digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Comes (/ˈkmz/ KOH-meez), plural comites (/ˈkɒmɪtz/ KOM-i-teez), is the Latin word for "companion", either individually or as a member of a collective known as comitatus, especially the suite of a magnate, in some cases large and/or formal enough to have a specific name, such as a cohors amicorum. The word comes derives from com- "with" + ire "go."

Ancient Roman religion[edit]

Constantine I SOLI INVICTO COMITI, Comes to Sol Invictus

Comes was a common epithet or title, added to the name (as Catholicism still does with Jesus and much-venerated saints, such as in Our Lady of Lourdes) for a hero or a divinity, as a way to mark a relationship with another divinity.[citation needed]

On Constantine I's coinage, the emperor is declared comes to Sol Invictus, the "Unconquered Sun" conceived of as a god.

Imperially bestowed court titles and various offices of Comites[edit]

Historically more significant, Comes became a secular title given to trusted (ex-)courtiers and others, as a mark of imperial confidence, developing into a formal rank, deriving from the "Companions" of Alexander the Great and rather equivalent to the Hellenistic Philos (Basilikos) or the paladin title of a Holy Roman Empire knight and a papal official, and therefore the title was retained when one was appointed—often promoted—to a post away from court, often in the field or provincial administration; next, it seemed logical to link it to specific charges calling for an incumbent of high rank, and even to make it part of the official title.

As the imperial court grew in size and assimilated to itself all political influence, the emperors established a casual practice of appointing loyal servants to various posts. This process had already been utilized elsewhere, as with the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard and the Amici Principis. As the imperial system expanded, however, new offices were needed and decentralization demanded change. The result was the creation of the rank of "comes".

The comites (often translated as "counts", though neither feudal nor hereditary) became leading officials of the later Roman Empire. They wielded posts of every description, from the army to the civil service, while never surrendering their direct links and access to the emperors. Constantine took the final step of certifying the posts, as comites provinciarum, "counts of the provinces", who were sent out alongside vicars in their dioceses so that they were permanent fixtures of imperial government.

They are listed in full for the beginning of the fifth century in the Notitia dignitatum, and a schematic map of comital military posts in English translation is available at the Friesian project.[1] At later dates, additional posts have been created.

The following are examples of the various types of comites

At court or in the imperial domains[edit]

Several of the major departments of an imperial court and household had a chief styled comes, with an officium (staff) quite similar to that of a governor.

These included:

  • Comes dispositonum—A deputy to the very powerful magister officiorum ("master of offices"); responsible for organizing the imperial calendar and preparing the correspondence for distribution to the proper offices for transcription.
  • Comes domesticorum -a vir illustris- Head of the Domestici, a corps of bodyguards of the emperor who were stationed in the imperial palace. There were two of these comital commanders, for the horse - viz. foot units (Comes domesticorum Equitum vs. Comes domesticorum Peditum).
  • Comes privatae largitionis—Keeper of the privy purse, answerable and subordinate to the comes rerum privatarum.
  • Comes rerum privatarum—Powerful imperial officer responsible for the private estates or holdings of the emperor and his family (res privata). He maintained the properties and collected all monies from rent, of which most went to the public funds and some to the privy purse administered by the comes privatae largitionis.
  • Comes sacrarum largitionum -a Vir illustris- Master of the 'Sacred Largess', who operated the imperial finances. He controlled all of the mints (each led by a Procurator), was in chief of a long list of officials (more Procurators, rationales, Praepositi) who collected senatorial taxes, custom duties and some land taxes, was also responsible for the yields of the mines, provided budgets for the civil service and armies and supplied all uniforms. His competence also included several minor Comites:
    • Comes Auri 'gold count'
    • Comes sacrae vestis—Master of the wardrobe of the emperor.
    • three regional comites largitionum: for Italy, Africa, Illyricum
    • a comes commerciorum for Illyricum.
    • a comes metallorum per Illyricum, responsible for the region's gold mines

Exceptionally, a gubernatorial position was styled comes:

Furthermore, some less important section chiefs under the authority of otherwise styled, high-ranking territorial officials could be styled Comes, e.g. under the praefectus urbis of Rome (a vir illustris) were a comes formarum, a comes riparum et alvei Tiberis et cloacarum ("count of the coast of the Tiber and the canalisation") and a comes portus ("count of the port").

