Reception or audience at the Roman court. At first all visitors were admitted without
distinction to the atria
of their wealthy friends. According to Seneca,
C. Gracchus and Livius Drusus were the first to receive some privately and others in a limited
number, doubtless for political reasons. Afterwards these distinctions became the rule, and it
was the exception for any one to open his doors to all comers. Under the Empire, friends were
distinguished as amici admissionis primae, secundae
, etc. The first alone
could enter without delay, and could pay a separate visit. The rest had to await, and
sometimes to purchase, the favour of the porter. At the imperial court there was a body of
slaves and freedmen acting as the introducers of visitors (officium
, Suet. Vesp. 14
), who were
known as admissionales.
The head of the officium
was the magister admissionum
, subordinate himself to
the magister officiorum.
The magister admissionum
himself introduced the most exalted visitors; and, at least in the time of Justinian, none
were introduced by the admissionales
but such as were illustres.