praetor

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Related to praetorship: Urban praetor, Praetor Peregrinus

praetor

(prēt`ər), in ancient Rome, originally a consulconsul,
title of the two chief magistrates of ancient Rome. The institution is supposed to have arisen with the expulsion of the kings, traditionally in 510 B.C., and it was well established by the early 4th cent. B.C.
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, and later a judicial magistrate (from c.366 B.C.). In 242 B.C. two praetors were appointed, the urban praetor (praetor urbanus), deciding cases to which citizens were parties, and the peregrine praetor (praetor peregrinus) deciding cases between foreigners. The urban praetor exercised the functions of the consuls in their absence and of the peregrine praetor when he was holding a military command. Two additional praetors were appointed (227) to administer Sicily and Sardinia, and two more (197) to administer Spain. A principal duty of praetors was the production of the public games. Under the empire the functions of the praetor were gradually taken over by other magistrates.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Praetor

 

a state position in ancient Rome. Initially, in the early republican period, “praetor” was the title of the highest magistrates (consuls and dictators). In 367 (or 366) B.C., the position of praetor was instituted as a junior colleague of the consul. The praetor managed civil court cases on the basis of the praetorian edict, which he himself issued, and, in the absence of consuls, he had supreme power. In 242 B.C. two praetors were elected: the city praetor (praetor urbanus), who managed court trials among Roman citizens, and a praetor for foreigners (praetor peregrinus). Under Sulla, the number of praetors was increased to eight. After performance of their duties, praetors were sent to the provinces as propraetors or proconsuls. In the time of the empire the highest city officials were also called praetors.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

praetor

, pretor
(in ancient Rome) any of several senior magistrates ranking just below the consuls
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Livy does not specify how the procedure was modified, but perhaps only the sortes for the urban and peregrine praetorships were in the urn when Flaccus' turn came to cast lots.
Immediately after his praetorship taking the province of Iberia as his command ...
This could well mean that Crassus had two postings in Iberia since Plutarch, even if ambiguous elsewhere, surely knew the difference between a praetorship and a consulship.
(14) Carney (note 4) 23-24 refers to the period following the praetorship in a way that implies prior connections with the publicani: 'Marius, now a prominent member of a group of wealthy businessmen with connections in Puteoli in Southern Italy, came to be of such importance amongst the publicani ...' There is no direct evidence to show that Marius ever possessed mines in Iberia, the Mariani montes could just as easily have been named after Sex.
The case in favor of a praetorship in 49 is not as strong as it seems.
The weakness of the case for his praetorship is disturbing in view of the evidence suggesting that Favonius was called upon for his sententia in January 49.
In the pro Murena, Cicero informs us that Murena's great-grandfather, grandfather and father had all reached the praetorship.(27) His father, whom Sulla left to govern Asia in the 80s, was probably praetor in the year 88.(28) Broughton, following Munzer, suggested that the grandfather of the consul of 62 should have been praetor before 100.(29) Although this is surely correct as a terminus ante quem, a much earlier date is likely.
We have already seen that the grandfather of the consul of 62 probably reached the praetorship by c.
(16) The praetorship in Spain that Broughton (MRR 1.535) ascribed to him should probably be rejected, as was argued by Sumner (Orators, 78) and as Broughton himself has recognized (MRR 3.114).
He is obviously exceptional, however, since his career was accelerated by Caesar: it seems that he became consul without ever having held the praetorship (RRC p.
It happens that we can exclude all but Servilianus from a command in Macedonia or Greece following the praetorship: Aemilianus served as praetor in Sicily in 149,(60) Allobrogicus was in Spain following his praetorship,(61) while the praetorian province of Eburnus, though unknown, can hardly have been Macedonia.(62) Servilianus's praetorship (about which no other evidence survives) will have fallen no later than 145, since he was elected in 143 to the consulship of 142, and one would not want to place much earlier than 145 the praetorship of this vir nobilissimus, for whom swift progress to the consulship may be assumed.
Even if Eburnus's praetorship were to be placed earlier than usual, in 120, he could not have held Macedonia because its commander at that time, almost certainly the immediate predecessor of Sisenna, is known: Sex.