Roman Diplomatic Forms

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Roman Diplomatic Forms

Postby Valerius Compagnanus on Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:28 am

A survey of what we can call official Roman diplomatic (i.e. non narrative) documents seems to indicate that their existed specific forms for certain documents.

* Plebiscitum / lex
(Names of the tribuni plebis, nominativus) tribuni plebi iure rogarunt plebesque iure scivit tribus (name of the tribus that voted first, nominativus) pricipuum fuit, pro tribu (name of the tribesman who voted first, nominativus) primus scivit.
Main text

* Senatus consultum
Consulibus (names of the consuls, ablativus) mense (name of the month, ablativus)
(Name of the proposer and his function, normally a consul, nominativus) senatum consulavit a.d (date of the session (per exemplum XI kal. Iunias), accusativus) in (place of the meeting, ablativus).
Scribundo adfuerunt (names of those present at the writing, nominativus).
Main text

* Edictum
Edictum (name and function, genitivus)
Placet mihi (followed by an infinitive)

More common was the letterform:
(Name and function, nominativus) dicit:

per exemplum: Imperator Caesar Augustus Pontifex Maximus Tribunicia Potestas XVII Imperator XIV dicit. Other magistrates used this form too.

In late antiquity, this evolved to the predecessor of the well known medieval diplomatic form, as the proemium of Iustinianus’ Institutes attests:
• Invocatio: “In nomine domine nostri Ihesu Christu”
• Intitulatio: “Imperator Caesar Flavius Iustiniaus etc.”
• Narratio: “Imperatoriam maiestatem non solum armis decoratam, sed etiam legibus oportet esse armatam, ut utrumque tempus et bellorum et pacis recte possit gubernari et princeps Romanus victor existat non solum in hostilibus proeliis, sed etiam per legitimos tramites calumniantium iniquitates expellens, et fiat tam iuris religiosissimus quam victis hostibus triumphator.”
• Dispositio: main text.
• Datatio: “Data undecimo kalendas Decembres Constantinopoli domino nostro Iustiniano perpetuo Augusto tertium consule.”
Valerius Compagnanus
 

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:34 am

Gratias plurimas Valeriae Compagnanae ago. This will be most useful.

Vale optime
M Horatius Piscinus

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