The title comes consistorianus indicated the comites who advised the Emperor in his council (the consistorium) for official (mainly legal) matters, whether on an occasional basis, ex officio (as main court department heads) or, in the case of his adsessor ('chief counsel'), as a distinct job.

Comes rei militaris[edit]

These comites held military appointments, higher than dux, but under Magister peditum/ Magister equitum; they were the superiors of a series of military posts, each commanded by a praepositus limitis (border commander), and/or unit commanders, such as tribunes of cohorts, alae (auxiliary equivalent), numeri, in the eastern empire even legions : The Notitia Dignitatum (early fifth century) mentions six such positions, of the rank vir spectabilis, in the western empire (Comes Italiae, Comes Africae, Comes Tingitaniae, Comes Tractus Argentoratensis, Comes Britanniarum and Litoris Saxonici per Britanniam) and two in the eastern empire: Comes (limitis) Aegypti, Comes Isauriae = - per Isauria).

As the number of comites grew, the rank was devalued, which led to he introduction of the notion of classes of comites; first, second and third ordines

Horse guards corps of Comites[edit]

The Comites dominorum nostrorum (plural of Comes D.N.; literally "Companions of our Lords [Emperors]') were a mounted imperial body guard during Diocletian's tetrarchy (c. 300).

Medieval usages[edit]

Gothic Comites[edit]

The Goths that ruled Spain and Italy followed the tradition of the Romans in giving the title of count to the diverse heads of the departments of the royal household.

  • Comes Cubiculariorum—Count in charge of the chamberlains (L. cubicularii).
  • Comes Scanciorum—Count in charge of the cup-bearers
  • Comes Stabulorum—Count in charge of the equerries and stables
  • Comes Notariorum—Count in charge of the chancery
  • Comes Thesaurorum—Count in charge of the officers of the treasury
  • etc.

Frankish Gaugraf[edit]

The Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty retained a good deal of the Roman system of administration, including the title comes preserved its original meaning: a companion of the king, a royal servant of high rank. Under the early Frankish kings some comites did not exercise any definite functions; they were merely attached to the king's person and executed his orders. Others filled the highest offices, e.g. the comes palatii and comes stabuli (survives in the title Constable). The kingdom was divided for administrative purposes into small areas called pagi (hence French pays; German Gaue), corresponding generally to the Roman civitas. At the head of the pagus was the comes, corresponding to the German Graf (in full Gaugraf). The comes was appointed by the king and removable at his pleasure, and was chosen originally from all classes, sometimes from enfranchised serfs. His essential functions were judicial and executive, and in documents he is often described as the kings agent (agens publicus) or royal judge (judex publicus/fiscalis). As the delegate of the executive power he had the right to military command in the king's name, and to take all the measures necessary for the preservation of the peace, i.e. to exercise the royal ban (bannus regis). He was at once public prosecutor and judge, was responsible for the execution of the sentences of the courts, and as the king's representative exercised the royal right of protection (mundium regis) over churches, widows, orphans and the like. He enjoyed a triple wergeld, but had no definite salary, being remunerated by the receipt of certain revenues, a system which contained the germs of discord, on account of the confusion of his public and private duties. The Anglo-Saxon gerefa, however, meaning illustrious, chief, has apparently, according to philologists, no connection with the German Graf, which originally meant servant (compare the origins of the words "knight" or "valet"). It is the more curious that the gerefa should end as a subservient reeve, the Graf as a noble count.

Feudalism[edit]

In the feudal tradition, Latin was often used, especially in legal documents, as (sometimes sole) official language, so the rendering in Latin was no less important than the original in the spoken vernacular. Thus, comes has been used as the Latin equivalent (or part of it) of all titles of comital rank, whether containing Count (or some other word etymologically derived from Comes, or in many other languages from Graf).

  • Similarly it is part of the rendering (not always exclusive) of derived lower titles containing such term, notably Vicecomes for Viscount and Burgicomes (alongside burgravio) for Burgrave.

