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Article

acta  

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Andrew Lintott

Acta means ‘the things that have been done’ and has two specialized, overlapping senses in Roman history; one is a gazette, the other is official acts, especially of an emperor.The Acta diurna were a gazette, whose publication dates from before 59 bce (a 2nd-cent. bce example of these is quoted by Renaissance antiquarians but its authenticity has been doubted); from the late republic onwards it recorded not only official events and ceremonies, but lawsuits and public speeches, and was read both at Rome and in the provinces (Asc. 30–1 C; Tac. Ann. 16. 22). The Acta senatus (or Commentarii senatus) constituted the official record of proceedings in the senate, first published in 59 bce (Suet. Iul. 20). Under the Principate a senator was selected by the emperor to be responsible for the record (Tac. Ann. 5. 4). The proceedings were available to senators but *Augustus forbade their wider publication (Suet. Aug.

Article

actio  

Thomas Rüfner

In Roman law, the word actio refers to a civil lawsuit. At first sight, it seems obvious that actio derives from the verb ago, which has the basic meaning “to drive,” “to urge,” or simply “to act.” The Roman jurists themselves clearly regarded ago as the verb corresponding to the noun actio and meaning “to conduct a lawsuit” (cf. Festus, Gloss. Lat. 21, l. 15, s.v. agere). Hence, actio may be explained as referring to the claimant urging the judge (and/or the adversary) to do something,1 or simply to the claimant’s actions in court.2 Some scholars have proposed different etymologies. It seems possible that actio is not a derivative of ago (“to drive, to urge”), but of a root agjō meaning “to speak” (cf. the verb aio), and that the word was only later associated with ago.3 Alternatively, it has been argued that ago and aio have a common root that, in the context of archaic law, refers to a performative utterance which affects the Roman citizens collectively.

Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Michael Crawford

Adaeratio, the procedure whereby dues to the Roman state in kind were commuted to cash payments. The related word adaerare first appears in ce 383 (Cod. Theod. 7. 18. 8) and the practice is characteristic of the later Roman empire. But it is attested for certain dues supplementary to the standard form of *taxation in Cicero's Verrines and Tacitus' Agricola, along with its attendant abuses. In the later Roman empire the procedure was also applied to distributions by the Roman state in kind. The transaction was sometimes official, sometimes unofficial, and might be made on the initiative of the government, the tax-collector (see publicani), or the taxpayer in the case of levies, or of either party in the case of distributions. The rate might be settled by bargaining, or fixed by the government at the market price or at some arbitrary sum. The range of commodities involved was large. Just as dues and distributions in kind had assumed greater importance because of the collapse of the coinage system in the 3rd cent. ce, so a consciousness of the existence of a stable gold coinage after Constantine led to a slow move back to transactions in money, normally gold, over the late 4th and 5th cents.

Article

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Barbara Levick

A man acquired the right of speaking in the Roman senate (ius sententiae dicendae; see senate) by holding a magistracy, the quaestorship; he became a full member when his name was placed on the senatorial roll (*album) (‘a censoribus…allectum’, Val. Max. 2. 2. 1). *Caesar, *dictator or praefectus morum (overseer of public morals), and the *triumvirs adlected men directly into the senate, presumably as quaestorii. (Adlection into the patriciate began with Caesar (Suet. Iul. 41. 2).) This unpopular proceeding was avoided by emperors until *Claudius, *censor in ce 47–8, admitted men inter quaestorios and tribunicios (ILS968); *Vespasian anticipated his censorship (Tac. Hist. 2. 82), but in 73–4 did the same (ILS 1024 = MW 321, inter praetorios). After *Domitian (life censor) men were routinely adlected. Adlection inter consulares first appears in ce 182, was practised by *Macrinus, and disliked (Cass.

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Susan M. Treggiari

Adoptio is a legal act by which a Roman citizen enters another family and comes under the *patria potestas of its chief. Since only a paterfamilias (see patria potestas) could adopt, women could not (except in later law by imperial grant). When the adopted person, male or female, was previously in the paternal power of another, the act was adoptio; when a male who was not in paternal power but himself the head of a family, it was adrogatio. Women could not be adrogated. Both acts involved a deminutio capitis minima, a reduction of legal status.Adrogatio fused two families, for with the adoptee (adrogatus) all under his power (potestas, manus) and his property pass into the family of the adopter (adrogator). In early times adrogatio was publicly validated by a vote of the curiate assembly, preceded (since it extinguished a family and its cult) by an investigation by the pontiffs; by the time of Cicero, 30 lictors represented the curiae (see curia (1)).

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Susan M. Treggiari

Roman tradition ascribed to fathers and husbands great severity in punishing illicit sexual behaviour by daughters or wives. Such misconduct was stuprum in married or unmarried women, an offence against chastity (pudicitia); adulterium described sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her husband. Until the legislation of Augustus, regulation was chiefly in the hands of the family: adultery probably always justified divorce; a family council might advise the paterfamilias (husband or father in whose power the woman was (see patria potestas)) on this and other sanctions, possibly including execution. The immediate killing of adulterers/adulteresses taken in the act was defensible (morally and in court) but probably not legally prescribed. Other physical violence against the adulterer is a literary commonplace. Adultery in the late republic, like the seduction or rape of an unmarried woman, entitled the father or husband to sue the man for damages (for *iniuria, insult) and not only to divorce the wife but to retain part of her dowry.

