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PRIMICE´RIUS a name given to various officers and dignitaries under the later Roman empire, is explained by:Suidas (s. v.) to be the person who holds the first rank in anything. The etymology of the word is doubtful: it is supposed that a person was called Primicerius because his name stood first in the wax (cera), that is, the tablet made of wax, which contained a list of persons of any rank.

The word Primicerius does not seem. to have been always applied to the person who was at the head of any department of the state or army, but also to the one second in command or authority; as, for instance, the Primicerius Sacri Cubiculi, who was under the Praepositus Sacri Cubiculi. [PRAEPOSITUS] Various Primicerii are mentioned, as the Primicerius Domesticorum and Protectorum (Cod. 12, 17, 2), Fabricae (Cod. 11, 9, 2), Mensorum (Cod. 12, 28, 1), Notariorum (Cod. 12, 7), &c.


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