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(1) In ancient Rome, an association of certain patrician families (gentes) that was analogous to the Greek phratry. According to tradition there were 30 curiae, ten in each tribe. Originally the curia was part of the clan organization—possibly, a men’s group connected with coming-of-age ceremonies. (There is evidence for this hypothesis in the worship of the goddess Juno, which was associated with initiations—rituals during which a youth was consecrated as a man.) During the period when the state was formed the curiae became extremely important military and political cells in Roman society. Evidently, each curia was headed by an elected curio who had priestly functions. Each curia had its own place for holding assemblies (which was also called the curia), as well as its own sanctuaries.

The curiate assembly (comitia curiata)— that is, assembly of male soldiers—elected kings during the royal period and magistrates in the early stages of the republic. But with the establishment of the centuriate assembly (comitia centuriata), the curiae confirmed elected officials and entrusted the symbols of authority to them. Under the republic all the curiae were headed by a grand curio, and plebeians were allowed to vote in the curiate assembly. During the imperial period the curiae came to be known as municipal councils.

(2) In Western Europe during the Middle Ages the feudal curia was a council consisting of a lord and his vassals. The royal curia (Curia Regis)—a feudal curia made up of the king’s direct vassals—was an advisory assembly of feudal magnates convoked by the king and granted broad but not strictly defined functions, most of which were judicial. As the royal power grew stronger, this curia became a more limited council of the king’s closest advisers (the Royal Council). Moreover, financial and judicial affairs were assigned to special offices.

(3) The Roman curia (Curia Romana) is made up of a number of institutions that are subordinate to the pope.

(4) In bourgeois countries and in prerevolutionary Russia curiae were separate categories into which voters were divided according to property, nationality, and other criteria (electoral curiae).


The council house in a Roman municipality.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Consistorial Congregation, which was the one most concerned by these requests from residential bishops, proposed the creation of a "cabinet system" made up of all the heads of the curial dicasteries and chaired by the secretary of state.
Using various means of critical inquiry, they cover Kristeller's humanists as heirs of the medieval dictatores, the origins of humanism, humanism in terms of ancient learning and criticism in schools and universities, curial humanism as seen through the papal library, the influence of the medieval encyclopedic tradition, an historical definition of humanism and scholasticism, religion and the modernity of Renaissance humanism, Christian humanism, the role of rhetoric, and literary humanism.
One is wholly devoted to curial negotiations in the first three years (1592-95) of the pontificate that were associated with the reconciliation of Henri IV to the Roman Church.
The authors of each of the eight sections of the present volume bring the reader into the council hall, curial offices, and many semiofficial venues where issues of moment were discussed, if not decided.
CURIAL CARDINALS The leading contender among the cardinals of the Roman Curia is CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER (Germany) Dean of the College of Cardinals, who presided over and preached at the Funeral of Pope John Paul II.
Sports shops around the country could be bracing themselves for a rush on the popular Nike Mer- curial Vapor boots, sported by the 23-year-old, from Pencoed.
The chapter of most interest to historians traces the development of "the myth of the proto-Reformer." Grosseteste's protest against papal provisions to English benefices was elaborated to make him a courageous defender of English church liberties against Roman interference and curial venality.
This is especially the case with the editing of the manuscript's language, for instance, the neutralization of the opposition between 'le' and 'ledict' that makes it impossible to consider the form 'ledist' that belonged to the Curial Style and which is semantically quite distinct from the definite article to which it is here assimilated.
The biographies of Pope Julius II (1443-1513) and his near contemporary Francesco Soderini (1453-1524) flesh out the reality of Curial factions, patronage and ambition in Renaissance Rome and Florence at the turn of the fifteenth century.
From the medieval era on, the Catholic church became a monolithic, absolutist monarchy with a hierarchical infrastructure supported by a curial oligarchy and ruled by an autocratic pope.
Such phrasing is symptomatic of a tendency to include theoretical perspectives, and this is done eclectically: the accessus is perceived in the opening of Troilus and Criseyde on pretty slim grounds; the style curial is identified in Boccaccio's introductory epistle to II Filostrato (exclamatio is quoted, yet exclamatio is no part of the documentary style curial); twice (pp.