Article

Barry Nicholas

This article considers advocacy as a profession. For advocacy in its wider sense and in particular for its techniques, see rhetoric.A party to a Roman trial might entrust the presentation of his case to an advocate (advocatus, patronus, causidicus). These men, who appear as a class in the late republic under the influence of Greek rhetoric, and of whom *Cicero and the younger *Pliny (2) are prominent representatives, were orators rather than *lawyers. They would necessarily have, or acquire, some knowledge of law (Cicero evidently knew a lot), but their reputations were founded on their skill in forensic rhetoric. They and the jurists regarded each other as distinct classes, with different (and in the eyes of the other class inferior) functions, though occasionally an advocate might become a jurist. Advocates were forbidden to accept any reward for their services, but this rule was evidently often ignored and by the end of the 2nd cent. ce imperial recognition was given (Dig.

Article

A. N. Sherwin-White and Andrew Lintott

The aediles originated as two subordinates of the tribunes of the plebs whose sacrosanctity they shared. Their central function was to supervise the common temple (aedes) and cults of the plebs, those of *Ceres and *Diana on the *Aventine, but they also acted as the executives of the tribunes. With the addition in 367 bce of two aediles curules, elected from the patricians, the aedileship became a magistracy of the whole people, but the subsequent functions of both sets of aediles can be chiefly explained as patronage of the urban plebs. After the admission of plebeians the curule magistracy was held alternately by either order, but in the empire was omitted by patricians. Aediles were elected annually, the plebeii in the *conciliumplebis, the curules in the *comitiatributa. Curules ranked below praetors, plebeii at first below tribunes but eventually with the curules.

Article

Tony Honoré

Aelius Marcianus, a lawyer of the early 3rd cent. ce, probably from the eastern provinces. Mainly a teacher, he does not seem to have given responsa (consultative opinions). His extensive knowledge of the rescripts (replies to petitions) of Severus and Caracalla might be explained by a connection with *Ulpianus, whose style is similar, and of whom he may have been a pupil. He is not known to have held public office. Author of several monographs and commentaries published after Caracalla's death in 217, he is best known for his large-scale teaching manual, sixteen books (libri) of Institutiones. Though other lawyers do not seem to have cited him, Justinian's compilers admired his clarity and measured judgement and selected over 280 passages from his work for the Digesta (see justinian's codification).

Article

Tony Honoré

Aelius Paetus, Sextus, a Roman lawyer nicknamed ‘Catus’ (clever) for his shrewd pragmatism, was consul in 198 bce. He was the author of Tripertita, so called because it contained three elements: the law of the Twelve Tables, an account of their interpretation, and the formulas for use in litigation and possibly private transactions (legis actiones, ‘actions in law’).

Article

Ernst Badian, Tony Honoré, and Christopher Pelling

Aelius Tubero, Quintus, son of Lucius (above), accompanied his father 49–48 bce and fought at *Pharsalus, but was pardoned by *Caesar. In 46 he prosecuted Q. *Ligarius (whom Cicero successfully defended) for alleged co-operation with *Juba (1) I in 49. His failure in this is said to have turned him away from a public career. He wrote books of law as well as (very probably) annales (see annals, annalists), though it is just possible that the annales were the work of his father Lucius. It is again probable that he was the dedicatee of *Dionysius (7)'s On Thucydides. The history, written in the 30s, covered Roman history from its origins to his own day in at least fourteen books. Like *Licinius Macer, he consulted the ‘linen books’ (Livy 4. 23. 1–3, cf. 10. 9. 10). His role as a historical source of *Livy and Dionysius is disputed.

Article

Tony Honoré

Aemilius (RE 105) Papinianus, a leading lawyer of the Severan age and a close associate of the emperor *Septimius Severus, probably came, like him, from Africa and had some exposure to Hellenistic culture. He was assessor to a praetorian prefect, then from ce 194 to 202, to judge from their style, composed rescripts (replies to petitions), often of a highly technical character, for Septimius, latterly at least as a libellis (secretary for petitions). On the fall of C. *Fulvius Plautianus in ce 205 he became praetorian prefect along with Q. Maecius Laetus, but on the death of Septimius in February 211 was dismissed by Caracalla (see m. aurelius antoninus (1)). After the murder of Caracalla's brother and joint emperor P. *Septimius Geta (2) in 212 he was prosecuted by the praetorians and, without protest from Caracalla, put to death, an event which entered into legend as the martyrdom of a just man.

Article

aerarii  

Andrew Dominic Edwards Lewis

Aerarii, payers, were a class of Roman citizens who had incurred the *censors' condemnation for some moral or other misbehaviour. They were required to pay the poll-tax (*tributum) at a higher rate than other citizens. The origin of the class is obscure. Mommsen argued that a payer was originally one who had no landed property and was therefore disqualified from certain public rights such as voting and military service but had to pay the poll-tax in proportion to his means.

