec…

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…

Centuria

(874 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
In general signifies an amount measured by or divided into units of 100, and can therefore relate e.g. to plots of land as well as to people. Thus the relationship to the figure 100 can be lost, the word then referring merely to a mathematically exactly measured or divided amount. [German version] A. Political Centuria is particularly used in the constitution of the Roman Republic to denote the electorate for the   comitia centuriata . In this meaning, the term probably derives from the contingent of 100 foot soldiers that, according to the histo…

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…

Bureaucracy

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] I. General The term bureaucracy has no roots in the political terminology of antiquity, but is a modern French-Greek hybrid formation (Old Fr. ‘bure’, ‘burrel’ from Lat. burra). Bureaucracy refers -- also in a critical sense -- to specific organizational structures of modern states [1]. As an ‘ideal type’ in Max Weber's definition, bureaucracy in general terms refers to a special form of legal rulership: its rulers employ officials in their administration, who -- in full-time salaried positions with a clear…

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…

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…

Ambitus

(428 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] designates the (circling) going round, the bending, spreading, outline, carried over also to a discursive speech or vain behaviour, since the XII Table Law (table VII, 1) also the building spacing (Varro, Ling. 5,22; Dig. 47,12,15; Cod. lust. 8,10,12,2). 1. In the political arena ambitus is the ‘circulation and supplication’ (Fest. 12: circumeundo supplicandoque) for the purpose of campaigning, usually in a negative sense, as laws verifiable since the 4th cent. BC against unauthorized methods of ambitus demonstrate: it originates first in connection with …

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.

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…

Intercessio

(438 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Meissel, Franz-Stefan (Vienna)
[German version] I. Constitutional law In Roman Republican constitutional law, the intercessio (from intercedere = to step in-between) denoted a veto against magisterial decrees (  Decretum ), against Senate resolutions (  Senatus consultum ) and against  rogations of all types presented to the various people's assemblies. It rendered decrees ineffective unless an intercessio was unlawful, as for example in the case of magisterial court decrees during an ongoing legal proceeding. Senate resolutions were reduced to mere recommendations (  auctoritas ) …

Auctoritas

(911 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] I. General meaning Auctoritas refers to the ‘authorship’, ‘affirmation’ and ‘amplification’ of a thing and is derived from the meaning of the verb augere (‘to increase’) and especially from the verbal substantive auctor. In the legal life of Rome, the word designates various extraordinarily important institutions in the private and public spheres. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] II. Public law In the Republic, auctoritas designates the sovereign position of the  Senate in constitutional law. The auctoritas senatus or auctoritas patrum is the …

Damnatio memoriae

(602 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] I. Historical Damnatio memoriae (DM) was the process of erasing from the (public) memory of a person (usually a Roman emperor) whose name and images are removed from public inscriptions and buildings. Underlying this measure was the religious assumption, widespread in the Roman-Hellenistic world, that meritorious rulers, like heroes, had come from the realm of the gods and returned there after their death (Cic. Rep., somnium Scipionis; Verg. Aen. 6,734ff.). If divine origin was not sufficiently evident in the successes, good deeds and virtues of…

Curio

(238 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Cognomen in the gens Scribonia Cognomen in the gens Scribonia ( Scribonius). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) Bibliography ThlL, Onom. 2, 757-760 Kajanto, Cognomina 318. [German version] [2] Head of each of the 30 curiae Curio is the name traditionally given to the head of each of the 30 curiae, the old class of the Roman people between the tribus and the gentes. The curiones is assisted in his religious role by a flamen curialis; at the head of the curio was a curio maximus (Liv. 27,8,1; CIL VIII 1174) elected by all the people. We cannot delineate in detail a…

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…

Defensor

(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)…

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 …

Scrinium

(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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

Decuriales

(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…

Abdicatio

(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…
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