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What's the meaning of the word PRINCEPS?

PRINCEPS, ICIPIS is an adjective and noun, compound of PRIMUS,A,UM + CAPIO,IS, CEPI, CAPTUM , ERE

When approaching a sentence or a set text, we are instinctively reminded of the English word PRINCE: well done, because that's where the word PRINCE comes from. But pay attention, because PRINCEPS does not have the same meaning as the word PRINCEPS.

PRINCEPS, ICIPIS has three main meanings:

1. in the Roman military, PRINCIPES were the soldiers occupying the second row, behind the HASTATI

2. in the SENATUS, the PRINCEPS SENATUS was the most important member, the first to vote after the MAGISTRATUS and chosen by the CENSORES

3. Between 27 B.C. (CAESAR AUGUSTUS ruling) and 285/305 A.C. ( DIOCLETIANUS ruling) the term was used to designate the Roman emperors, under what was called the PRINCIPATUS. Augustus was the first to be appointed this title, as part of a political programme that aimed to retain as many elements, roles and traditions of the "Old Rome" as possible: in this particular case, he preferred to REX or DICTATOR the term PRINCEPS (senatus, civitatis) as it immediatly connected him with one of the most important offices in the Republican era.

Each time you are faced with this word, you must pay attention to the CONTEXT (Who is writing? When are they writing? What are they writing about?) in order to choose the best meaning.

ELENA M. GCSE Italian tutor, IB Italian tutor, A Level Italian tutor,...

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