Article

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.

Article

Andrew Dominic Edwards Lewis

Ager publicus, public land, comprised lands acquired by Rome by conquest from her enemies or confiscation from rebellious allies. By tradition there was, as early as the 5th cent. bce, dispute between patricians and plebeians as to whether such lands should be retained in public ownership but open to exploitation on lease by wealthy possessores (possessors; see possession, legal) or distributed in private ownership amongst the poorer classes. In practice much of this land seems to have been assigned to the use of Roman and, after 338, Latin colonies (see ius latii). The Licinio-Sextian laws of 367 bce (see licinius stolo, c.) purported to limit the amount of public land possessed by any one citizen to 500 iugera or 140 ha. (350 acres).Public land continued to be acquired during subsequent centuries; the conquest of *Cisalpine Gaul added large areas of land which were either distributed amongst colonies or offered to citizens as smallholdings on permanent lease. Elsewhere, particularly in the south of Italy, large tracts remained in the hands of the state and were regularly leased out by the *censors to wealthier citizens in return for large rents.

Article

Andrew Lintott

Allocation of land by the community is attested in the Greek world at the times of new city foundations (colonies; see colonization, greek), and when land was annexed (*cleruchies). There is also some evidence for legislation restricting the disposal of allotments by sale or inheritance, in order to maintain the original land-units which sustained the households. On the other hand, there developed strong resistance to the notion of redividing the city's territory so as to change the proportions of private landholdings: a promise not to propose anything of the kind was included in the oath of the Athenian jurymen. See also sparta.At Rome agrarian legislation played a large part in the history of the republic and the struggles between the aristocracy and the *plebs. It is hard to know how far we should trust the evidence about the early republic, since often the details of the narratives in *Livy and *Dionysius (7) seem to have been elaborated in the light of late-republican experience.

Article

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Antony Spawforth

The purpose of the alimentary foundations in the Roman empire was to give an allowance for feeding children, and this was achieved by the investment of capital in mortgage on land, the mortage-interest being paid to, and administered by, cities or state-officials. The system originated in civic *euergetism, the earliest known benefactor being the senator T. Helvius Basila at *Atina in the late Julio-Claudian period (ILS997). A later benefactor, the younger Pliny, who gave a similar endowment to *Comum, has recorded his reasons for doing so (Ep. 7. 18). Inscriptions record similar private benefactions both in Italy and in the provinces, the east included. Gifts from the imperial *fiscus to Italian towns for this purpose were first made by *Nerva and *Trajan. The evidence for the imperial scheme in Italy (continuing at least until the early 3rd cent. ce) comes mainly from honorific inscriptions set up by the beneficiaries and two alimentary tables from Veleia and Ligures Baebiani (ILS 6675; 6509).

Article

Howard Hayes Scullard and Andrew Lintott

Amicitia, friendship in Roman political terminology. The relationship might be between Rome and either another state or an individual (see client kings), or between individuals. Amici populi Romani were recorded on a tabula amicorum. Although amicitia involved no treaty or formal legal obligations, the term was often associated with alliance (societas) and might describe strong ties and indeed dependency. In Roman political and social life the amici of an eminent man acted as his advisers in public and personal matters and might form a group of devoted political adherents (though the word suggests equality of status such men might well be subordinates). Ideally amicitia involved genuine trust and affection (Cic. Amic.), in practice it might only be an alliance to pursue common interests. Such friendships frequently conflicted. Nevertheless, their making and breaking were formal. Under the Principate the friends of the emperor formed, with his kinsmen and freedmen, his court (see amicus augusti).

Article

Nicholas Purcell

Drawing on the institutionalized philoi (friends) of Hellenistic rulers, political leaders of the 1st cent. bce made friendship a technical term of Roman political life (*popularis politicians were held to have introduced it to grade their clientelae, Sen. Ben. 6. 34; see amicitia; cliens). The emperors adopted the term amicus to identify, essentially as courtiers under the nascent monarchic system, favoured members of the equestrian and senatorial ordines, and as an increasingly formal label for the inner circle who made up their advisory *consilium.

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Andrew Lintott

Means ‘a further hearing’ and is known to us as a feature of procedure in some *quaestiones and trials before *recuperatores under the republic. When a certain proportion of the jury regarded the evidence of guilt of the accused as insufficient for condemnation or acquittal, they declared or voted ‘non liquet’ (‘it is not clear’) and the president, by pronouncing ‘amplius’, decreed a further hearing. Although normally one ampliatio might be expected to have been sufficient, the system lent itself to abuse by an unscrupulous jury: thus in 138 bce, when L. Aurelius Cotta (Consul 144) was prosecuted by *Scipio Aemilianusde repetundis, proceedings are said to have been repeated seven times. The lex repetundarum (see repetundae) of C. *Sempronius Gracchus imposed penalties on jurors who declared ‘non liquet’ more than twice and more than one third had to do so for a new hearing to take place. C.