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date: 31 January 2023



  • Nicholas Purcell


Vicus, ‘village’, one of a series of Roman terms for settlements of lower status than towns (such as *pagus). In administrative law the term was used for places with recognizably independent institutions in the territory of a city or on a private estate. Like pagi, these communities and their magistrates were relatively important in the less urbanized parts of the Italian countryside in the late republic, and are quite well represented in the epigraphic record. The term was also used of local subdivisions of the city, cf. Greek amphoda, named after a street, local cult, or other landmark, and are found notably at Rome (though they are also attested in other cities). *Pliny(1) gives the number of vici at Rome as 265 (HN 3. 5. 66); they too had an independent institutional existence, and appointed officials known as *vicomagistri.


  • Roman Material Culture

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