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A rationalis was a high-ranking fiscal officer in the Roman Empire.[1] Until replaced by the comes sacrarum largitionum by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century, the rationalis summarum – comparable to a modern-day finance minister – was one of two state officials who had authority over the imperial treasury, the other one being the rationalis rei privatae (manager of imperial estates and city properties).[1][2] Examples for tasks that were performed by a rationalis are "the collection of all normal taxes and duties, the control of currency and the administration of mines and mints".[1]

Each province also had various classes of rationales,[3] and Emperor Diocletian's administrative reforms had mirrored the dual structure on the diocesis–level, instituting the local positions rationalis summarum and magister rei privatae above the procuratores.[2] The former continued to exist after the reforms, one example are the comes et rationalis summarum Aegypti.[3][a] In the 6th century, the post was increasingly rendered into its Greek equivalent, logothete, which later was given to the senior fiscal secretaries of the middle Byzantine Empire (7th–12th centuries).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eusebius mentions a martyr of early christianity by the name of Philoromus in his Historia Ecclesiastica who is supposed to have held the title rationalis ad diocesim Alexandriae, but Christensen suggests Eusebius' information may be unreliable and exaggerated.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Bunson 2002, p. 466.
  2. ^ a b Bowman et al. 2005, pp. 319, 380.
  3. ^ a b Seeck 1876, pp. 36, 148–149.
  4. ^ Christensen 1989, pp. 65–67.
  5. ^ Guilland 1971, pp. 5–6.


  • Bowman, Alan; et al., eds. (2005), The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 12, The Crisis of Empire, AD 193-337 (2nd ed.), Cambridge, New York, etc.: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521301992, OCLC 59138070, retrieved 17 December 2014 – via Google Books {{citation}}: External link in |via= (help)
  • Bunson, Matthew (2002) [1994], Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, Facts on File library of world history (rev. ed.), New York: Facts on File, ISBN 9780816045624, ISSN 1555-8428, OCLC 47930574, retrieved 17 December 2014
  • Christensen, Torben (1989), Rufinus of Aquileia and the Historia Ecclesiastica, Lib. VIII-IX, of Eusebius, Historik-filosofiske Meddelelser 58, Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, ISBN 9788773041789, ISSN 0106-0481, OCLC 21044222, retrieved 17 December 2014
  • Guilland, Rodolphe (1971). "Les Logothètes: Etudes sur l'histoire administrative de l'Empire byzantin". Revue des études byzantines (in French). 29, 1971 (29). Paris: Institut français d'Etudes byzantines: 5–115. doi:10.3406/rebyz.1971.1441. OCLC 4245500. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  • Seeck, Otto, ed. (1876), Notitia Dignitatum: Accedunt Notitia Urbis Constantinopolitanae et Laterculi Prouinciarum (in Latin), Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, LCCN 06004446, OCLC 10027454, OL 6965622M, retrieved 17 December 2014