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On this page: Curia – Curia – Curiata Comftia – Curio – Curius


s. 37.) Ulpian wrote a separate work, De Officio Curatoris Reipublicae.


CURIA, signifies both a division of the Roman people and the place of assembly for such a divi­sion. Various etymologies of the word have been proposed, but none seems to be so plausible as that which connects it with the Sabine word quirts or curis (whence the surname of Juno Curitis among the Sabines).

Each of the three ancient Romulian tribes, the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, was subdivided into ]0 curiae, so that the whole body of the populus or the patricians were divided into 30 curiae. (Liv. i. 13 ; Dionys. ii. 7, 23 ; Pint. Rom. 19.) The plebeians had no connection whatever with the curiae, and the clients of the patricians were members of the curiae only in a passive sense. (Fest. p. 285, ed. Mtiller; comp. patricii, gens.) All the members of the different gentes belonging to one curia were called, in respect of one another, eitriales. The division into curiae was of great political importance in the earliest times of Rome, for the curiae alone contained those that were real citizens, and their assembly alone was the legitimate representative of the whole people [comitia curiata], from whom all other powers emanated. The senators and equites were of course chosen from among them; but their import­ance was especially manifest in the religious affairs of the state. Each curia as a corporation had its peculiar sacra (Fest. pp. 174, 245 ; Paul. Diac. p. 49, ed. M tiller), and besides the gods of the state, they worshipped other divinities and with peculiar rites and ceremonies. For such religious purposes each curia had its own place of worship, called curia, which at first may have contained nothing but an altar, afterwards a sacellum, and finally a building in which the curiales assembled for the purpose of discussing political, financial, re­ligious and other matters. (Paul. Diac. pp. 62, 64 ; Dionys. ii. 50.) The religious affairs of each curia were taken care of by a priest, curio, who was assisted by another called curialis Flamen. (Paul. Diac. pp. 49, 64; Varro, De L. L. v. 83, vi. 46; Dionys. ii. 21 ; comp. curio.) The 30 curiae had each its distinct name, which are said to have been derived from the names of the Sabine women who had been carried off by the Romans, though it is evident that some derived their names from certain districts or from ancient eponymous heroes. Few of these names only are known, such as curia Titia, Faucia, Calabra, Foriensis, Rapta, Veliensis, Tifata. (Paul. Diac. pp. 49, 366 ; Fest. p. 174 ; Liv. i. 13; Dionys. ii. 47 ; Cic. De Re Publ. ii. 8.) The political importance of the curiae sank in proportion as that of the plebeians and afterwards of the nobilitas rose ; but they still continued the religious observances of their cor­poration, until in the end these also lost their im­portance and almost fell into oblivion. (Ov. Fast. ii. 527, &c.)

Curia is also used to designate the place in which the senate held its meetings, such as curia Hostilia, curia Julia, curia Marcelli, curia Pompeii, curia Octaviae, and from this there gradually arose the custom of calling the senate itself in the Italian towns curia, but never the senate of Rome. The official residence of the Salii, which was dedicated to Mars, was likewise styled curia. (Cic. de Div. i. 17; Dionys. xiv. 5; Plut. Cwnill. 32; comp.


Backer, Handb. der Rom. Altertli. vol. ii. part i. p. 31, &e.) > f [L. S.]

CURIA (ftovXevrripiov, yepovo-ia), in archi­ tecture. The building in which the highest coun­ cil of the state met, in a Greek or Latin city, is described by Vitruvius as being adjacent to the agora or forum. Its form was quadrangular ; either square or oblong. If square, its height was one and a half times its length : if oblong, the height was half the sum of the length and breadth. Thus, a senate house 40 feet square would be 60 feet high : and one 60 feet by 40 would be 50 feet high: which are somewhat remarkable proportions. Half way up each wall there was a projecting shelf or cornice to prevent the voice being lost in the height of the building. Vitruvius says nothing of columns in the curia, but we know that in some Greek senate houses, as in that at Phocis, there wera roAvs of columns down each side, very near the wall (Paus. viii. 32, x. 5), and this also was the case at Pompeii. A sort of religious character was con­ ceived to belong to the senate house ; and there were often statues of the gods placed in it. (Paus. I. c.) Respecting the three curiae at Rome, the Hostilia, the Julia, and the Pompeiana, see Diet, of Gr. and Rom. Geog. art. Roma. (Vitruv. v. 2 ; Stieglitz, Arcli'dol. d. Baukunst, vol. iii. p. 21 ; Hirt, Lehre d. Gebaude, pp. 186—188). [P. S.J


CURIO, the person who stood at the head of a curia, and had to manage its affairs, especially those of a religious nature (Dionys. ii. 7, 65 ; Varro, De L. L. v. 15, 32, vi. 6): in their ad­ministration he was assisted by another priest, called flamen curialis. (Paul. Diac. p. 64 ; Dionys. ii. 21, 64.) As there were thirty curiae, the number of curiones was likewise thirty, and they formed a college of priests, which was headed by one of them bearing the title of curio maximus. (Paul. Diac. p. 126 ; Liv. xxvii. 8.) He was elected in the comitia curiata, and had authority over the curiae as well as over the curiones. It need hardly be observed, that the office of curio could not be held by any one except a patrician ; at a com­paratively late time we indeed find now and then a plebeian invested with the office of curio maximus (Liv. xxvii. 8, xxxiii. 42), but this only shows how much the ancient institution of the curiae had then lost of its original meaning and importance ; and at the time when the plebeians had gained access to priestly dignities, the office of curio seems to have been looked upon in the light of any other priestly dignity, and to have been conferred upon plebeians no less than upon patricians. [L. S.]

CURIUS (Kvpio$\ signifies generally the per­son that was responsible for the welfare of such, members of a family as the law presumed to be incapable of protecting themselves ; as, for instance, minors and slaves, and women of all ages. Fathers, therefore, and guardians, husbands, the nearest male relatives of women, and masters of families, would all bear this title in respect of the vicarious functions exercised by them in behalf of the re­spective objects of their care. The qualifications of all these, in respect of which they can be com­bined in one class, designated by the term curius, were the male sex, years of discretion, freedom, and when citizens a sufficient share of the franchise (eTriri/jLia) to enable them to appear in the law courts as plaintiffs or defendants in behalf of their several charges ; in the case of the curius being a

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