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The Vigintisexviri (sing. vigintisexvir) was a college (collegium) of minor magistrates (magistratus minores) in the Roman Republic; the name literally means "Twenty-Six Men". The college consisted of six boards:

  • decemviri stlitibus iudicandis - 10 magistrates who judged lawsuits, including those dealing with whether a man was free or a slave;
  • the tresviri capitales, also known as nocturni - three magistrates who had a police function in Rome, in charge of prisons and the execution of criminals; [1]
  • the tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, also known as tresviri monetalis - three magistrates who were in charge of striking and casting bronze, silver and gold (minting coins);
  • the quattuorviri viis in urbe purgandis, also known as quattorviri viarum curandarum - four magistrates overseeing road maintenance within the city of Rome;
  • the duoviri viis extra urbem purgandis, also known as duoviri curatores viarum - two magistrates overseeing road maintenance near Rome;
  • the four praefecti Capuam Cumas - praefecti sent to Capua and Cumae in Campania to administer justice there.

The singular of tresviri is triumvir; triumviri is also sometimes used for the plural but is considered to be less correct.[2]

In the Republic, the Vigintisexvirate had served as a stepping stone for the sons of senators to begin their own public careers in the cursus honorum; Julius Caesar had served as curator viarum and restored parts of the Via Appia. In AD 13, however, the Senate passed a senatus consultum restricting the reduced Vigintivirate to the Equestrians.

During the Principate, Caesar Augustus abolished the duoviri viis extra urbem purgandis and the four praefecti Capuan Cumas, thereby changing the vigintisexviri into the vigintiviri ("Twenty Men").

Notes

  1. ^ Hornblower 1999:police
  2. ^ Jones 1990:Mint magistrates

References

  • Melville Jones, John R. (1990). A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins, Seaby, republished by Spink. ISBN 1-85264-026-X
  • Hornblower, Simon & Spaworth, Antony (1999). The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Third Edition. ISBN 0-19-866172-X
  • Smith, William (1875). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London.

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