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Graham Burton

Aerarium, derived from aes, denotes ‘treasury’. The main aerarium of Rome was the aerarium Saturni, so called from the temple below the Capitol, in which it was placed. Here were kept state documents, both financial and non-financial (including leges (see lex (1)) and *senatus consulta which were not valid until lodged there), and the state treasure, originally mainly of bronze (aes) but including also ingots of gold and silver and other valuables. The *tabularium (1) was built near it in 78 bce.The aerarium was controlled by the quaestors under the supervision of the senate, with a subordinate staff of scribae, *viatores, etc. The *tribuni aerarii, men of a property-class a little below the knights, were probably concerned with making payments from the tribes into the treasury. The aerarium sanctius was a special reserve, fed by the 5 per cent tax on emancipations. Treasure was withdrawn from it in 209 bce and on other occasions.


Piero Treves, Cyril Bailey, and Andrew Lintott

(1) Magisterial or priestly: a board of officials. (2) Private: any private association of fixed membership and constitution (see clubs, roman).The principle of collegiality was a standard feature of republican magistracies at Rome. Although in some cases the common status of colleagues did not exclude seniority (originally one *consul may have been superior to the other and the consuls as a whole were senior colleagues of the *praetors), the principle in general was to avoid arbitrary power by ensuring that every magistracy should be filled by at least two officials, and in any case by an even number. They were to possess equal and co-ordinate authority, but subject to mutual control. Thus a decision taken by one consul was legal only if it did not incur the veto (*intercessio) of the other. This principle led to alternation in the exercise of power by the consuls each month. Under the Principate emperors might take as a colleague in their tribunician power (see tribuni plebis) their intended successors, who in many cases were co-emperors.



Arnaldo Momigliano and Tim Cornell

In Rome the *Comitium was the place of assembly. Comitia is a plural word meaning an assembly of the Roman people summoned in groups by a magistrate possessing the formal right to convoke them (ius agendi cum populo). The convocation had to be on a proper ‘comitial’ day (dies comitialis), after the auspices had been taken, on an inaugurated site. When only a part of the people was summoned, the assembly was strictly a concilium (Gell. NA 15. 27). When the whole people was summoned, but not by groups, the assembly was a *contio. In the comitia the majority in each group determined the vote of the group. The comitia voted only on proposals put to them by magistrates, and they could not amend them.The three types of comitia were the comitia curiata, the comitia centuriata, and the comitia tributa, the constituent voting groups being, respectively, curiae (see curia(1), *centuriae, and *tribus.


Ian Archibald Richmond, Donald Emrys Strong, and Janet DeLaine

The chief place of political assembly in republican Rome (Varro, Ling. 5. 155; Livy 5. 55) occupying an area north of the *forum Romanum at the foot of the Capitoline. It is associated with nine levels of paving from the late 7th to the mid-1st cent. bce, after which it ceased to exist as a recognizable monument owing to Caesar's reorganization of the area, although individual elements remained into the empire. The natural topography and the archaeological evidence suggest it was an irregular triangular space, eventually flanked by three platforms: the Rostra to the south, the praetorian tribunal (whence justice was administered) to the east, and the Graecostasis (place where foreign embassies awaited reception by the Senate) to the west. Although in the mid-2nd cent. the rostra was replaced by a curved stepped structure, the rest of the Comitium retained its original form. The numerous monuments and statues which filled it have perished, except for the altar, truncated column, and archaic cippus (a stone marker), bearing a ritual inscription (ILS 4913), sealed below a black marble pavement (lapis niger) originally dating to the Caesarian alterations and subsequently incorporated into the Augustan paving.


