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pŏtestas , ātis (
I.gen. plur. potestatium, Sen. Ep. 115, 7; Plin. 29, 4, 20, § 67), f. possum.
B. In phrases.
1. Esse in potestate alicujus, to be in one's power, under one's control, to be subject to (for a description of the relation of potestas under the Roman law, and of the classes of persons to whom it applied, v. Gai. Inst. 1, 49 sqq.): “mittuntur legati, qui nuntient, ut sit in senatūs populique Romani potestate,Cic. Phil. 6, 2, 4: “esse in dicione ac potestate alicujus,id. Quint. 2, 6: habere familiam in potestate, to keep them slaves, not to free them, Liv. 8, 15.—
2. Esse in suā potestate, to be one's own master, Nep. Att. 6, 1; so, “esse suae potestatis,Liv. 31, 45.—
3. Jus potestatemque habere imperandi, Cic. Phil. 11, 12, 30; cf.: “cum consulis de re jus ac potestatem esse dixisset,had jurisdiction and authority over it, Liv. 24, 39.—
4. Est mea (tua, etc.) potestas, I have the power, I can, Cic. Att. 2, 5, 1; Ter. Heaut. 4, 3, 42; cf.: “sed volui meam potestatem esse vel petendi, etc.,Cic. Att. 4, 2, 6.—
II. In partic.
A. Political power, dominion, rule, empire, sovereignty (syn.: “imperium, dicio): Thessaliam in potestatem Thebanorum redigere,Nep. Pelop. 5, 1; Liv. 24, 31; so, “sub potestatem Atheniensium redigere,Nep. Milt. 1, 4: “esse in potestate alicujus,Cic. Verr. 2, 2, 54, § 136: “tenere aliquem in suā potestate ac dicione,id. ib. 2, 1, 38, § “97: venire in arbitrium ac potestatem alicujus,id. ib. 2, 1, 57, § 150.—
b. Transf.
(α). A person in office, a public officer, magistrate: “a magistratu aut ab aliquā potestate legitimā evocatus,by some lawful authority, Cic. Tusc. 1, 30, 74: “mavis Fidenarum esse potestas,Juv. 10, 100.—
(β). A ruler, supreme monarch: “hominum rerumque aeterna potestas,” i. e. Jupiter, Verg. A. 10, 18: “nihil est quod credere de se Non possit, cum laudatur dis aequa potestas,Juv. 4, 71 (v. context): potestates, = ἀρχαί, the highest magistrates, Plin. 9, 8, 8, § 26; Suet. Ner. 36; Amm. 31, 12, 5: “celsae potestates,officers of state, id. 14, 1, 10: “jurisdictionem potestatibus per provincias demandare,Suet. Claud. 23.—
D. Of inanimate things, power, force, efficacy, effect, operation, virtue, value: “potestates colorum,Vitr. 7, 14: “potestates visque herbarum,Verg. A. 12, 396; Plin. 25, 2, 5, § 9: “pecuniarum,value, Dig. 13, 4, 3: “haec potestatibus praesentibus dijudicanda sunt,circumstances, state of things, Gell. 1, 3, 24: “actionum vis et potestas,Dig. 9, 4, 1: “quaternarius numerus suis partibus complet decadis ipsius potestatem (because the first four integers, taken together, = 10),compass, fulness, Mart. Cap. 2, § 106: “plumbi potestas,nature, quality, properties, Lucr. 5, 1242: “naturalis,Vitr. 9, 4.—
E. Of a word, meaning, signification (syn.: “vis, significatio),Gell. 10, 29, 1; Auct. Her. 4, 54, 67; Sen. Ben. 2, 34, 4.—
F. Math. t. t., = δύναμις, the square root, Mart. Cap. 2, § 106.—
III. Trop.
A. Power, control, command (class.): dum ex tanto gaudio in potestatem nostram redeamus, recover our self-control, come to ourselves, Cato ap. Gell. 7, 3, 14: “exisse ex potestate dicimus eos, qui effrenati feruntur aut libidine, aut iracundiā,to have lost the control of their reason, to be out of their minds, Cic. Tusc. 3, 5, 11; cf.: “qui exisse ex potestate dicuntur, idcirco dicuntur, quia non sunt in potestate mentis, cui regnum totius animi a natura tributum est,id. ib. 3, 5, 11; cf. also id. ib. 4, 36, 77: “postquam ad te cum omnium rerum tum etiam tui potestatem di transtulerint,Plin. Pan. 56, 3.—
B. Power, ability, possibility, opportunity (class.; cf.: “copia, facultas): ubi mihi potestas primum evenit,Plaut. Cist. 1, 2, 18: “liberius vivendi,Ter. And. 1, 1, 25: “ut primum potestas data est augendae dignitatis tuae,Cic. Fam. 10, 13, 1: quoties mihi certorum hominum potestas erit (al. facultas), whenever I find men on whom I can rely, id. ib. 1, 7, 1: facere potestatem, to give opportunity, leave, permission: “si quid de his rebus dicere vellet, feci potestatem,id. Cat. 3, 5, 11: “quae potestas si mihi saepius fiet, utar,shall present itself, id. Phil. 1, 15, 38: “alicui potestatem optionemque facere, ut, etc.,id. Div. in Caecil. 14, 45: “facio tibi interpellandi potestatem,id. Rosc. Am. 27, 73: “ego instare, omnium mihi tabularum et litterarum fieri potestatem oportere,must be allowed the use of, Cic. Verr. 2, 4, 66, § 149: potestatem sui facere, to allow others to see or have access to one, to give an opportunity of conversing with one: “cum neque praetores diebus aliquot adiri possent vel potestatem sui facerent,allowed themselves to be spoken to, id. Q. Fr. 1, 2, 5, § 15: “facere omnibus conveniendi sui potestatem,to admit to an audience, id. Phil. 8, 10, 31: “qui potestatem sui non habuissent,who had not been able to speak with him, Suet. Tib. 34: “potestatem sui facere,to give an opportunity of fighting with one, Caes. B. G. 1, 40; Nep. Ages. 3, 3.—Poet., with inf.: “non fugis hinc praeceps, dum praecipitare potestas,Verg. A. 4, 565: “nunc flere potestas est,Luc. 2, 40: “soli cui tanta potestas meis occurrere telis,Stat. Th. 3, 296.—
IV. In eccl. Lat.: “potestates,angels, angelic powers, authorities in the spiritual world, Vulg. Ephes. 6, 12; id. 1 Pet. 3, 22; sing., id. 1 Cor. 15, 24.—
V. Personified, a daughter of Pallas and Styx, Hyg. Fab. prooem.
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