Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning "substitute" or "deputy". It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar" and cognate to the Persian word most familiar in the variant "vizier".

Originally, in ancient Rome, this was an equivalent to the English "vice-" (as in "deputy"), used as part of the title of various officials. Each vicarius was assigned to a specific superior official, after whom his full title was generally completed by a genitive (e.g. "Vicarius Praetoris"). At a low level of society, the slave of a slave, possibly hired out to raise money to buy manumission, was a "servus vicarius". [P. R. C. Weaver, "Vicarius and Vicarianus in the Familia Caesaris" "The Journal of Roman Studies" 54.1 and 2 (1964:117-128). ]

Later, during the period of the Roman Empire known as the Dominate, a vicarius was the imperial deputy responsible for the lawfulness of a group of Roman provinces called a diocese. The title was used without a genitive, simply as "vicarius". This position was introduced under Emperor Diocletian who reformed the Roman Empire, collegially, into the Tetrarchy. Among other changes, the eastern and western empires were each divided into two large praetorian prefectures. Each of the four prefectures was run by a Praetorian Prefect and contained several subdivisions known as dioceses, which in turn were divided into provinces. The vicarius was the governor of a diocese, and was responsible for a number of provinces, each province with its own governor. The various prefectures, dioceses and provinces are listed systematically in their hierarchical groupings in the article Roman province.

According to the "Notitia dignitatum" (an early fifth century imperial chancery document), the Vicarius had the rank of Vir spectabilis; the staff of a vicarius, called his officium, was rather similar to a gubernatorial "officium". For example, in the diocese of Hispaniae, the people of his staff included:
* The "Princeps" (i.e. chief) of the scola agentum in rebus, from the salary class of the ducenari.
* A Cornicularius.
* Two Numerarii.
* A Commentariensis.
* An Adiutorem.
* An Ab actis.
* A Cura epistolarum.
* An unnamed number of Subadiuvae ('deputy assistants').
* Various Exceptores (lower clerks).
* Singulares et reliquum officium (various menial staff).

ources and references

*Notitia dignitatum
*Pauly-Wissowa (in German)

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  • Vicarĭus — (lat.), 1) (röm. Ant.), Untergeordneter des Praefectus praetorio; 2) der Statthalter einer Diöcese, s.d. 3); 3) Sklav, welchen ein anderer Sklav zur Leistung der ihm selbst obliegenden Geschäfte gedungen hatte; 4) s. Vicar …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Vicarius — Vicarĭus, s. Vikar; V. Petri, Selbstbezeichnung der Päpste seit 5. Jahrh., seit Hadrian I. stehender Titel …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Vicarius — Vicarius, lat., Vicar, Stellvertreter, Verweser, Hilfsgeistlicher; apostolischer Vicar, ein Prälat, der von dem Papste da aufgestellt wird, wo kein Bischof ist (z.B. in England bis 1851); Vicariat, Amtsverwesung; Vicariatsmünzen, die von den… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • vicarius — index deputy, proxy, representative (proxy), surrogate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • vicarius — vgl. vikariierend …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • Vicarius — Als Vicarius (Plural: Vicarii) wurde im römischen Reich ein Stellvertreter insbesondere eines Offiziers oder Beamten bezeichnet. Der deutsche Begriff Vikar leitet sich davon ab. Das Wort erscheint schon bei Cicero oder Livius. Die Funktion eines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vicarius — El vicarius fue a partir de Diocleciano el alto cargo de la administración imperial encargado de supervisar el funcionamiento de una diócesis o agrupamiento de provincias del Imperio romano en el siglo IV y el siglo V. El vicarius era nombrado… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vicarius — Vi|ca|ri|us [vik...] der; , ...rii <aus lat. vicarius »Stellvertreter«> spätantiker Verwaltungsbeamter; Vicarius Christi: ein Titel des Papstes …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Vicarius — * Es ist ein Vicarius. Als Redensart, verhüllende Bezeichnung eines Mannes, der das weibliche Geschlecht liebt …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

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