The Ancient Library

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On this page: Imperium – Impluvium – Inachus – Incubare – Indigetes – Indigitamenta



victory, usually after having been greeted as imperator either by the soldiers on the battlefield, or by the decree of the senate. Under the Empire the title, which was seldom conferred by Augustus, was granted for the last time by Tiberius 22 a.d. It was usually followed by a triumph, and ceased when the triumph was over. As a permanent title, it was first assumed by Caesar, whose adopted son and heir Octa-vian bore it as an inherited cognomen, and from the year B.C. 40 onwards, ac­cording to a custom that arose at that time, substituted it for his previous prce-nomen Gaius, thus becoming Imperator Caesar, instead of Csesar Imperator. His immediate successors, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius abstained from using this prcunomen ; Nero used it frequently, but it first became permanent with Vespasian. The emperors also took the title Imperator, in its earlier signification, after a victory won by themselves or on their behalf.

ImpSrlum. The full kingly power among the Romans, the royal authority over all members of the state. It was conferred on the newly elected king by the cOmltia cilrldta, a formal assembly of the patri­cians comprising the curia;, and it con­sisted of the rights of levying the citizens for military service, of leading the army, of celebrating a triumph, of exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction, and of inflicting punishment on the citizens, whether cor­poral or capital, or such as affected either their property or their liberty. A symbol of this authority was the axe and the bundle of rods borne by the lictors. (See fasces.)

At the establishment of the Republic the imperium was transferred to the two consuls, as the successors of the kings; but the full power of the imperium was then limited by the fact that both possessed the same power, and that, in the penalties they inflicted in times of peace, they were sub­ject to the right of appeal (see, provocatio), and to the intervention of the tribunes of the people, after the institution of that office. When the consulship was deprived i of its civil jurisdiction and the praetorship instituted for this purpose, the praetors also received the imperium ; nevertheless it was more limited (minus) than that of the consuls, who, in contrast with the praetors and all other magistrates except the tribunes, had the right of ordering and forbidding. The imperium in its un­divided and unlimited form was con­ferred on those who in exceptional cases

were appointed dictators. It was also possessed by the inta-rex, but for five days only. For consuls and praetors the impe­rium could be " prorogued," i.e. prolonged beyond their time of office; but the impe­rium thus prolonged was finitum, i.e. bounded within the limits of their province. In the Republic it could also be conferred by means of the comitia curiata, but this act fell into a mere formality. Under the Empire the term imperium included the highest military authority, which resided in. the emperor and was the foundation of all his power. It was taken up either at the instance of the senate or the troops. Its full validity depended on its recognition by both.

Impluvium. A depression in the floor of the Roman atrium made for the purpose of receiving the rain which came in through the open roof. (See house.)

In&chns. The most ancient king of Argos, properly the god of the river of the same name, son of Oceanus and Tethys, and father of Phoroneus and lo. After the flood of Deucalion, he is said to have led the inhabitants down from the mountains to the plains, and when Poseidon and Hera contended for the possession of the land, he decided in favour of the latter. In punishment for this Poseidon made the rivers of Argos suffer from a scarcity of water.

Incubarg (Gr. enkoimasthai). Specially used of sleeping in a sanctuary where ora­cular responses were sought through dreams or necromancy. (See oracles.) It was with a view to obtaining in a dream a reve­lation either from the god of the sanctuary, or by conjuring up the spirit of some dead person. Certain preliminaries had generally to be performed, in particular the sacrifice of some animal, on whose skin it was often customary to sleep. These incubations, which were in vogue among the Greeks from the earliest times, but were not extensively practised among the Romans until under the Empire, generally took place in the temple of jEsculapius, the god of healing.

IndlgeteS. Roman deities of uncertain import. They appear to have been local heroes, who ranked beneath the gods, such as Evander, ^Eneas, and Romulus.

Indigltamenta. The Latin term for an official collection of forms of prayer be­longing to the libri pontiflcti (see ponti-fex). In them were set forth the various powers of each god who was to be sum­moned to aid in particular cases; and none

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