shorthand writers, were slaves or freedmen
(see preceding article) whom wealthy Romans kept in their service and often
took about with them on their travels (Plin. Ep.
; Mart. 10.62
). They were employed for taking notes in the
law-courts (Mart. 5.51
, &c.), and were
sometimes called actuarii
(Suet. Jul. 55
). They were also employed by the
emperors (Lamprid. Alex. Sev.
14), and in course of time the title of
was exclusively applied to the
private secretaries of the emperors, who, of course, were no longer slaves,
but persons of high rank. The shorthand writers were now called exceptores.
On the re-organisation of the empire by
Constantine, the notarii
were constituted into
a kind of imperial chancery, who, in addition to their regular duties, were
frequently employed by the emperor on important public missions. The first
of them in rank was called Primicerius
and the second, Secundicerius
Others were called tribuni et
and another class domestici et
who probably acted specially as private secretaries
of the emperors. Others again who served under the Praefecti Praetorii were
called Notarii Praetoriani
(Cod. Theod. 6, tit.
10; Cassiod. Var.
6.16; Pauly, Real Encycl.
v.; Becker-Göll, Gallus,
Gesch. des römischen Rechts,
§ 345, 2nd