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Article

A. N. Sherwin-White and Andrew Lintott

An extraordinary supreme magistracy at Rome, used first in military, later in domestic crises.In Latin cities we find the name ‘dictator’ given to a regular magistracy, but there is no evidence that this was ever Roman practice. As an emergency magistracy the dictatorship is found frequently in the annals of the Roman republic down to the end of the 3rd cent. bce; it was not used during the 2nd cent. but reappeared in a more powerful form, when granted to *Sulla and then *Caesar. Possible parallels are the *Oscan*meddixtuticus and the *Etruscanzilath or purth, but there is no reason to derive the Roman office from them. Although Q. *Fabius Maximus Verrucosus is said to have been elected dictator in the *comitiacenturiata (Livy 22. 8), normally dictators were simply nominated in public by a magistrate with *imperium (*consul, *praetor, or *interrex) after authorization by the senate—for Sulla and Caesar the authorization was provided by a law.

Article

Tony Honoré

Domitius Ulpianus came from *Tyre where an inscription honouring him has recently been found. He followed an equestrian career in Rome, drafting rescripts (replies to petitions; see constitutions; magister libellorum) for *Septimius Severus, to judge from their style, from ce 202 to 209, and at least from 205 onwards did so as secretary for petitions (a libellis). In contrast with *Papinianus, on Severus' death at York in 211 he sided with Caracalla, who in 212 by the constitutio Antoniniana (see constitution, Antonine) extended Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the empire. Presumably in response to this extension, which suited his outlook, Ulpianus was galvanized into activity in the following years (213–17), systematically composing more than two hundred books (libri) in which he expounded Roman law for the benefit, among others, of the new citizenry, emphasized its rational and universal character and appealed to its basis in natural law. Probably under *Elagabalus he became praefectus annonae (responsible for the corn supply), in which capacity he is attested in March 222, early in the reign of *Severus Alexander, who in the same year made him praetorian prefect and set him over the two existing prefects.

Article

George Ronald Watson and Brian Campbell

*Augustus, probably in 4 ce (Cass. Dio 55. 13) added to the three existing jury panels (decuriae) consisting of equestrians (see equites), a fourth decuria recruited from ducenarii, i.e. inhabitants of Italy the value of whose property was at least 200,000 sesterces, half the property qualification of an equestrian. The new jury panel dealt with cases involving small sums of money, and subsequently *Gaius (1) (Caligula) added a fifth panel (Suet. Aug. 32; Calig. 16).In the imperial period equestrian officials in the service of the state eventually acquired definitions depending on the status of the post they held, as expressed in terms of its salary: sexagenarii (60,000 sesterces), centenarii (100,000), ducenarii (200,000), and later trecenarii (300,000).In the later empire, ducenarius remained as one of the ranks depending on the office held by equestrian officials: egregii, centenarii, ducenarii, perfectissimi, and eminentissimi (the praetorian prefects; see praefectus praetorio).

Article

Tim Cornell

Two officers elected by the Roman people to ‘repair and equip the fleet’, were first established by a tribunician lex Decia in 311 bce (Livy 9. 30. 4). The measure is probably to be connected with the colonization of the Pontine islands (313, modern Ponza, off the Campanian coast), the construction of the *via Appia (312), and the extension of Roman control in *Campania. The primary function of the duumviri, who each commanded ten warships, was coastal defence. Their first operation was probably the raid on the Campanian coast in 310 (Livy 9. 38. 2–3), but they are rarely mentioned in the sources, and it seems they were appointed only at irregular intervals, down to the 2nd cent. bce.

Article

edict  

Barry Nicholas

The higher Roman magistrates (praetors, aediles, quaestors, censors, the governors of provinces) proclaimed by edicts the steps which they intended to take in the discharge of their office. Formally an edict was valid only for the term of office of the magistrate issuing it, but the new magistrate customarily took over his predecessor's edict, with only such deletions or additions as he thought desirable. The content of the greater part of the edict therefore remained constant (edictum tralaticium). The edict of the praetor urbanus (see praetor) was of particular importance for the development of the private law. The province of this praetor was in form merely to apply the existing *ius civile, but in his edict he was able to promise new actions and other remedies and thus in substance to create a mass of new rules (ius honorarium). In the formulation of his edict and in its administration during his year of office, the praetor would rely on the advice of jurists. It was no doubt this indirect professional control which enabled the edict to play its vital formative function in the private law. Hadrian commissioned the jurist Salvius *Iulianus to compose a revised version of the edict (c.

