seems to mean that which is determined in
a particular case after examination or consideration. It is thus applied to
a resolution of the senate.
of the senate would seem to differ
from a senatusconsultum,
in that it was limited to
the special occasion and circumstances instead of being of general
application. But this distinction in the use of the two words, as applied to
an act of the senate, is not consistently observed.
Cicero (Cic. Fam. 13.56
) opposes edictum
between which there is in this passage apparently the same analogy as
between a consultum
of the senate. [p. 1.603]
is the technical term for the decision
and order which a magistrate gives in a particular case after an inquiry
into its circumstances (causae cognitio
is said condemnare
word being appropriate in judicial proceedings to a magistrate who has
as one of the kinds of imperial constitutions, was a
judicial decision in a case before the emperor in his capacity of supreme
magistrate; cases were brought into the imperial court (consistorium principis
) by supplicationes
The interpretations of law laid down by the emperor in his decreta
were, as a rule, binding on all courts in subsequent
cases (tuis decretis, imperator, exempla publice valitura in
perpetuum sanciuntur. . . . Tu, ubi quid in singulos decernis, ibi
universos exemplo adstringis. . . . Quare si hoc decretum tibi
proconsulis placuerit, formam dederis omnibus omnium provinciarum
magistratibus, quid in ejusmodi causis decernant,
Fronto ad M. Caesarem,
1.6). Thus the emperor by his decreta
could make new laws. (Dig.
Paulus wrote a work in six books on decreta,
under the title “Imperiales Sententiae in cognitionibus
prolatae.” (Savigny, Syst.
1, § §
23, 24; Puchta, Inst.
ii. pp. 867-873.)