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lēgātĭo , ōnis, f. 1. lego,
I.the sending of an ambassador; hence, the office of an ambassador, an embassy, legation.
I. Lit.
B. In partic.
1. Libera legatio, a free legation, i. e. permission granted to a senator to visit one or more provinces on his private affairs in the character of an ambassador, but without performing the duties of one (such an embassy was called free, because while it lasted the holder of it was at liberty to come to the city of Rome and leave it again without resigning his office): “negotiorum suorum causa legatus est in Africam legatione libera,Cic. Fam. 12, 21: “habent opinor liberae legationes definitum tempus lege Julia,id. Att. 15, 11; “called simply legatio,id. Leg. 3, 8, 18; id. Fl. 34: “qui libera legatione abest, non videtur rei publicae causa abesse: hic enim non publici causa, sed sui abest,Dig. 50, 7, 14.—
2. Legatio votiva, a free embassy assumed for the purpose (often a mere pretext) of paying a vow in a province, Cic. Att. 4, 2 fin.; 15, 8; 15, 11.—
3. The charge of a legatus Augusti (v. legatus, B. 2.), Tac. Agr. 9; v. Orell. ad h. l.—
II. Transf., the persons attached to an embassy, an embassy, legation: “communem legationem ad Crassum mittunt,Caes. B. G. 3, 8: “cujus legationis Divico princeps fuit,id. ib. 1, 13: “quas legationes Caesar ad se reverti jussit,id. ib. 2, 35: “ab Eumene legatio de victoria gratulatum venit,Liv. 45, 13.
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