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Headword: Δικτάτωρ
Adler number: delta,1112
Translated headword: dictator
Vetting Status: high
When Malius,[1] who was Latin in origin and had great influence among his compatriots, raised up the race of the Latins in full force and brought together a great mercenary unit in order to avenge his relatives who had been pushed aside dishonourably, he demanded the power; but the senate, afraid of the multitude of the cloud of the enemy,[2] devised a new form of authority, appointing then the first dictator; in the Greek language he might be called bringer-in of the advantages, being superior to the authority of the consuls and very similar to the kings. For he had the power over everything without being liable to give account and tyrant-like scope for the determined period. Therefore Gaius Caesar first[3] and Augustus Octavius[4] after him, and those following them, whom we shall mention at the appropriate times, decided to lay claim to the monarchy under that name.[5]
Greek Original:
Δικτάτωρ: ἐπειδὴ Μάλιος, ἀνὴρ Λατῖνος μὲν γένος καὶ μέγα παρὰ τοῖς ὁμοφύλοις δυνάμενος, ἀναστήσας πανδημεὶ τὸ Λατίνων γένος χεῖρά τε μισθοφόρον πολλὴν ἀγείρας τιμωρεῖν τοῖς κηδεσταῖς ἀτίμως παρεωσμένοις ἠξίου τῆς δυναστείας, ἡ βουλὴ καταδείσασα τὸ πλῆθος τοῦ πολεμίου νέφους καινὸν ἡγεμονίας εὑρίσκει γένος, προχειρισαμένη τότε πρῶτον δικτάτορα, ὃς καθ' Ἑλλάδα γλῶτταν κληθείη ἂν εἰσηγητὴς τῶν λυσιτελῶν, ὑπερέχων μὲν τῆς τῶν ὑπάτων ἀρχῆς, τοῖς δὲ βασιλεῦσι προσφερέστατος: ἀνυπεύθυνόν τε γὰρ τῶν ὅλων εἶχε τὸ κράτος καὶ ἰσοτύραννον ἐν τῷ καθεστηκότι χρόνῳ τὴν ἐξουσίαν. τοιγαροῦν Γάϊος Καῖσαρ πρότερος καὶ μετὰ τοῦτον Αὔγουστος Ὀκταούιος, ὧν ὕστερον κατὰ τοὺς οἰκείους χρόνους μνημονεύσομεν, ὑπὸ τῷδε ὀνόματι τῆς μοναρχίας ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι διέγνωσαν.
For this headword see already delta 1111 (and cf. delta 1110). The present entry draws on John of Antioch fr.45 FHG (4.555ff), now 80.1 Roberto. (See also Livy 2.18, upon which that material ultimately depends).
[1] More exactly, Octavius Mamilius, leader of the Latins, who attacked Rome in the 9th year after the expulsion of the Tarquins. See generally Andrew Drummond in OCD(4) pp.890 ('Mamilius (RE 4) Octavius (or Octavus?) of Tusculum') and 1259 ('Regillus, Lake').
[2] cf. Homer, Iliad 4.274, 16.66.
[3] Julius Caesar: see gamma 10.
[4] The emperor Augustus: see alpha 4413.
[5] A similar claim about Julius Caesar and Augustus is made by Eutropius, Breviarium 1.12 -- but it shows a serious ignorance of Roman imperial history. Though Caesar was indeed created dictator, the office was abolished in 44 BC (soon after his assassination) by a lex Antonia carried by his surviving colleague in office, M. Antonius; then in 22 BC Augustus specifically refused the title, as he states in Res Gestae 5.1 (cf. Suetonius Augustus 52, Dio 54.1).
Keywords: biography; chronology; constitution; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; ethics; historiography; history; law; military affairs; politics
Translated by: Kostas Zafeiris on 17 July 2004@12:36:09.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation, other cosmetics) on 17 July 2004@12:58:00.
David Whitehead (more modifications to tr; augmented notes and keywords) on 18 July 2004@08:50:21.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 11 July 2012@06:45:07.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 January 2015@08:04:18.
David Whitehead (modified and expanded notes, at the prompting of Prof John D Morgan) on 1 June 2015@03:14:48.
David Whitehead (added another note, again supplied by Prof Morgan) on 2 June 2015@03:22:49.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 3 June 2015@23:32:31.


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