aedile
Elected officials responsible for running the city of Rome, including administration, public buildings, festivals and games, etc.
affidavit
A sworn statement of fact, signed by the author
agrarian
Relating to land
atrium
The reception hall of a Roman house, usually with a space open to the sky.
augur
A priest who reads the future in the flight of birds
auspices
Omens and signs read in the flight of birds
Aventine
One of the seven hills of Rome
bar
1) The dividing line in a courtroom that separates the participants of the trial from any onlookers. 2) A group of lawyers
basilica
A large, public building used for business, administrative and legal purposes
Caelian
One of the seven hills of Rome
canvass
To solicit votes
Capitol
Short for Capitoline, one of the seven hills of Rome
Capitoline
One of the seven hills of Rome
Carcer
The prison of Rome, located in the Forum Romanum
carnifex
An executioner and torturer
carruca
An ancient Roman carriage
census
A record-taking of all citizens' property and holdings
centuria praerogativa
The voting century who cast the first vote
centuries
1) Units of around 80 men in the Roman army 2) Voting tribes
client
A man who would call on his patron and offer services and political support in return for favours or legal representation
comitium
The circular area in the forum, in front of the senate house. This was where laws were traditionally voted on by the people, and where many court tribunals were located.
consul
One of two elected men in charge of the Republic. An annual magistracy, and pinnacle of a political career
coup
A sudden, unconstitutional overthrow of a government
crucifixion
A particularly cruel punishment that involved tying or nailing a man to a cross
curia
The senate house
curule chair
The chair used by magistrates with imperium, to symbolise their power
demagogue
A man who gains political power through speaking in a way that appeals to the emotions and fears of the people
dictator
A magistrate given absolute power by the senate in a time of national emergency. The position of dictator was also sometimes assumed illegaly (i.e. without senate permission)
equestrian
(Also called knights) These were a class of wealthy Romans ranked only below the senators
Esquiline
One of the seven hills of Rome
Field of Mars
(a.k.a The Campus Martius) The wide open space outside Rome where voting would take place
forum
An open space in a Roman town or city, used for business, legal and administrative purposes, and as a gathering place. Might contain shops or markets. The Forum Romanum is one of the fora in Rome, and the place where much of the action in Imperium takes place.
franchise
The right to vote (citizenship)
freedman
A freed slave
garrote
A chain, rope or wire used to strangle someone
governor
The manager of a Roman province. The governor would either be a proconsul or propraetor.
Ides
The date marking the approximate middle of the month
imperator
The title given to a victorious general by his troops. It was necessary to be hailed imperator in order to qualify for a triumph.
imperium
The power and authority held by a magistrate within the scope of his magistracy. Could be overruled by those with higher imperium.
knight
See Equestrian
legate
A legate can mean an ambassador, deputy, or officer in the Roman army.
legion
A unit of the Roman army, made up of ten cohorts
legionary
A soldier in the Roman army
lex
A law
lictor
The official bodyguards of magistrates who hold imperium.
litter
A carriage on poles rather than wheels, carried by slaves.
manumission
The freeing of a slave
mystagogue
The priest or religious leader who initiated people into the rituals and teachings of a mystery cult
nomenclator
A person who whispers names into an important man's ear so that he can give the appearance of knowing and remembering everyone
orator
A public speaker
oratory
Public speaking
Palatine
One of the seven hills of Rome
papyrus
Paper made from the papyrus plant. Plural is papyrii
patron
The man a client would call on for favours or legal representation. In return he might offer his patron services or political support.
pedarii
The humble ranks of the senate - men who do not hold office or make speeches, but can still hold a great deal of influence
Pontifex Maximus
The chief priest of the college of Pontiffs, in charge of Rome's religious concerns.
postulatus
A claim, demand or suit (legal)
praetor
The second highest magistracy on the political career ladder. Praetors were elected officials who presided over the law courts.
praetorian cohort
An elite guard chosen to protect the praetor (commanding general) of the Roman army.
proconsul
A man who acts with the authority of a consul without actually holding the office. A consul would become a proconsul after serving a year in office, when he would be given a province to govern.
propraetor
A man who acts with the authority of a praetor without actually holding the office. A praetor would become a propraetor after serving his term in office, when he was given a province to govern.
proquaestor
A man who acts with the authority of a quaestor without actually holding the office.
proscriptions
Authorised assassinations carried out under the rule of certain leaders. A political rival would be declared an enemy of Rome, hunted down, and killed.
province
An area of the Roman empire, managed by a provincial governor.
proximus lictor
The head bodyguard
purges
See Proscriptions
quaestor
Junior magistrates who would gain entry to the senate upon election. Wealth of one million sesterces was required to run for the position. Quaestors would help with administrative duties in the provinces, army, and at Rome.
Quirinal
One of the seven hills of Rome
quorum
The minimum number of members of a body needed to conduct the business of that group
rhetoric
The art of persuasive speaking
rostra
A curved platform in the Forum, from which the magistrates and advocates would address the people. Its name derives from the beaks (rostra) of captured enemy ships that were set into its sides.
saffron
A yellow spice used in cooking, religious ritual, or to dye textiles
senate
A group of Rome's leading and wealthiest men, who debated laws and advised the magistrates (but did not possess the power to pass a law - this must be done by an assembly of the people). All magistracies were held by senators. There was a high property qualification to join.
sesterces
Plural of sestertius, an ancient Roman coin
standard
A military flag
stenography
The art of transcribing speech in shorthand.
stylus
An instrument used in writing, to make marks on a wax tablet
subpoena
A writ ordering a person to testify or bring evidence before the court
tablinum
A study or office
toga
A form of clothing worn over one shoulder, the mark of Roman citizenship and worn only by men
toga candida
The pure white toga worn by candidates for public office
Tribunal
A raised platform for the magistrates to speak from
tribune
Representatives of the people, ten of whom were elected annually. They held the power to propose and veto legislation, and to convene assemblies of the people.
triclinium
Dining-room
triumph
An elaborate homecoming celebration for a victorious military commander. The senate would decide if a particular general was deserving of a triumph based on certain criteria, one of which was the holding of military imperium. It was forbidden to enter Rome while still holding military imperium, so generals had to wait outside the city until the senate granted them a triumph.
Urban Praetor
The chief praetor and head of the justice system. He ranked third in the Republic after the two consuls.
verbatim
In exactly the same words
villa
The large country houses and mansions of the Roman elite
Viminal
One of the seven hills of Rome
writ
A formal written order issued by a judicial body