George Ronald Watson and Andrew Lintott

Crucifixion seems to have been a form of punishment borrowed by the Romans from elsewhere, probably *Carthage. As a Roman penalty it is first certainly attested in the *Punic Wars. It was normally confined to slaves or non-citizens and later in the empire to humbler citizens; it was not applied to soldiers, except in the case of desertion. *Constantine I abolished the penalty (not before ce 314). Two inscriptions of the 1st cent. ce from *Cumae and *Puteoli have been found containing the contract of the undertaker both of funerals and of executions of this kind (see lex(2), ‘lex libitinaria’). The general practice was to begin with flagellation of the condemned, who was then compelled to carry a cross-beam (patibulum) to the place of execution, where a stake had been firmly fixed in the ground. He was stripped and fastened to the cross-beam with nails and cords, and the beam was drawn up by ropes until his feet were clear of the ground. Some support for the body was provided by a ledge (sedile) which projected from the upright, but a footrest (suppedaneum) is rarely attested, though the feet were sometimes tied or nailed.



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.


Brian Campbell

Roman land-surveyors. They were more commonly called mensores or agrimensores, gromatici being a late term derived from the groma, which was the most important of the surveyor's instruments, used to survey straight lines, squares, and rectangles. It consisted of a wooden pole, on top of which was attached a cross; plumb-lines hung from each arm of the cross. Recent analysis suggests that the traditional reconstruction of a curved angle-bracket to connect the pole to the cross does not tally with the remains found in a surveyor's workshop in Pompeii in 1912, and may be unnecessary.The primary objective of the land surveyor was to establish limites, roadways or baulks intersecting at right angles and dividing the land into squares or rectangles (centuriae, hence limitatio, centuriatio (see centuriation)). He first plotted the two basic limites (decumanus maximus and cardo maximus), and then more limites were established parallel to these and designated ‘first limes to the right or left of the decumanus maximus’, and ‘first limes on the near or far side of the cardo maximus’, and so on.


J. David Thomas

In comparison with Greek papyri, Latin papyri are uncommon, even when “papyri” is understood in a wide sense so as to include *ostraca and parchment scraps. This is so because the vast majority of papyri come from the eastern Mediterranean, where the language of administration was Greek even under the Roman empire. Latin was in regular use in this area until c. 300ce only in the military sphere; and although *Diocletian made an effort to encourage the use of Latin in the eastern provinces, this did not have any great effect.Since the turn of the 20th century, some 600 Latin papyri have been published, less than a quarter of which are literary. Most come from Egypt, but finds have also been made at Dura-*Europus, Nessana, and *Masada, as well as in the west. Two literary papyri dating from the reign of *Augustus are known: the much discussed elegiac verses from Qasr Ibrim attributed to *Cornelius Gallus1 and a fragment of *Cicero, In Verrem (CPL 20).


Donald Emrys Strong and Janet DeLaine

The voting enclosure for the *comitia tributa, between the Pantheon and the temple of Isis in the *Campus Martius; it was planned and possibly begun by C. *Iulius Caesar (2) (Cic. Att. 4. 16. 14) and completed by M. *Vipsanius Agrippa in 26 bce. The long rectangular voting area (c. 300×95 m.), orientated due north and south, was flanked by colonnades, the porticus of Meleager on the east and the porticus of the Argonauts on the west; the Diribitorium, where the votes were counted, closed its southern end. Parts of the building appear on the Severan *Forma urbis, and some walls of the porticus Argonautarum and Diribitorium survive, dating from a reconstruction after the fire of ce 80.

When the building lost its original purpose, it was used for gladiatorial contests and other forms of entertainment, and served as a luxury bazaar (Mart. 9. 59).


Piero Treves and Tim Cornell

Sella curulis ('curule chair') was an ivory folding seat, without back or arms, used by the higher Roman magistrates (hence the title ‘curule’ magistrates; see magistracy, roman). The sources maintain that it was a simplified version of the throne used by the old kings, and that it was among the trappings of royal authority that Rome borrowed from the *Etruscans. Examples have been found in Etruscan tombs, and from the 6th cent. bce onwards the sella curulis is represented in paintings and reliefs found at Etruscan sites (but also at Rome and other Latin towns such as *Velitrae). The name was derived (Gell. 3. 18. 3 ff.) from the chariot (Latin currus) in which the magistrate was conveyed to the place of judgement, and originally the sella curulis served as the seat of justice.