Article

J. V. Muir

There is very little reliable evidence bearing upon formal education in the early period. Education was then certainly centred on the family and was probably based upon apprenticeship supervised by the father—in poorer homes an apprenticeship to agriculture or trade, in more aristocratic circles to military service and public life (what later became known as the tirocinium militiae and the tirocinium fori). The authority of the father, legalized as *patria potestas, was absolute and could only in theory be questioned by the censors. The Roman mother had a more restricted, domestic role but she too was traditionally expected to take a personal, central responsibility and to set a strong moral example (see motherhood, Roman). It is not certain when reading and writing became a serious part of Roman education: the 7th-cent. bce ivory writing-tablet with inscribed alphabet found at Marsiliana d'Albegna and 6th-cent. bucchero (pottery) models of wooden writing-tablets (tabulae ansatae) from Etruria may imply that *literacy was then already making some headway.

Article

Jeremy Paterson

At Rome adult male citizens had the right to vote to elect the annual magistrates, to make laws, to declare war and peace, and, until the development of the public courts in the late republic, to try citizens on serious charges. But the remarkable feature of the Roman system was that matters were never decided by a simple majority. Votes were always cast in assigned groups, so that a majority of individual votes decided the vote of each group, and a majority of groups decided the vote of the assembly as a whole. The three groupings of the curiae (*curia (1)), centuries (*centuria), and tribes (*tribus) made up the different types of *comitia.In the two important comitia the overall procedures for voting were similar. Cicero (Flac. 15) noted that Romans considered matters and voted standing up, whereas the Greeks sat down. The vote was preceded by a *contio, a public meeting, to present the issues or the candidates involved.

Article

Barry Nicholas

Emancipation, in the modern sense means freeing from slavery; for this sense see slavery. The present article is concerned with the technical term of Roman law. Emancipation of this sort is the release of a son or daughter from *patria potestas by a voluntary renunciation by the pater familias. The emancipated person became legally independent (sui iuris) and, if a male, a pater familias, even if he had as yet no family of his own. Since emancipation removed him from his original family, he lost his rights in that family, and in particular his rights to succession to property on death (see detestatio sacrorum; inheritance roman). It was therefore not necessarily a benefit. It was first made possible by taking advantage of a rule of the *Twelve Tables that a father who sold his son three times was deprived of his potestas. Three collusive sales (by *mancipatio) were made to a friend, who made two intervening releases by manumission (which restored the son to the father) and after the third sale either made a third manumission or mancipated the son back to the father for him to make the manumission.

Article

Barry Nicholas

In late Roman law a lease in perpetuity or for a long term. It was more akin to ownership than to an ordinary lease, and the emperor Zeno (c.ce 480) resolved a controversy by ruling that it was sui generis. As regulated by *Justinian (Cod. Iust. 4. 66. 2–4), it was alienable (but the owner could pre-empt or claim a fine) and inheritable; it was protected by a variant of the vindicatio (see ownership); and it was terminable only for non-payment of rent for three years. It derived from earlier institutions, developed (from Greek models) in the 3rd and 4th cents. ce, originally for grants of imperial lands, especially ius perpetuum, a perpetual lease of land belonging to the *fiscus, and ius emphyteuticarium (ἐμφύτευσις), a long-term lease applicable to lands of the *patrimoniumCaesaris. Justinian merged in it the similar institution of the Principate by which state or municipal land was granted in perpetuity or for a long term at a small rent (*vectigal—hence the land was called ager vectigalis).

Article

David Johnston

The ancient world was unfamiliar with the modern notion of a foundation whose funds are vested in itself. Endowments in antiquity were set up by vesting property in a public or private body, and stipulating how the income should be used. Some endowments served private purposes, such as performing commemorative rites at a tomb. In Greece, as in Rome, these were set up by bequeathing property to a family group (in Rome usually the settlor's freedmen). Public endowments mostly had religious or social purposes: in Hellenistic Greece religious endowments predominated; in Rome under the Principate social ones. Property was bequeathed (or gifted) to an eligible public corporation to be used for a certain purpose. Under Roman law not all public bodies were eligible beneficiaries: by the end of the 1st cent. ce all towns were; under Marcus *Aureliuscollegia (guilds, see clubs, roman) became so; and *Justinian included numerous charities.

