previous next


MEDDIX TUTICUS (= “community manager” ) was the chief magistrate among Oscan or Sabellian communities. Hence we find the title at Capua after the Samnites wrested the dominion of that city from the Greeks. The word appears as Medix in the MSS. of Liv. 23.35, varied by Maedix 24.19 and Media 26.6. The double consonant, however, appears in Festus and in most inscriptions, as meddies, μεδδειξ, metdiss. Mommsen (Unterit. Dial. p. 278) considers that the first syllable is naturally short (as evidenced by the Greek ε), and derives it from the same root as mederi: Curtius suggests, but on the whole rejects, μέδω, to which however there would be no objection if there is merely a doubled d. It was clearly the Oscan name for a magistrate who might be alone in office or one of many. So Ennius gives us “Summus ibi capitur meddix occiditur alter,” but that does not prove that the title Meddix belongs only or specially to a dual magistracy. The inscriptions give us two meddices at Messana (Mommsen, l.c.), but in most Sabellian communities, as far as we can gather, there was only one: possibly, as Mommsen (Staatsrecht, 3.581) suggests, the dual constitution at Messana was owing to Roman influence. We have the qualifying word Tuticus added at Capua (Livy), at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Bovianum (see the inscriptions cited by Mommsen), and this word is probably connected with Umbrian and Oscan words for town, tauta, tota, touta (Curtius, Gr. Etym. p. 225): so that the title means chief magistrate of the town, and seems to imply that the word meddix alone might be used of other magistrates. We have no means of ascertaining the precise limits of his jurisdiction, which, moreover, may have varied in different towns, but a good deal may be gathered from the accounts of Capua preserved in Livy. This town became subject to Rome B.C. 329 with caerite rights, i.e. civitas sine suffragio (Liv. 8.14), and consequently had not autonomy, but kept its own senate and magistrates (see Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, 1.369; Staatsrecht, 3.581), perhaps with some coordinate jurisdiction of Roman officials. We learn from Livy that the meddix was annually elected, as summus magistratus Campanis, and, like sole periodical magistrates in more modern and larger states, had the reproach of seeking by all means the popular vote; he summoned the senate, presided at religious rites, and (during the revolt) appointed commanders of troops and acted himself as general (probably one of his original functions): the office ceased with the Second Punic War. (Liv. 23.4; 24.19; 26.6. See also Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, 1.255; Staatsrecht, 3.581, and index; Unterital. Dialecte, p. 277 f.; Marquardt, Staatsverwalt. 1.30 ff.)

[W.S] [G.E.M]

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 8, 14
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 24, 19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 35
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 4
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 6
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: