an interpreter. This class of persons became very
numerous and necessary to the Romans as their empire extended. Embassies
from foreign nations to Rome, and from Rome to other states, were generally
accompanied by interpreters to explain the objects of the embassy to the
respective authorities (Cic. de Divin.
131, de Finib.
5.29, 89; Plin.
; Liv. 27.43
). In large mercantile towns the
interpreters, who formed a kind of agents through whom business was done,
were sometimes very numerous, and Pliny (Plin.
) states that at Dioscurias in Colchis there were at one
time no less than 130 persons who acted as interpreters to the Roman
merchants, and through whom all the business was carried on.
All Roman praetors, proconsuls, and quaestors who were entrusted with the
administration of a province, had to carry on all their official proceedings
in the Latin language (V. Max. 2.2.2
); but as
the provincials could not be expected to know this language, they had always
among their servants [APPARITORES
] one or more interpreters (hired in the province, not
brought from Rome), who were generally Romans, but in most cases undoubtedly
freedmen (Cic. pro Balb. 11
28). These interpreters had not only to officiate at the conventus [CONVENTUS
], but also explained
to the Roman governor everything which the provincials might wish to be laid
before him (Cic. in Verr.
, 84, ad Fam.
13.54; Caes. Bell.
1.19; compare Dirksen, Civil. Abhandl.