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The threads on saluting got me thinking about verbal forms of adress to a superior officer. Does anyone have information on this?<br>
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From glancing through 'Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier' by Alan K. Bowman, which deals with the Vindolanda letters, it appears that a superior--at least a social superior--was often adressed using <em>domine</em>, or a variation, which translates to 'my lord' does it not? An equal is often adressed as frater, or brother. Does this show up in other sources? And if used in letters, would it also be used in everyday interactions?<br>
<p><span style="color:orange;">If you think the problem is bad, wait until you hear the solution</span></p><i></i>
Ave, frater!<br>
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I have the same, wonderful book. Looking through the various letters, there are a number of different addresses among superiors and equals, including some combined ones. You're right that domine and various forms of it (dominum meum, for example) seems to predominate in exchanges between Flavius Cerialis, the prefect of Coh. I Bataviorum, and his superiors (including guys named Crispinus and September, apparently a high mucky-mucks in the office of the provincial governer). Interestingly, it's a slightly different picture when it comes to officers of Coh. I addressing Cerialis. "My Lord" (domine) and "brother" (frater) seem interchangeable or are used in combination-- for example, the centurion Claudius Super addresses Cerialis as "dearest lord and brother" (domine frater carissime), and Brocchus and Niger, two other officers (or maybe officials?) of indeterminate rank, address Cerialis first simply as "brother," then later as "[best] lord and brother" (optamus frater bene ualere te domine). "Lord and brother" also shows up in a letter from Oppois Niger to Priscinus.<br>
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The most amazing address is from the decurion Masclus to Cerialis, which starts "Masclus to Cerilais, his king, greeting" (Masclus Ceriali regi suo salutem). King! The note below the letter says: "The title Rex is not found elsewhere... despite the fact that Batavian units are known to have been commanded by nobles of royal blood, it is more likely that here it simply means 'patron,' a well-attested usage."<br>
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Another title used between soldiers of equal rank is "contuburnali," translated as "messmate," which is often used in combination with "brother." Even slaves use "frater" when addressing each other, and don't seem ashamed of identifying themselves as slaves in such exchanges (a Seuero seruo = "from Severus, slave of...")<br>
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An apparent private citizen who had been (he claims) unjustly "beaten with rods" by a centurion addresses someone, perhaps Cerialis or someone higher up in the governor's office, or the governor himself, as "your majesty" (tuam maiestatem) and "your mercifulness" (tuam misericordiam).<br>
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again, this is a great book and offers a lot of insights into how the Romans related to one another across the social scale.<br>
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T. Flavius Crispus<br>
Legio VI VPF<br>
California, USA<br>
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<p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/[email protected]ytalk>FlaviusCrispus</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/legiovi/vwp?.dir=/Flavius+photo&.src=gr&.dnm=flavhead2.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 1/6/05 7:47 pm<br></i>