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VIA´TICUM (ἐφόδιον) is, properly speaking, everything necessary for a person setting out on a journey, and thus comprehends money, provisions, dresses, vessels, &c. (Plaut. Epid. 5.1, 9; Plin. Ep. 7.12; Cic. de Senect. 18, 66). When a Roman magistrate, praetor, proconsul, or quaestor went to his province, or an envoy on any mission from the senate, the state provided him with all that was necessary for his journey. Hence the provision is called also legativum (Dig. 50, 4, 18, 12). But as the state in this as in most other cases of expenditure preferred paying a sum at once to having any part in the actual business, the state engaged contractors (redemptores), who for a stipulated sum had to provide the magistrates with the viaticum, the principal parts of which appear to have been beasts of burden and tents (Liv. 41.1; D. C. 53.15). Augustus once for all fixed a sum in proportion to their rank to be given to magistrates on setting out for their provinces, so that the redemptores had no more to do with it, nor had any vote to be passed (Cic. Fam. 12.3; Verr. 1.22, 60;--Suet. Aug. 36; Gel. 17.2, 13; D. C. 52.23, 53.15). The power of demanding these supplies was warranted by the insignia of the magistrates. Envoys were accredited by their ring (Zonar. 8.6; LEGATUS p. 24 b). See also Mommsen, Staatsrecht, 1.301.

[L.S] [G.E.M]

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