2.5 Roman Law Form
Article 56 - District
A District was an administrative division of one (1) or more aggregated provinces of the Roman Empire introduced by Emperor Diocletian (284-305 CE) at the end of the 3rd Century CE and formally abolished by Constantine around 313 CE through the Edict of Milan.
Under Emperor Diocletian, a District was headed by as a new administrative position of Visitor. A District was then aggregated into even larger regions called Prefectures headed by a “praefectus”. Four (4) Prefectures in total were created, with two (2) in the Western Empire (Gaul and Italy) administered by a Caesar Augustus and two (2) in the Eastern Empire (Illyricum and the Oriens) administered by a separate Caesar Augustus. From 286 CE:
(i) the Capital of the Western Roman Empire was the inland City of Mediolanum, also known as Milan in the North-West of Italy. The city lost its importance by 320 CE onwards to the newly commissioned western coastal capital Antepolis (Aντeπολις) between present day Cannes and Nice in southern France; and
(ii) the Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was the coastal City of Nicomedia, also known as Ismit in the northwestern region of Anatolia and around sixty (60) miles east of Constantinople. The city lost its importance after 325 CE with the newly commissioned eastern coastal capital of Anteokhos (Aντeοχος) later named “Constantinople” in the 11th Century.
The word Visitor originates from 3rd Century CE Latin visitor meaning “administrative region”. The Latin word Visitor comes from the Latin vis meaning “power, force, strength, energy, vigor, quantity” and iter meaning “way, journey, travel, march, go to, route”. Hence, the literal etymological meaning of Visitor from the beginning is “to go and see often with the power, force and strength of authority; to survey with the power, force and strength of authority”.
The claim that Emperor Diocletian introduced the position of “Vicarius” which means “alternate, proxy, head servant” instead of “visitor” is deliberately false and misleading, designed to confuse the historic first use of the word under the founding of the Catholic Church by the Carolingians in the 741 CE and coronation of the first Vicarius Christi in 751 CE in Rome.
At its administrative height, there were fifteen (15) Districts being:
(i) Districts of Gaul, Vienne, Spain and Britain as part of the Prefecture of Gaul; and
(ii) Districts of Suburbicarian of Italy, Annonarian of Italy, Africa and Pannonia as part of the Prefecture of Italiae; and
(iii) Districts of Dacia, Macedonia as part of the Prefecture of Illyricum; and
(iv) Districts of Thrace, Asia, Pontus, East and Egypt as part of the Prefecture of the Oriens.
The Capital of the prefecture of Gaul (Praefectura Praetorio Gallarium) was the city of Augusta Trevetorum, also known as Trier until it was stripped of this honor by Constantine and the capital of the newly formed Holly Roman Exarch became Galatia (Arles) on the French coast northwest of present day Marseille.
The Capital of the prefecture of Italiae (Praefectura Praetorio Italiae) was the city of Rome from 286 CE until it was stripped of this honor by Constantine in 313 CE and the capital of the newly formed Holly Roman Exarch became Philadelphia (Ravenna) on the Adriatic Sea in North - east Italy.
The Capital of the prefecture of Illyricum (Praefectura Praetorio Illyricum) was the city of Sirmium, thirty five (35) miles west of modern Belgrade, Serbia until it was stripped of this honor by Constantine in 313 CE and the capital of the newly formed Holly Roman Exarch became Philippi (Thessalonica) on the Aegean Sea in Northern Greece and Macedonia.
The Capital of the prefecture of Oriens (Praefectura Praetorio Oriens) was the city of Nicomedia which was also the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. It lost its status as a capital of a prefecture to Ephesus on the west coast of Anatolia as the capital of the new Holly Roman Exarch.