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p17 Advocatus

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on pp17‑18 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

ADVOCATUS seems originally to have signified any person who gave another his aid in any affair or business, as a witness for instance (Varr. De Re Rust. II. c5); or for the purpose of aiding and protecting him in taking possession of a piece p18of property (Cic. pro Caecin. c8). It was also used to express a person who gave his advice and aid to another in the management of a cause, as a juris-consultus did; but the word did not signify the orator or patronus who made the speech (Cic. de Orat. II.74) in the time of Cicero. Under the emperors, it signified a person who in any way assisted in the conduct of a cause (Dig. 50, tit. 13, s1), and was sometimes equivalent to orator (Tac. Ann. XI.6).º The advocate had then a fee, which was called honorarium. [Orator, Patronus, Lex Cincia.]

The advocatus is defined by Ulpian (Dig. 50, tit. 13) to be any person who aids another in the conduct of a suit or action; but under the empire the jurisconsulti no longer acted as advocates, in the old sense of that term. They had attained a higher position than that which they held under the republic.

The advocatus fisci was an important officer established by Hadrianus (Spart. Hadrian. 20).º It was his business to look after the interests of the fiscus or the imperial treasury, and, among other things, to maintain its title to bona caduca. The various meanings of advocatus in the Middle Ages are given by Du Cange, Gloss. (Dig. 28, tit. 4 s3; Hollweg, Handbuch des Civilprozesses, p196).

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Page updated: 22 Jan 09