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MANCEPS has the same relation to mancipium that auspex has to auspicium, and in its original sense = is qui manu capit or qui mancipat; that is, it means an acquirer or purchaser of a thing by the form of conveyance called mancipium or mancipatio (mancipio accipiens, see MANCIPIUM; cf. Tertull. Apolog. 11). But at. an early time the word was also used to signify party conveying by mancipation (mancipio dans), in which sense it is equivalent to emanceps (Plaut. Curc. 4, 2, 29).

From its original meaning manceps derived several special significations. It frequently means a person who purchases or hires a thing at a public auction. Mancipes were they who bid at the public lettings of the censors for the purpose of farming any part of the public property (Festus, s. v. Manceps: “Manceps dicitur qui quid a populo emit conducitve quia,” &c.). Sometimes the chief of the Publicani generally are meant by this term, as they were the bidders for the public revenue and gave the [p. 2.117]security, and then they shared the undertaking with others or underlet it (Ascon. ad Div. in Caecil. 10, 33). These mancipes would accordingly have distinctive names, according to the kind of revenue which they took on lease, as Decumani, Portitores, Pecuarii. Suetonius ( Vesp. 1) says that the father of Petro was a manceps of labourers (operae), who went yearly from Umbria to Sabinum to cultivate the land; that is, he hired them from their masters and paid so much for the use of them, as has been often done in slave countries. Conductores Thermarum et Salinarum are called mancipes in the Theodosian Code (14, 5, 1). The word is also used in the Theodosian Code to denote a class of public officials (8, 5, 53; 60, 24, 65, mancipes locorum). In one place of this Code (14, 16, 2) manceps means a manager or manciple of a public bakery. (See Forcellini, Lex.; Dirksen, Manuale, s. v.; and Voigt, XII. Tafeln, 2.84, n. 4.)

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