The list is transmitted only in a 7th-century manuscript preserved in the Chapter Library of Verona. The most recent critical edition is that of Timothy Barnes (1982). Earlier editions include those by Theodor Mommsen (1862), Otto Seeck in his edition of the Notitia dignitatum (1876), and Alexander Riese in his Geographi Latini minores (1878).
The document comprises a list of the names of all the provinces of the empire (c. 100 in total), organised according to the 12 newly created regional groupings called dioceses. Although the 12 dioceses are presented in a single list, they are not ordered in a single geographical sequence but rather in two separate eastern and western groups, the eastern group (Oriens, Pontica, Asiana, Thraciae, Moesiae, Pannoniae) preceding the western (Britanniae, Galliae, Viennensis, Italiae, Hispaniae, Africa). The split is apparent from the discontinuity midway in the list between the dioceses of Pannoniae and Britanniae. The eastern half of the list circles the Mediterranean neatly anticlockwise from south to north or, in continental terms, from Africa, through Asia, to Europe. The arrangement of the western half is less tidy, though it is approximately anticlockwise from north to south, or from Europe to Africa.
The barbarian peoples listed may in some instance have lived outside of the provincial structure of the empire, but they are all clearly regarded as living within the empire. Even in the cases of those barbarians clearly living within provinces, however, the Laterculus suggests that a meaningful distinction was drawn between "civilized" and "uncivilized" areas.
Theodor Mommsen had dated the provincial situation in the list to 297, but later research changed the estimate to 314–324 for the Eastern Half and 303–314 for the Western Half of the Roman empire. The most recent work by Timothy Barnes and Constantin Zuckerman concludes that the entire document belongs to a single moment, c. 314, the eastern and western parts corresponding to the respective spheres of responsibility of the emperors Licinius and Constantine during the period between Licinius' defeat of Maximinus Daza in 313 and his own defeat in his first civil war with Constantine in 316–317.
The text on the right is the original Latin, divided into lines beginning with capital letters. The original text uses the interpunct (·) to separate entries and is mostly unicase. The text on the left is an English translation.