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CODEX dim. CODICILLUS (the older form was caudex: Cato, ap. Front. Epist. ad M. Anton. 1.2). The word originally signified the trunk or stem of a tree (Verg. G. 2.30; Ov. Met. 12.432; Col. 12.19.5; Plin. Nat. 16.121), and was hence applied to designate anything composed of pieces of wood.

1. A log of wood, attached as a punishment to the feet of slaves, which they dragged with them, and on which they also sat sometimes. (Plaut. Poen. 5.3, 39; Prop. iv. (v.) 7, 41; Juv. 2.57.)

2. Boats on the Tiber, which may originally have been like the Indian canoes, or were constructed [p. 1.465]of several roughly hewn planks nailed together in a rude and simple manner, were called naves caudicariae, or codicariae, or caudiceae. (Fest. p. 46 M.; Varr., Sall. ap. Non. p. 535, 13; Sen. Brev. Vit. 13, 4.) The surname of Caudex given to Appius Claudius must be traced to this signification. (Sen. l.c.) In later times the name was given to ships employed in transporting the corn from Ostia to Rome; and the sailors engaged in this traffic, called caudicarii or codicarii, formed a corporation. (Cod. Theod. 14, 4, 9; 14, 15, 1; Orelli, Inscr. 1084, 3178, 4072,; Marquardt, Röm. Staatsverw. ii. p. 110.)

3. The name of codex was given to wooden tablets bound together and lined with a coat of wax, for the purpose of writing upon them; and when, at a later age, parchment or paper or other materials were substituted for wood, and put together in the shape of a book, the name of codex was often used as synonymous with liber or book (Varr., Sen. l.c.; Cic. Ver. 1.46, § 119). It was the name more particularly given to an account book or ledger, codex accepti et expensi. (See following article.) (Dig. 32, 1, 52; Suet. Aug. 101.) In the time of Cicero we find it also applied to the tablet on which a bill was written; and the tribune, Cornelius, when one of his colleagues forbade his bill to be read by the herald or scribe, read it himself (legit codicem suum; Cic. in Vat. 2, § 5; Aston. Ped. in Argum. ad Cornel. p. 58, ed. Orelli). At a still later period, during the time of the emperors, the word was used to express any collection of laws or constitutions of the emperors, whether made by private individuals or by public authority. See the following articles.

The diminutive codicillus, or rather codicilli, was used much in the same way as codex. It originally signified tablets of the kind described above, and was subsequently employed to indicate any small book or document, made either of parchment or paper. (Cic. Phil. 8.10, § 28; ad Fam. 6.18.) Respecting its meaning in connexion with a person's testament, see TESTAMENTUM Under the empire we find in inscriptions persons designated as a codicillis or adjutor a codicillis, who were probably freedmen in the imperial house, having the management of property bequeathed by will (codicilli) to the emperor. (Orelli, Inscr. 2902, 2903.)


hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.119
    • Cicero, Against Vatinius, 2
    • Cicero, Philippics, 8.10
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.432
    • Vergil, Georgics, 2.30
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 101
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