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Vir illustris

The title vir illustris ('illustrious man') is used as a formal indication of standing in late antiquity to describe the highest ranks within the senates of Rome and Constantinople. All senators had the title vir clarissimus ('very famous man'); but from the mid fourth century onwards, vir illustris and vir spectabilis ('admirable man', a lower rank than illustris) were used to distinguish holders of high office.

Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum, insignia from the Notitia Dignitatum.

Contents

Origins

The custom of Roman senators of late antiquity appending the title of vir clarissimus to their names developed gradually over the first two centuries. During the fourth century, the senatorial order greatly increased in number, so that the title became more common and new titles were devised to distinguish senators of a higher dignity, namely vir spectabilis and vir illustris. The first instance of vir illustris occurred in AD 354 with its use by the Praefectus praetorio. For some decades it was used inconsistently, but then more regularly, perhaps in connection with a formal codification of honours by Emperor Valentinian I in AD 372.

Offices

The offices that had a right to the title varied with time. The Notitia Dignitatum of the early AD fifth century attached it to the offices of the:

Later developments

The Illustres soon were regarded as the active membership of the Senate; and by the middle of the AD fifth century, Spectabiles and Clarissimi were no longer expected to participate in the Senate. By the reign of Emperor Justinian I, all senators were considered Illustres. At the same time the title of "illustris" had been similarly devalued below that of "clarissimus" in the AD fourth century, and high officials were indicated with the titles of "vir gloriosus" or "gloriosissimus" and "vir magnificus".

In ancient inscriptions and manuscripts, the spelling "inlustris" is more frequent. Because the illustres were a subset of the clarissimi, the title is often written as "vir clarissimus et illustris", especially in official documents. The shorter title was commonly abbreviated "v. i." (plural "vv. ii."), "v. inl.", or "vir inl." and the longer title as "v. c. et inl."

In Merovingian and Carolingian times, the spellings vir inluster and viri inlustres were common.

  1. Hirschfeld (1901), pp. 580-2 (=Hirschfeld (1913), pp. 647-9).
  2. Jones (1964), pp. 525-8.
  3. Cod. Theod. 11, 1, 6: "Rufini viri clarissimi et inlustris praefecti praetorio".
  4. Hirschfeld (1901), p. 595 (=Hirschfeld [1913],pp. 664-5); Berger (1915), pp. 1072-3.
  5. Jones (1964), pp. 142-3; Näf (1995), p. 20; P. Heather, "Senatorial Careers", in The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 13 (1998), pp. 188-91.
  6. Not. dign. or. 2-15; Not. dign. occ. 2-13; Berger (1915), 1074-7 gives a survey of the evidence from inscriptions and legal codes for these offices.
  7. Berger (1915), 1078, 29-44
  8. Berger (1915), 1078-9.
  9. Jones (1964), p. 529.
  10. A gloss in the Digest on a passage of Ulpian states (1, 9, 12, 1) senatores … accipiendum est eos, qui a patriciis et consulibus usque ad omnes illustres viros descendunt, quia et hi soli in senatu sententiam dicere possunt ("by senators we should understand those from the patricians and consuls down through to all viri illustres, since these too are the only ones who can give their opinion in the senate").
  11. Näf (1995), pp. 21-2.
  12. T. Mommsen, Theodosiani Libri XVI cum Constitutionibus Sirmondianis, Prolegomena, (Zurich: Weidmann, 1905), p. cxlvii.
  13. Hirschfeld (1901), pp. 596-8 (=Hirschfeld [1915], pp. 665-7).
  14. Berger (1916), pp. 1070, 29-38; TLL, Volume 7, 1, p. 397, 1-5.
  15. Henry d'Arbois de Jubainville, [www.persee.fr/doc/crai_0065-0536_1887_num_31_2_69305 "L'emploi du titre de vir inluster ou vir inlustris dans les documents officiels de l'époque mérovingienne"], Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 31, 2 (1887), pp. 167–68.
  • Berger, A., 'Illustris', R.E. IX (1915), 1070-1085.
  • Hirschfeld, O., 'Die Rangtitel der römischen Kaiserzeit', Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie (1901), 579-610, reprinted in Kleine Schriften (Berlin: Weidemann, 1913), 657-71.
  • Jones, A.H.M., The Later Roman Empire 284-602, A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey (Oxford: Blackwell, 1964, repr. Johns Hopkins UP, 1986)
  • Löhken, H., Ordines Dignitatum (Köln: Böhlau, 1982)
  • Näf, B., Senatorisches Standesbewusstsein in spätrömischer Zeit (Freiburg: Universitätsverlag, Freiburg, 1995)

