Glossary

AUG: Republican usage was religious (first in Enn. Ann. 502: ‘augusto augurio’). On 16 January 27 bc Octavian received the title from the senate, and he intended Tiberius also to take it. Tiberius did not formally accept, but it was used in official documents and taken by all later emperors (Vitellius delayed). Denied to other male members of the dynasty, it became the imperial title par excellence, and so was transmitted to military units and cities (some, e.g. Augst, Sivas, still bear it). The title ‘Augusta’ was conferred on the emperor’s wife (Livia Drusilla, in Augustus’ will, the first), exceptionally on other relatives (Antonia (3)).

Imperator: A generic title for Roman commanders, became a special title of honour. After a victory the general was saluted imperator by his soldiers. He assumed the title after his name until the end of his magistracy or until his triumph. Sometimes the senate seems to have given or confirmed the title. The origin of this form of honour is unknown, but some religious meaning is possible (cf. the formula Iuppiter imperator). The first certainly attested imperator is L. Aemilius Paullus (2) in 189 bc, as the evidence about P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus is uncertain. The title was assumed especially by proconsuls (see pro consule) and gained new importance through Sulla before he was appointed dictator. The increasing influence of the army in the late republic made imperator the symbol of military authority. Sulla occasionally stated (and Pompey emphasized) that he was saluted imperator more than once.Caesar first used the title permanently, but it is doubtful whether in 45 bc he received from the senate a hereditary title of imperator (as Cass. Dio 43. 44. 2 states). Agrippa in 38 bc refused a triumph for victories won underOctavian‘s superior command and established the rule that the princeps should assume the salutations and the triumphs of his legates. Henceforth, apparently, Octavian used imperator as praenomen (Imperator Caesar, notCaesar Imperator), perhaps intending to emphasize the personal and family value of the title. Thus the title came to denote the supreme power and was commonly used in this sense. But, officially, Otho was the first to imitate Augustus, and only with Vespasian did Imperator (‘emperor’) become a title by which the ruler was known. The formula Imperator Caesar was sometimes extended to members of the family of the princeps who were associated with him in power. On the death of a princeps, or during a rebellion, the salutatio of a general as an imperator by an army indicated that he was the candidate of that body for the imperial dignity.

The use of the praenomen did not suppress the old usage of imperator after the name. After a victory the emperor registered the salutatio imperatoria after his name (e.g.: Imp. Caesar…Traianus…imp. VI). From the second half of the 3rd cent. the emperor was deemed to receive a salutatio every year. The number of the salutations became practically identical with the number of the years of the reign.

Theoretically, governors of senatorial provinces, having their own auspicia (see auspicium), could assume the title ofimperator. But the last instance of such a salutatio is that of Q. Iunius Blaesus, proconsul of Africa in ad 22 (Tac.Ann. 3. 74).

Pater patriae: the title conferred on Cicero for his action against the Catilinarian conspirators (see sergius catilina, l.), on Caesarafter the battle of Munda, and on Augustus in 2 bc (when he had reached the age of 60), in a gesture of unanimity by the Roman community, coinciding with the dedication of the forum AugustumTiberius never accepted the title, but after a show of refusal all the later emperors (before Pertinax, who accepted it at accession) took it if they lived long enough. The title was eloquently suggestive of the protecting but coercive authority of the paterfamilias.

Cursus honorumDown to the 3rd cent. bc there were perhaps few rules concerning the cursus honorum (career path) other than a requisite period of military service before seeking the political offices open to one’s order, and some restrictions on iteration (cf. Livy 27. 6. 7). The senatorial establishment in the early 2nd cent. continued to support a loosely regulated cursus (Livy 32. 7. 8–12; cf. Cic. De or. 2. 261), surely because it facilitated use of private influence in elections. However, in or soon after 197, when the number of praetors was set at six, a new law stipulated that allconsuls be ex-praetors. Henceforth, the basic progression was quaestor–praetor–consul. If the tribunate of the plebsand the aedileship were held, the former usually and the latter always followed the quaestorship; the censorship traditionally went to ex-consuls (see aedilescensortribuni plebis). The cursus acquired further rigidity from the lex Villia annalis of 180 (see villius (annalis), l.), which set minimum ages for each of the curule magistracies. L. Cornelius Sulla added an age requirement for the quaestorship, which he made compulsory. In the early Principate the pattern was extended. The vigintivirate (see vigintisexviri) became a prerequisite for the quaestorship; between these two offices it was customary (though not mandatory) to serve as military tribune. All except patricians were obliged to hold either the tribunate of the plebs or the aedileship before reaching the praetorship. Career patterns beyond the praetorship were less structured, though promotions to provincial governorships and the new non-magisterial posts show certain regularities. Established patterns of advancement eventually developed for equestrian careers, especially for the senior prefectures, but with greater variations than the senatorial cursus. Acursus was observed also in municipal magistracies

Damnatio memoriae: After the deaths of persons deemed by the senate enemies of the state, measures to erase their memory might follow. Originally there was no set package, as the phrase implies but a repertoire: images might be destroyed, and their display penalized, the name erased from inscriptions, and a man’s praenomen banned in his family. With emperors their acts were abolished. Claudius prevented the senate from condemning Gaius (1); but decrees were passed against DomitianCommodus, and Elagabalus.

Congiarium: from congius (a measure of capacity = 6 sextarii (see measures)), a quantity of oil, wine, etc., distributed as a gift, later also the cash equivalent. From the time of Augustus onwards, congiaria were naturally an imperial monopoly, associated with accessions, birthdays, victories, etc. The recipients were identical with the plebs frumentaria, who received distributions of corn.