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A corrector (English plural correctors, Latin plural correctores) is a person or object practicing correction, usually by removing or rectifying errors.


The word is originally a Roman title corrector, derived from the Latin verb corrigere, meaning "to make straight, set right, bring into order."

Apart from the general sense of anyone who corrects mistakes, it has been used as, or part of (some commonly shortened again to Corrector), various specific titles and offices, sometimes quite distant from the original meaning.

Secular offices

Roman Antiquity

The office of corrector first appears during the Principate in the reign of Trajan (r. 98–117), for extraordinary officials of senatorial rank, who were tasked with investigating and reforming the administration in the provinces. To this end, they were entrusted with full imperium maius , which extended also to territories normally exempt from the authority of the Emperor's provincial governors: the free cities of the Greek East, the senatorial provinces, as well as Italy herself. [1] The full title of these officials, from their institution to the end of the 3rd century, was in Latin legatus Augusti pro praetore [missus] ad corrigendum [ordinandum] statum, in Greek rendered as πρεσβευτὴς καἰ ἀντιστράτηγος Σεβαστοῦ διορθωτὴς [or ἐπανορθωτὴς] (presbeutes kai antistrategos Sebastou diorthotes/epanorthotes). From the late 3rd century on, the title was increasingly, and afterwards exclusively, simplified as corrector in Latin and διορθωτὴς (or ἐπανορθωτὴς) in Greek. [1]

Principate first period of the Roman Empire

The Principate is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate.

Trajan Roman emperor from 98 to 117

Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He is also known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.

Roman Senate A political institution in ancient Rome

The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, being established in the first days of the city of Rome,. It survived the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, and the barbarian rule of Rome in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries.

The sending of correctores to the Greek free cities, as well as to Italy, which as a metropolitan territory formally enjoyed a status different from the provinces, began a process of slow degradation of their distinct legal status and their gradual assimilation to the "ordinary" provinces, a process completed with the reforms of Diocletian (r. 284–305). [1] Thus, at the start of the 4th century, all Italian districts (and Sicily) had a corrector as governor, although by the middle of the century most were replaced by governors with the rank of consularis . [1] In the administrative division as preserved in the Notitia Dignitatum , the correctores held the senatorial rank of vir clarissimus . Those of the West Roman Empire ranked between the consulares and the ordinary praesides , while in the East Roman Empire, they ranked below the praesides. [1]

Diocletian Roman Emperor from 284 to 305 A.C.N.

Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus' surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

Consularis is a Latin adjective indicating something pertaining to the consular office. In Ancient Rome it was a title given to those senators who held consular rank, i.e. who had served as consuls or who had received the rank as a special honour. In Late Antiquity, the title became also a gubernatorial rank for provincial governors.

According to the Notitia Dignitatum, ca. 400 the following provinces were under correctores:

Apulia and Calabria was a Late Roman province in Apulia and Calabria in southern Italy. Its capital was Canusium.

Pannonia Savia

Pannonia Savia or simply Savia, also known as Pannonia Ripariensis, was a Late Roman province. It was formed in the year 295, during the tetrarchy reform of Roman emperor Diocletian, and assigned to the civil diocese of Pannonia, which was attached in the fourth century to the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum, and later to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy.

Augustamnica (Latin) or Augoustamnike (Greek) was a Roman province of Egypt created during the 5th century and was part of the Diocese of Oriens first and then of the Diocese of Egypt, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in the 640s.

The corrector's staff ( officium ) is also specified: princeps officii, cornicularius , two tabularii, commentariensis, adiutor, ab actis, subadiuva; finally unspecified exceptores and 'other' cohortalini, i.e. menial staff. [4]

Two famous but extraordinary correctores were Odaenathus and his son Vaballathus, who rose to prominence after Emperor Valerian was defeated and captured by the Sassanid Persians in 260. [5] Odaenathus not only defended the frontier in the East, but succeeded in creating an almost independent state (known as the Palmyrene Empire, after its capital Palmyra), though it nominally remained within the Roman Empire. [5] For his efforts, he gained the title of corrector totius orientis, "Corrector of the Whole East". When he died, his son requested and obtained, after some years, the same title, but later styled himself Augustus ; Emperor Aurelian marched East to quash this open rebellion, defeating and capturing Vaballathus as well as his mother (and de facto ruler) Queen Zenobia.

Odaenathus Exarch of Palmyra

Septimius Odaenathus,, was the founder king (Mlk) of the Palmyrene Kingdom who ruled from Palmyra, Syria. He lifted the status of his city from that of a regional center subordinate to Rome to the supreme power in the east. Odaenathus was born into an aristocratic Palmyrene family that had received Roman citizenship in the 190s under the Severan dynasty. He was the son of Hairan, the descendant of Nasor. The circumstances surrounding his rise are ambiguous; he became the lord (ras) of the city, a position created for him, as early as the 240s and by 258, he was styled a consularis, indicating a high status in the Roman Empire.

Vaballathus King of Palmyra

Lucius Julius Aurelius Septimius Vaballathus Athenodorusc. 259–74 AD) was emperor of the Palmyrene Empire centered at Palmyra in the region of Syria. He came to power as a child under his regent mother Zenobia, who led a revolt against the Roman Empire and formed the independent Palmyrene Empire.

Valerian (emperor) Roman emperor

Valerian, also known as Valerian the Elder, was Roman Emperor from 22 October 253 AD to spring 260 AD. He was taken captive by the Persian Emperor, Shapur I, after the Battle of Edessa, becoming the first Roman emperor to be captured as a prisoner of war, causing shock and instability throughout the empire.

In various municipia , corrector became the title of a permanent single chief magistrate (traditionally there had been collegial systems, e.g. two consules or duumviri ), as a Byzantine 7th-century source attests for thirteen cities in the Egyptian province Augustamnica Prima.

Feudal times

Ecclesiastic (Catholic) titles

Furthermore, the word Corrector was used as the title of several publications, some of which are quite famous, such as the 19th book, also known as Medicus, of the Ancient canons.

The derived term correctorium has been used for revisions of the text of the Vulgate Bible, begun in 1236 by the Dominicans under the French Cardinal Hugh of St. Cher.


In the publishing of literature or other information, editors assume the correctional roles of proofreaders and copy editors in the editing cycle.


The term is used for various devices used to correct another, as with a ship's compass or artillery.

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 v. Premerstein, A. (1901). "Corrector". Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft . Band IV, Halbband 8, Corniscae-Demodoros. col. 1645–1655.
  2. 1 2 3 Notitia Dignitatum, in partibus Occidentis, I
  3. 1 2 Notitia Dignitatum, in partibus Orientis, I
  4. Notitia Dignitatum, in partibus Occidentis, XLIV
  5. 1 2 Cooke, George Albert (1911). "Odaenathus"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 995.