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For other uses of "the word vicar", see Vicar (disambiguation).
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Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar".

Originally, in ancient Rome, this was an equivalent to the English "vice-" (as in "deputy"), used as part of the title of various officials. Each vicarius was assigned to a specific superior official, after whom his full title was generally completed by a genitive (e.g. vicarius praetoris). At a low level of society, the slave of a slave, possibly hired out to raise money to buy manumission, was a servus vicarius.[1]

Later, in the 290s, the Emperor Diocletian carried out a series of administrative reforms, ushering the period of the Dominate. These reforms also saw the number of Roman provinces increased, and the creation of a new administrative level, the diocese. The dioceses, initially twelve, grouped several provinces, each with its own governor. The dioceses were headed by a vicarius, or, more properly, by a vices agens praefectorum praetorio ("deputy of the praetorian prefect"). An exception was the Diocese of Oriens, which was headed by a comes ("count"). In 370 or 381 Egypt and Cyrenaica were detached from the Diocese of the Orient and made a diocese under an official called the Augustal Prefect.

According to the Notitia dignitatum (an early 5th century imperial chancery document), the vicarius had the rank of vir spectabilis; the staff of a vicarius, his officium, was rather similar to a gubernatorial officium. For example, in the diocese of Hispaniae, the his staff included:

  • The princeps (i.e. chief of staff was chosen from among the senior agentes in rebus (couriers or special investigators, 'men of affairs,' from the ministry of the interior headed by the master of the offices), from the salary class of the ducenarii (those earning 200,000 sesterces a year - the highest regular pay grade in the Roman civil service; the highest officials from governor up were not civil service).
  • A cornicularius ("chief of staff").
  • Two numerarii (chief accountants).
  • A commentariensis (keeper of the commentary," the official diary).
  • An adiutor (adjutant; literally "helper," an assistant).
  • An ab actis ("acts-keeper," archivist).
  • A cura epistolarum ("curator of correspondence").
  • An unnamed number of subadiuvae ("deputy assistants").
  • Various exceptores (lower clerks).
  • Singulares et reliquum officium (various menial staff).

Sources and references[edit]


  1. ^ P. R. C. Weaver, "Vicarius and Vicarianus in the Familia Caesaris" The Journal of Roman Studies 54.1 and 2 (1964:117-128).

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5 news items


Tue, 01 Jul 2014 00:41:15 -0700

Apricena – Dopo essersi laureate Campioni Provinciali di calcio a 5 femminile, con il primo posto nel Campionato Us Acli con 62 punti, la formazione garganica si aggiudica la Coppa Italia Provinciale superando in finale, dopo una gara tirata e ...

Protestante Digital

Protestante Digital
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:47:01 -0700

... Su Santidad ”; “ Vicarius Filii Dei ” (Vicario del Hijo de Dios); “ Vicarius Generali Dei in Terris” (Vicario Principal de Dios en la Tierra), etc., y ahora ellos tienen a Francisco, el nuevo paladín de la catolicidad… un papa humilde… un ...


Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:30:00 -0700

Il taglio del nastro ci sarà il prossimo lunedì 7 luglio, alle ore 18, in concomitanza con il via della terza edizione del Torneo Cittadino amatoriale di calcio a 11, organizzato dalla Polisportiva Vicarius Apricena con il patrocinio del Comune. “Siamo ...

ImmobilienScout24 News

ImmobilienScout24 News
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 02:44:34 -0700

Eigentümerin der Immobilie ist die Vicarius Immobilien GmbH. Der einzigartige Standort des Objektes GOETHE 34 als Verbindung von Opernplatz, Goethestrasse und Fressgasse eignet sich hervorragend für Flagship Stores von Luxury Brands.

Bistum Essen

Bistum Essen
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 03:07:30 -0700

Juli diesen Jahres als vicarius paroecialis mit dem Titel Kaplan der Propsteipfarrei St. Clemens in Oberhausen tätig. Gleichzeitig wurde Herr Kaplan Danne beauftragt schwerpunktmäßig in der Propsteigemeinde St. Clemens in Oberhausen tätig zu werden.

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