See also[edit]

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ Friesian.com

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comes — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

LINKIN PARK x STEVE AOKI - A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES: Official Lyric Video (FULL SONG)

Shazam the video for a chance to win a Linkin Park flyaway. Details here: http://bit.ly/1aWf9nL Download RECHARGED and A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES on iTUNES: ht...

Greg Laswell - Comes and Goes

Buy the cd here: http://bit.ly/1ZzxA Thanks all for watching my upload. But i want to give all thanks to the man who sang this song! Please buy the album if ...

Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around...Comes Around

Music video by Justin Timberlake performing What Goes Around...Comes Around. (C) 2007 Zomba Recording, LLC.

HERE COMES THE ROID RAGE! (Gmod Murder #59)

While all of us are shacked up together nice and cozy in the house, I happen to find some steroids on the kitchen counter and take some....then...the roid ra...

Video: APC rams through barricade in eastern Ukraine, comes back for more

An armoured vehicle drives through barricades set up by anti-government protesters in Slavyansk, east Ukraine. Courtesy: Graham Phillips https://www.youtube....

Minecraft Comes Alive Ep. 99: SAVING DONNA

Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=chrisandthemike http://www.lovelyattractivenetwork.com Minecraft Comes Alive Ep. 99: SAVI...

Parenthood - Haddie Comes Out (Episode Highlight)

Love means no matter what. Subscribe to NBC for more Parenthood: http://full.sc/y8sIqD Parenthood Returns to NBC on Thursday, September 26 10/9c Get more Par...

Eva Marie's family comes to visit: Total Divas, April 20, 2014

Eva Marie's health scare reunites her with her family.

The Amazing Snakeheads - Here It Comes Again (Official Video)

The Amazing Snakeheads - Here It Comes Again (Official Video) Pre-order Amphetamine Ballads from: Domino Mart (CD & Limited Edition LP) - http://smarturl.it/...

Minecraft Comes Alive Ep. 98: GUARD CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE

Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=chrisandthemike http://www.lovelyattractivenetwork.com Minecraft Comes Alive Ep. 98: GUAR...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

622212255 news items

 
New York Times
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:58:33 -0700

The latest confrontation comes Tuesday as Airbnb, the largest housing rental company, goes to court in Albany. It is fighting an effort by New York regulators to collect the names of Airbnb hosts who are breaking the law by renting out multiple ...
 
Today.com
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Ten years after they first "met" in the 2004 comedy "Mean Girls," actor Daniel Franzese has come out in a letter he wrote to Damian, the openly gay character he played in the film. Image: Daniel Franzese. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images file. Actor ...

New York Daily News

Huffington Post
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:41:15 -0700

"You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor," he writes in the letter, published on IndieWire. "You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I'd had you as a role model when I was younger. I might've been easier to be ...
 
CNET
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:30:06 -0700

Google Play Music doesn't support AirPlay or products like the Apple TV out of the box, but a company called DoubleTwist has found a way around that obstacle. by Don Reisinger · @donreisinger; April 23, 2014 5:26 AM PDT. comments. 0. facebook. twitter.
 
Providence Eyewitness News
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:26:15 -0700

New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury is booed by fans as he walks to the plate for his first at-bat during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ...
 
New York Times
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:35:02 -0700

This has not, suffice it to say, been a season of accolades for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Yes, The New Yorker put him on its cover, coveted real estate for a politician, but it depicted him as a self-absorbed child, holding up traffic as he ...
 
The Post-Standard
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:41:15 -0700

Avert your eyes: Avril Lavigne's "Hello Kitty" video is a bizarre attempt to cash in on Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls. The track -- which has little to do with a cute cartoon cat with a bow on her head -- features the Canadian pop singer with a ...
 
Tom's Guide
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:26:15 -0700

Hell hasn't quite frozen over, but it got a bit chilly today (Apr. 23) when Amazon announced that a big chunk of HBO's back catalog will be available for unlimited streaming to subscribers of the $99/year Amazon Prime program. HBO has been playing ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Comes

You can talk about Comes with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!