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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 …

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…

Decurio, decuriones

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
Decurio (cf. decuria;  Decurio [4] via decus(s)is f. dec- and as) in general usage refers to a member or representative of a group of ten or tenth-part group (cf. Dig. 50,16,239,5); there is no shared etymology with curialis, a word of partly similar meaning derived from co-viria. In its specialized sense decurio denotes various functionaries: [German version] [1] A member of a curia in municipia and coloniae A member of a   curia , in those municipia and coloniae bound by Roman Law, was called decurio. Appointment of the usually 100 decuriones (occasionally smaller numbers) was regul…

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…

Lictor

(479 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] The lictores (from ligare = to bind; Greek rhabdoûchos, rhabdophóros = carrier of the rods) were Roman bailiffs ( apparitores ) of the higher magistrates and of some priests (Liv. 1,8.; Lucr. 3,996; 5,1234). They signify the latter's power by carrying the fasces (bundles of rods with the executioner's axe). They are appointed for the term of office of the magistrate or permanently. Their number is determined by the rank of the official (consul 12, praetor 6, more in the Imperial period). Lictores are free-born or freedmen, slaves cannot hold the office (Liv. 2,…

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…

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…

Commendatio

(221 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] (1) Recommendation of a person or thing (Dig. 4,3,37), (2) entrusting something for safekeeping (Dig. 50,16,136) and (3) offering evidence for an assertion (Cod. Iust. 6,22,2). (4) In the context of an informal arrangement, i.e. one in principle not legally enforceable by either party, commendatio is an act by which a client entrusts his affairs to a patron to be represented or resolved, committing himself in honour to a debt of gratitude ( se alicui in clientelam, fidem commendare, Ter. Eun. 577; Petron. Sat. 140; Caes. B Gall. 4,27,7; Lex Visig. 5,3,8): a…

Occupatio

(723 words)

Author(s): Schanbacher, Dietmar (Dresden) | Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Privatrecht In Roman private law the term occupatio, as a technical term (most often in the form of a verb - occupare), meant the act of appropriation (Gai. Inst. 2,65-66).  As a noun it was almost exclusively used in the sense of occupation, holding (e.g. Ulp. Dig. 4,8,15). Occupatio was seen as a 'natural' mode of acquisition of ownership (alongside traditio ) in contrast to acquistion of ownership according to the ius civile ( ius A.; through mancipatio, in iure cessio, usucapio ). Foreigners (non-citizens; peregrinus ) could also acquire ownership by way of occupatio…

Patrimonium

(675 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin)
[German version] A. Concept In relation to the term familia (Family IV. B.), originally of a similar meaning. The meaning of patrimonium (etymologically reconstructed from patris munia, 'matters/affairs of the pater familias ') was restricted purely to matters of property, but in legal terminology, it was expanded to include all complex legal matters involving property that were of importance for transactions in private or public law, i.e. generally matters of 'real/physical property'. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] B. Private law The concept of property in…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Immunitas

(332 words)

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

Interrex

(417 words)

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

Magister equitum

(385 words)

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

Chancellery

(284 words)

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

Cooptatio

(371 words)

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

Conscripti

(295 words)

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

Diplomacy

(400 words)

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

Cursus honorum

(862 words)

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

Adlectio

(268 words)

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

Adoratio

(145 words)

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