praetor(redirected from pretors)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
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.