Praetorian Prefect

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Praetorian Prefect


(Latin praefectus praetorio), in ancient Rome:

(1) The commander of the Praetorian Guard. The position of praetorian prefect was introduced during the rule of Augustus at the end of the first century B.C. Praetorian prefects were appointed from among the equites. Until the third century A.D., there were two praetorian prefects, later, only one. Some of them became powerful favorites, for example, Sejanus under the emperor Tiberius. The position was abolished during the reign of Constantine I at the beginning of the fourth century.

(2) The highest civilian position in a prefecture.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Now at that time Thalassius was the Praetorian Prefect at court, a man who was himself of an imperious character.
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One night, aided by a chamberlain and the Praetorian prefect, she admitted a professional wrestler to his bedchamber to strangle him as he lay in a drunken stupor.
It is a serious error to depict Theodosius as sending the praetorian prefect of the East to Alexandria `in order to announce the appointment of Maximus as coemperor and set up statues of the new Augustus' (70): Maximus proclaimed himself Augustus in 383, Cynegius probably came to Egypt in late 386 and, while Theodosius certainly recognized Maximus as a member of the imperial college and had Cynegius announce the fact in Alexandria (Zosimus 4.37.3), Maximus was a usurper who never received any initial `appointment' as Emperor from Gratian, Valentinian II or Theodosius.
A passage in the Funeral speech on Julian also seems to point to the conclusion that Libanius indeed thinks of the reign of Licinius when talking about the golden age of the city councils: Libanius here recounts that the administration of Licinius' praetorian prefect, and Julian's maternal grandfather, Iulius Iulianus(43) was so highly appreciated by Constantine himself that he praised it as a model for his own officials to emulate (Or.
250); he was called Diocles in his youth; entered the army, and through talent and loyalty rose to command the protectores (bodyguard) of Emperor Numerian (283); elected emperor following Numerian's murder (November 20, 284), his first act was to kill the supposed assassin (who was also his rival), the praetorian prefect Aper; marched against Numerian's brother Carinus (who ruled in the West), defeating and killing him in a hard-fought battle on the Margus River in southeastern Illyricum (western Yugoslavia) (spring?
This enjoyable, learned, acute, at some moments speculative biography portrays Ambrose in his public and political role; that is, the former provincial governor, son of a praetorian prefect in the Gauls, unexpectedly pressured into becoming Bishop of Milan, shortly to become residence of the Western Emperor, at a time when the Christians of the city were passionately divided and excommunicating each other.
The letters to Hermogenes, who was praetorian Prefect of the East from the summer of 358 to the winter of 359/360,(9) and to the Governor of Syria will thus be the sequel to another council of bishops presided over by Basil in the late summer or early autumn of 358 which condemned these anomoeans.
Born at Singidunum (Beograd) about 331, the son of Varronianus, the comes domesticus (head of the imperial household); prefect of the imperial guard to Emperor Julian the Apostate during his expedition against Persia; following Julian's death (June 26, 363), Jovianus was acclaimed emperor after the praetorian prefect Salutius Secundus declined the honor; he quickly made peace with the Persians, surrendering to them the lands annexed in Diocletian's time, together with the cities of Singara (Al Badi) and Nisibis (Nusaybin), and so extricated his army intact; when he reached Roman territory he restored Christianity and forbade pagan practices; on his way to Constantinople he fell ill and died at Dadastana on the Galatian-Bithynian border (north of Ankara) (February 17, 364).
Barnes suggests that Veturius may have been Galerius' praetorian prefect (New Empire, 136), but on my interpretation he was just the local dux that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] implies.
The accepted answer, since 1934, has been the appearance at Arles of the praetorian prefect and his establishment.