Andrew Lintott

Fragments of a bronze tablet deriving from near *Bantia in *Lucania. One large group of fragments was discovered in the 18th cent. and a third piece in 1967. They are engraved on both sides, having on one side the Latin text of a Roman criminal statute, on the other an *Oscan text (though in Latin and written left to right) relating to a local constitution. The recently discovered fragment contains the end of both documents. A nail-hole underneath the Latin text but with the Oscan text written round it shows that the Oscan is the later of the two. See lex(2), under Lex Osca and Lex Latina.Lex Latina Tabulae Bantinae, the Roman criminal statute on the obverse of the tabula Bantina: it is earlier than its Oscan counterpart but from its content cannot antedate the late 2nd cent. bce. Identification is difficult as only the enforcement clauses and the oath prescribed at the end of the law are preserved. It is most commonly thought to be the lex Appuleia maiestatis (see appuleius saturninus, l.


Eastland Stuart Staveley and Barbara Levick

A bronze tablet found (1947) in the Tiber valley near the site of ancient Heba (mod. Magliano). It bears part of the text of a rogatio (bill) conferring honours upon the dead *Germanicus (cf. Tac.Ann. 2. 73; 83; 3. 1–6). The earlier part of the same text (they overlap) was found (1982) on fragments of a bronze tablet from Siarum, near Seville, the *tabula Siarensis: both were copies of a document that authorities throughout the empire were encouraged to display. The rogatio takes the form of a senatorial decree incorporating an earlier decree passed on 16 December, ce 19; publication in this form suggests that its conversion into a *lex (Valeria Aurelia) by the incoming consuls was a formality. The text throws light on: the methods used to commemorate members of the imperial house; Germanicus' activities in Gaul and Germany and in the east; the role of the people in the mourning; the educational purpose of commemorations; the new electoral procedure introduced in ce 5 to honour C.


Michael Crawford

The most recently discovered and the completest copy of the Flavian lex for the new municipia (see municipium) of *Baetica created after the wars of 68–9 ce; of ten tablets, we have 3, 5, 7–10, together with three small fragments; part of what was on 6 is preserved on one of the two substantial copies previously known, the lex Malacitana (the other is the lex Salpensana; see malaca). The definition of the citizen body and the regulation of its religious affairs are missing, but we have much of the material on magistrates, decurions, and elections and all of that on general administration and jurisdiction.


Eric Poehler

The movement of people, animals, and vehicles through the ancient urban environment had a significant impact on the shape of ancient cities, but as an object of study, urban traffic is a relatively recent area of interest, one that has tended to focus on the Roman world. The range of methods available to consider the topic, however, are relatively many, including literary analysis, archaeological field survey, and a battery of technical methods, such as Space Syntax, Network Analysis, and Agent-Based Modeling. In all of these approaches, two models of movement—pedestrian and vehicular—remain paramount. The results of studying urban traffic have shed new light on the impact of different forms of urban design, the ways in which ancient people navigated those designs, and norms and formal systems in place in urban environments to order the movement of people and vehicles.

Whether on foot or borne by animals or vehicles, the movement of people and goods through ancient cities shaped those cities and the lives of those within them. The clustering of humble shopfronts on commercial streets and the monumental facades of processional routes alike owe their character to the passage of people moving for different purposes along their lengths. Indeed, as one of the most common elements of everyday urban life, interest in wheeled and pedestrian traffic consequently has become more defined in the classical world as greater attention is paid to non-elites and their material culture. Urban traffic is in fact another window onto everyday life, opening up opportunities to examine the reciprocal effects of city plans and their architectural elaborations on the political, economic, and social landscapes draped over them.