Dux

Dux

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Dux'
Start a new discussion about 'Dux'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Dux is Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for leader (from the verb ducere, 'to lead') and later for Duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

 and its variant forms (Doge
Doge
Doge is a dialectal Italian word that descends from the Latin dux , meaning "leader", especially in a military context. The wife of a Doge is styled a Dogaressa....

, Duce
Duce
Duce is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and cognate with duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce of the movement and became a reference to the dictator position of Head of Government and Duce of Fascism of Italy was established...

, etc.).

During the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

, dux could refer to anyone who commanded troops, including foreign leaders, but was not a formal military rank. In writing his commentaries
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting local armies in Gaul that opposed Roman domination.The "Gaul" that Caesar...

 on the Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. They lasted from 58 BC to 51 BC. The Gallic Wars culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the...

, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 uses the term only for Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic generals, with one exception for a Roman commander who held no official rank.

Roman empire


Until the third century AD, dux was not a formal expression of rank within the Roman military or administrative hierarchy.
In the Roman military, a Dux would be a general in charge of two or more legions. While the title of Dux could refer to a consul
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 or imperator
Imperator
The Latin word Imperator was originally a title roughly equivalent to commander under the Roman Republic. Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French Empreur...

, it usually refers to the Roman governor
Roman governor
A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law throughout one or more of the many provinces constituting the Roman Empire...

 of the provinces
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

. As the governor, the Dux was both the highest civil official as well as the commander-in-chief of the legions
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 garrisoned within the province.

However, during the time of the Dominate
Dominate
The Dominate was the "despotic" latter phase of government in the ancient Roman Empire from the conclusion of the Third Century Crisis of 235–284 until the formal date of the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476. It followed the period known as the Principate...

, the powers of a Dux were split from the role of the governor and were given to a new office called "Dux". The Dux was still the highest military office within the province and commanded the legions, but the governor had to authorize the use of the Dux's powers. But once authorized, the Dux could act independently from the governor and handled all military matters. An example would be the Dux per Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica was a Roman province located in what is now the southern part of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, northeastern France, and western Germany. The indigenous population of Gallia Belgica, the Belgae, consisted of a mixture of Celtic and Germanic tribes...

 who was the Dux of the province of Gallia Belgica.

From Diocletian's Tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

 reform, the provinces were organized into dioceses each administered by a vicarius
Vicarius
Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar" and cognate to the Persian word most familiar in the variant vizier....

. As with the governors, the vicarius was assisted by a Dux. This Dux was superior to all of other Duces within the dioceses and when the vicarius called the legions of the dioceses into action, all of the legions were at the Dux's command. An example would be the Dux per Gallia who was the Dux of the dioceses of Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

. The office of Dux was, in turn, made subject to the Magister Militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

 of his respective Praetorian prefecture
Praetorian prefecture
The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman Empire, above the mid-level dioceses and the low-level provinces. Praetorian prefectures originated in the reign of Constantine I The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman...

, and above him to the emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

.

In the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 era of the Roman Empire, the position of Dux survived (Byzantine Greek
Medieval Greek
Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the beginning of the Middle Ages around 600 and the Ottoman conquest of the city of Constantinople in 1453. The latter date marked the end of the Middle Ages in Southeast Europe...

: "δούξ", doux, plural "δούκες", doukes) as a rank equivalent to a general (strategos
Strategos
Strategos, plural strategoi, is used in Greek to mean "general". In the Hellenistic and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor...

). In the late 10th and early 11th centuries, a doux or katepano
Katepano
The katepánō was a senior Byzantine military rank and office. The word was Latinized as capetanus/catepan, and its meaning seems to have merged with that of the Italian "capitaneus"...

was in charge of large circumscriptions consisting of several smaller themata and of the professional regiments (tagma
Tagma (military)
The tagma is a term for a military unit of battalion or regiment size. The best-known and most technical use of the term however refers to the elite regiments formed by Byzantine emperor Constantine V and comprising the central army of the Byzantine Empire in the 8th–11th centuries.-History and...

ta
) of the Byzantine army
Byzantine army
The Byzantine army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct descendant of the Roman army, the Byzantine army maintained a similar level of discipline, strategic prowess and organization...

 (as opposed to the largely militia-like forces of most themata). In the Komnenian period, the title of doux replaced altogether the strategos in designating the military official in charge of a thema. In the Byzantine navy
Byzantine navy
The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a direct continuation from its imperial Roman predecessor, but played a far greater role in the defense and survival of the state then its earlier iterations...

, doukes of the fleet appear in the 1070s, and the office of megas doux
Megas Doux
The megas doux was one of the highest positions in the hierarchy of the later Byzantine Empire, denoting the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy. It is sometimes also given by the half-Latinizations megaduke or megadux...

("grand duke") was created in the 1090s as the commander-in-chief of the entire navy
Byzantine navy
The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a direct continuation from its imperial Roman predecessor, but played a far greater role in the defense and survival of the state then its earlier iterations...

.

Post-Roman uses



King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

, in one of his earliest literary appearances, is described as dux bellorum ("dux of battles") among the kings of the Romano-Britons
Romano-British
Romano-British culture describes the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest of AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and...

 in their wars against the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

.

Dux is also the root of various high feudal noble titles of peerage rank, such as (via the French duc) the English duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

, the Spanish and Portuguese duque, the Venetian
Venetian language
Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia...

 doge
Doge
Doge is a dialectal Italian word that descends from the Latin dux , meaning "leader", especially in a military context. The wife of a Doge is styled a Dogaressa....

the Italian duca
Duca
Duca can refer to:*DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd. a credit union serving the greater Toronto Area in Canada* Michael Duca, current Catholic Bishop of Shreveport*a Romanesque title of duke, notably in Italian...

and duce
Duce
Duce is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and cognate with duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce of the movement and became a reference to the dictator position of Head of Government and Duce of Fascism of Italy was established...

and the modern Greek doukas (δούκας).

Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 used the title of Dux (and Duce
Duce
Duce is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and cognate with duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce of the movement and became a reference to the dictator position of Head of Government and Duce of Fascism of Italy was established...

in Italian) to represent his leadership. One fascist-motto was "DVX MEA LVX" in Latin letters, meaning "Duce is my light".

Education

  • In schools in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Iceland, Dux is a modern title given to the top student in academic and sporting achievement (Dux Litterarum and Dux Ludorum respectively) in each graduating year. In this usage, Dux is similar to the American concept of a valedictorian
    Valedictorian
    Valedictorian is an academic title conferred upon the student who delivers the closing or farewell statement at a graduation ceremony. Usually, the valedictorian is the highest ranked student among those graduating from an educational institution...

    . The runner-up may be given the title Proxime Accessit (meaning "he came next") or Semidux, but is often not regarded as highly as his superior.
  • In Portuguese
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     universities the Dux is the most senior of students, usually in charge of overseeing the Praxe
    Praxe
    The Portuguese term praxe describes the whole of student traditions in universities or, more often, to the initiation rituals freshmen are subjected to in some Portuguese universities....

     (initiation
    Initiation
    Initiation is a rite of passage ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components...

     ritual
    Ritual
    A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

    s for the freshmen
    Freshman
    A freshman or fresher is a first-year student in secondary school, high school, or college. The term first year can also be used as a noun, to describe the students themselves A freshman (US) or fresher (UK, India) (or sometimes fish, freshie, fresher; slang plural frosh or freshmeat) is a...

    ).