Article

Barry Nicholas

Evidence, in the sense of the methods by which the facts at issue in a legal proceeding are established, was of little interest to the Roman jurists. For them the proof of facts was the concern of the advocates. We are told that the jurist *Aquil(l)ius Gallus, when consulted about such a matter, would declare that it had nothing to do with the law, but was something for Cicero (‘non hoc ad ius, ad Ciceronem’: Cic. Top. 12. 51). This division between law and fact was embodied in the division, in both the legis actio procedure and the formulary system, between the proceedings before the magistrate (in iure) and before the lay judge (apud iudicem). It is commonly assumed, in reliance on the example of other primitive systems, that there had been a stage when the verdict was arrived at by recourse to the irrational or supernatural. Thus, since the word *sacramentum has the primary meaning of *oath, it is assumed that originally the legis actio sacramento remitted the verdict to the outcome of an oath.

Article

Barry Nicholas

Exile, either undertaken voluntarily to escape a penalty (usually death), or imposed as a punishment, was common in the ancient world. In Rome it was originally voluntary. A person threatened by criminal proceedings for a capital offence could, even after the proceedings had begun, but before sentence, remove himself from Roman jurisdiction. This self-banishment was tolerated by the magistrates, provided that the person did not return from exile. In the late republic this exsilium was institutionalized as, in effect, a substitute for the death penalty. The magistrates were required to allow a condemned person time to escape before a capital sentence was executed. After his departure a decree of aqua et igni interdictio (denial of water and fire) excluded him from all legal protection and threatened him with death if he returned illicitly.This kind of exile was replaced under the principate by a formal sentence of deportatio or of the milder penalty of relegatio (*relegation).

Article

fasces  

Andrew Drummond

Comprised bundles of rods, approximately 1.5 m. (5 ft.) long and of elm- or birchwood, and a single-headed axe; they were held together by red thongs and carried by *lictores. An iron set from a late 7th-cent. tomb at *Vetulonia may support the later tradition of their Etruscan origin. They were the primary visible expression of magisterial authority and hence the focus of a complex symbolism of the magistrates' legitimacy and of their powers vis-à-vis citizens, subjects, and each other. They were regularly regarded (and in the republican period used) as instruments of execution and by common consent the absence of the axe from the fasces of magistrates (other than dictators and triumphing generals) within Rome symbolized citizen rights of appeal (*provocatio) against capital coercitio. The alternation of precedence between the two *consuls was manifested in alternate ‘tenure’ of the fasces (although exactly what that implies is unclear), and the number of a magistrate's fasces depended on his rank: consuls (and in the republic proconsuls) had twelve (and hence also reputedly their predecessors, the kings); dictators probably had twenty-four, praetors and magistri equitum (see magister equitum) probably six.

Article

David Johnston

A Roman testator could choose, in disposing of his estate, between the formal methods of the *ius civile (civil law), will and legacy, and the informal device of fideicommissum (roughly ‘trust’); or he could combine the two. Originally the fideicommissum was simply a request by the testator to a person who benefited from his estate to transfer part of it or even the whole estate to another person; and any force which that request had was purely moral. *Augustus, however, charged the consuls with enforcing certain fideicommissa; two standing praetors for trusts (later reduced to one) came into being under *Claudius. The procedure employed was the new extraordinary one (cognitio extra ordinem). One of the initial attractions of fideicommissa was that they could benefit those (such as foreigners and the proscribed (see proscription)) unable to become heirs or legatees. But this possibility was progressively restricted; and the consuls are in any event unlikely to have allowed the proscribed to claim their fideicommissa.

Article

fiscus  

Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar and Graham Burton

Fiscus originally meant ‘basket’ or ‘money-bag’ and thence came to denote the private funds of an individual or, in an administrative context, to mean the public funds held by a provincial governor. In the Principate it came to denote both the private funds of the emperor and the whole financial administration controlled by the emperor.The questions of the origins, legal nature, and revenues of the imperial fiscus, of its relationship to the *aerarium, and of the normal meaning of the term remain hotly disputed. Three principal, if overlapping, views exist.1. The fiscus was the property of the emperor, its income was formed principally by the revenues of the imperial provinces (Mommsen, Röm. Staatsr. 23. 998 ff.). On this view the distinction between fiscus and aerarium was a product of the ‘dyarchy’ of emperor and senate and of the division of the provinces.2. Fiscus was used originally only of the private funds of the emperor (e.g. Sen.

