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manubiae


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Roman military term, meaning that part of the booty legitimately appropriated by an army commander as holder of imperium, and of which he was free to dispose as he wished without any legal restrictions. Custom rather than legal rule dictated the amount and type of booty defined as manubiae. The commander traditionally expended much of the proceeds of booty in distributions to his troops. Payments were also made to officers—legates, tribunes, quaestors, and even to relatives and friends of the commander, though usually to those who had taken part in the war. Commanders often used manubiae to celebrate their own name through the construction of public buildings and the provision of games and largess for the people. Augustus suggested that distinguished commanders who had held a triumph could use their manubiae to help finance public road‐projects. After 19 bc full triumphs were no longer awarded to senators, and the custom of manubiae probably fell into disuse, all booty coming under the control of the emperor as commander‐in‐chief.

Subjects: Classical studies


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