Vir illustris
Vir illustris Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Vir inluster The title vir illustris illustrious man is used as a formal indication of standing in late antiquity to describe the highest ranks within the senates of Rome and Constantinople All senators had the title vir clarissimus very famous man but from the mid fourth century onwards vir illustris and vir spectabilis admirable man a lower rank than illustris were used to distinguish holders of high office Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum insignia from the Notitia Dignitatum Contents 1 History 1 1 Origins 1 2 Offices 1 3 Later developments 2 Written forms 3 Notes 4 ReferencesHistory EditOrigins Edit The custom of Roman senators of late antiquity appending the title of vir clarissimus to their names developed gradually over the first two centuries 1 During the fourth century the senatorial order greatly increased in number so that the title became more common and new titles were devised to distinguish senators of a higher dignity namely vir spectabilis and vir illustris 2 The first instance of vir illustris occurred in AD 354 with its use by the Praefectus praetorio 3 For some decades it was used inconsistently but then more regularly 4 perhaps in connection with a formal codification of honours by Emperor Valentinian I in AD 372 5 Offices Edit The offices that had a right to the title varied with time The Notitia Dignitatum of the early AD fifth century attached it to the offices of the Praefectus praetorio Praetorian Prefect Praefectus urbi Urban Prefect Magister militum Master of the Soldiers Praepositus sacri cubiculi Officer of the Sacred Chamber Magister officiorum Master of Offices Quaestor sacri palatii Quaestor of the Sacred Palace Comes sacrarum largitionum Count of the Sacred Largess Comes rerum privatarum Count of the Imperial Private Property Comes domesticorum equitum sive peditum Count of the Household Cavalry or Infantry 6 Beyond these the title is also frequently given to consuls 7 occasionally to lower offices In these cases the title may show a broadening of the criteria or may be simply an honorary grant to an individual 8 Later developments Edit The Illustres soon were regarded as the active membership of the Senate and by the middle of the AD fifth century Spectabiles and Clarissimi were no longer expected to participate in the Senate 9 By the reign of Emperor Justinian I all senators were considered Illustres 10 At the same time the title of illustris had been similarly devalued below that of clarissimus in the AD fourth century and high officials were indicated with the titles of vir gloriosus or gloriosissimus and vir magnificus 11 Written forms EditIn ancient inscriptions and manuscripts the spelling inlustris is more frequent 12 Because the illustres were a subset of the clarissimi the title is often written as vir clarissimus et illustris especially in official documents 13 The shorter title was commonly abbreviated v i plural vv ii v inl or vir inl and the longer title as v c et inl 14 In Merovingian and Carolingian times the spellings vir inluster and viri inlustres were common 15 Notes Edit Hirschfeld 1901 pp 580 2 Hirschfeld 1913 pp 647 9 Jones 1964 pp 525 8 Cod Theod 11 1 6 Rufini viri clarissimi et inlustris praefecti praetorio Hirschfeld 1901 p 595 Hirschfeld 1913 pp 664 5 Berger 1915 pp 1072 3 Jones 1964 pp 142 3 Naf 1995 p 20 P Heather Senatorial Careers in The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 13 1998 pp 188 91 Not dign or 2 15 Not dign occ 2 13 Berger 1915 1074 7 gives a survey of the evidence from inscriptions and legal codes for these offices Berger 1915 1078 29 44 Berger 1915 1078 9 Jones 1964 p 529 A gloss in the Digest on a passage of Ulpian states 1 9 12 1 senatores accipiendum est eos qui a patriciis et consulibus usque ad omnes illustres viros descendunt quia et hi soli in senatu sententiam dicere possunt by senators we should understand those from the patricians and consuls down through to all viri illustres since these too are the only ones who can give their opinion in the senate Naf 1995 pp 21 2 T Mommsen Theodosiani Libri XVI cum Constitutionibus Sirmondianis Prolegomena Zurich Weidmann 1905 p cxlvii Hirschfeld 1901 pp 596 8 Hirschfeld 1915 pp 665 7 Berger 1916 pp 1070 29 38 TLL Volume 7 1 p 397 1 5 Henry d Arbois de Jubainville www persee fr doc crai 0065 0536 1887 num 31 2 69305 L emploi du titre de vir inluster ou vir inlustris dans les documents officiels de l epoque merovingienne Comptes rendus des seances de l Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 31 2 1887 pp 167 68 References EditBerger A Illustris R E IX 1915 1070 1085 Hirschfeld O Die Rangtitel der romischen Kaiserzeit Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie 1901 579 610 reprinted in Kleine Schriften Berlin Weidemann 1913 657 71 Jones A H M The Later Roman Empire 284 602 A Social Economic and Administrative Survey Oxford Blackwell 1964 repr Johns Hopkins UP 1986 Lohken H Ordines Dignitatum Koln Bohlau 1982 Naf B Senatorisches Standesbewusstsein in spatromischer Zeit Freiburg Universitatsverlag Freiburg 1995 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Vir illustris amp oldid 1019264070, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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