Article

Tony Honoré

Gnaeus Flavius, who lived around 300 bce, was the son of a freedman of Appius *Claudius Caecus, whose secretary he became. Sextus *Pomponius says that he purloined and published a manuscript compiled by Appius containing formulas used in litigation or ‘actions in law’ (legis actiones: see law and procedure, roman, § 2. 2). Other writers assume that Flavius compiled the book himself or had Appius' consent. This book (Flavius' civil law, Ius civile Flavianum) was supposedly the first to publicize the legis actiones, previously a monopoly of the pontiffs; and in his term as aedile (304) Flavius is said to have published a calendar of court-days on which legis actiones were permitted, again revealing a secret (see fasti). As a result of these services he became, despite his humble origin, a tribune of the people, senator, and curule aedile. Discounting the democratic colouring, we may accept that Flavius published the legis actiones, certainly no secret, in a convenient form and that he gave out an improved version of the calendar, hitherto difficult of access.

Article

foedus  

A. N. Sherwin-White and Tim Cornell

Foedus means a treaty, solemnly enacted, which established friendship, peace and alliance between Rome and another state in perpetuity. A foedus was distinct from indutiae (‘truce’), which ended a state of war and lasted for an agreed number of years (up to a century). Treaties of alliance (foedera—hence ‘federation’ etc. ) were either equal or unequal. An equal treaty (foedus aequum) set both parties on an equal footing, and enjoined each to give military assistance to the other in the event of a hostile attack. The earliest known example is the treaty of Spurius *Cassius Vecellinus of 493 bce, the terms of which are given in Dion. Hal.Ant. Rom. 6. 95. In an unequal treaty (the term foedus iniquum, though attested in literature, was probably not an official formula) the second party was required to acknowledge and respect the maiestas (lit. ‘greaterness’) of the Roman people, and was effectively compelled to provide Rome with military forces on demand. Treaties were often negotiated by Roman military commanders, but they needed ratification at Rome by a vote of the *comitiacenturiata.

Article

Antony Spawforth

Free cities (civitates liberae, eleutherai poleis) formed a privileged category in Rome's system of provincial government. In the east the status ultimately derived from the blanket declaration of Greek freedom by T. *Quinctius Flamininus (196 bce); by the late republic a free city was one with a special agreement with Rome allowing it local autonomy (suis legibus uti) and sometimes tax-immunity (*immunitas), although whether these two privileges were routinely coupled (Bernhardt) is debated (Ferrary).

Article

M. I. Finley and Susan M. Treggiari

Emancipated slaves were more prominent in Roman society (little is known of other Italian societies before their enfranchisement) than in Greek city-states or Hellenistic kingdoms (see slavery). In Greek the words apeleutheros/a and exeleutheros/a are used; in Latin libertus/a designates the ex-slave in relation to former owner (*patronus/a), libertinus/a in relation to the rest of society. In Greek communities, freed slaves usually merged with other free non-citizens. In Rome, the slave freed by a citizen was normally admitted to citizenship (see citizenship, roman). A slave might be released from the owner's control by a fictitious claim before a magistrate with executive power (imperium) that he/she was free (manumission vindicta), by being ordered to present himself to the censors for registration as a citizen (manumission censu: in these forms public authority attested citizen status and made it impossible for the slave to be a slave), or by will (manumission testamento, where implementation of the owner's command was postponed until he/she died and depended on acceptance of the inheritance and public validation).

Article

On the individual and social levels, the distinction between free and unfree is as old as slavery, and individual or collective freedom from dues, taxes, and other obligations as old as communities with centralized government. These concepts are attested in Egyptian and Mesopotamian documents and the Hebrew Bible. Nevertheless to these civilizations—as to ancient China—the concepts of free citizens or of political freedom were unknown. Typically, near-eastern societies were characterized by a plurality of statuses ‘between slavery and freedom’ (Pollux) and ruled by autocratic and divinely sanctioned monarchs or an absolute divine law. Obedience and integration into a given order were the prime virtues; the rise and fall of empires and cities, protection from foreign enemies, or, individually, status change or protection from domestic exploitation were seen as results of divine will. Such conditions were not conducive to recognizing freedom as a political value. Despite their charter myth of liberation from Egyptian slavery, even the Hebrews (see jews) began to use freedom politically only under Hellenistic influence.