The Ancient Library

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On this page: Postumus – Potestas – Practores – Praecfnctto – Praecon – Praecones – Praeda


quid &e.j where the Florentine reading has been followed. But Bynkershoek (Op. Omn. i. p. 76) amends the reading into Si quod, &c., the propriety of which may be doubted. [praeda.]

If a man made a will before he was taken cap­ tive, and afterwards returned, the will was good jure postliminii. If he died in captivity, the will was good by the Lex Cornelia. The law of Postliminium applied to. time, of peape as well as war, when the circumstances,, were such that the person or the thing could become the property of another nation (Dig. 49. tit. 15. s. 5), as for instance of a nation that had neither, an amicitia, hospitium, nor a foedus with Ilome ; for: such might be the relation of a nation to- Rome, and yet it might not be Hostis. A nation was not Hostis, in the later acceptation of that term, till the Ro­ mans had declared war against it, or the nation had declared war ao-ainst Rome. Robbers and Pirates were not hostes, and a person who was captured by them did not become a slave, and therefore had no need of the Jus Postliminii. There are some remarks on Postliminium in Walter, GeschicJite des R'&m. Reckts, p. 50,, and the notes, ] steel. [&;L.]' POSTSIGNA'NL [ex,ercitus, p. 502, b.]

POSTUMUS. [herbs, p. 601, a.]

POTESTAS. [pa-bria potestas.]

PRACTORES (Trpa/cTopes), subordinate offi­ cers (ovofjLa V7n7p.€(rias, says Pollux, viii. 114) who collected the fines and penalties- (eTngaAas and Ti^/mTa) imposed by magistrates and courts of justice, and payable to the.state. The maistrate who imposed the fine, or the ^ye^ gave notice thereof in,: writing to the He was then said eiriypdfyew t& rifjLrjfjta, rois irpdttTOpcriVi and the debtor's name irapa.§odr)vai ro'is 7rpdKTap<Tiv. If the fine, or any part thereof was to go to a temple, the like nptice was sent to the To/xfai of the god oe goddess to whom tjie temple belonged. (Aesch. c. TJimarek. 5 ; An doc. de MysL 11, ed. Steph. ; Demosth. c. Theocr. 1328.) The name of the debtor, with the sum which he was condemned to pay,, was. entered by the npaK- Topes in a tablet in the Acropolis. Hence the debtor was said to be eyyeypa^evos ?<$ st^oo-ioj, or eV Ty d/cpoTr^Aet. It was the business of the TrpaKTopes to demand payment of this sum, arid, if they received it, to pay it over to the d-Tro^e/crou, and also to erase the name of the debtor in the re­ gister (e£aAeu|3eij/ or ctTraAeu^etj/). Such erasure usually took plaee in the presence of some members of the senate. An evSei&s lay against any man who made or caused to be made a fraudulent entry or erasure of a debt. (Harpoc. and Suidas, s. v. AypatyioV) airoSeKTai^ tyevdeyypaty-fj i Andoe. d& Myst. 11, ed. Steph. ; Demosth. c. Aristog. 778, c. Theoc. 1338.) The collectors took no steps to enforce payment; but after the expiration of the ninth irpvraveia from the registering of the debt, (or in case of a penalty imposed on a ypatyfy flgpscos, after the expiration of eleven days), if it still remained unpaid, it was doubled,, and an entry made accordingly. (Aesch. c. Timarch. 3, ed. Steph. ; Demosth. c. Pant. 973, c. Theocr. 1322, c. Neaer. 1347.) Thereupon immediate measures might be taken for seizure arid confiscation of the debtor's goods j but here the irpctKropes had no further duty to perform, except perhaps to give in­ formation of the default to the senate. [C. R. K.]

PRAECFNCTTO. [amphitheatrum, p. 87.]



PRAECONES, criers, were employed for va­rious purposes : 1. In sales by auction, they fre­quently advertised the time, place, and conditions of sale : they seem also to have acted the part of the modern auctioneer, so far as calling out the biddings and amusing the company, though the property was knocked down by the magister auc-tionis. (Hor. Ars Poet. 419 ; *Cic. ad Att. xii. 40, de Off. ii. 23.) [AucTio.] 2. In all public as semblies they ordered silence. (Liv. iii. 47 ; Plant. Poen. prol. 11.) 3. In the comitia they called the centuries one, by one to give their votes, pro­nounced the vpte of each century, and called out the names of those who were elected. (Cic. c. Verr. v. 15, pro, .Mil, 35.) They also recited the laws that were to be passed. 4. In trials, they summoned the accuser and the accused, the plaintiff and defendant. (Suet. Tib. 11.) 5. In the public games, they invited ;tlie people to attend, and pro­claimed the victors.,, (fiic-. ad Fam.v. 12.) 6. In solemn funerals,they also, invited people to attend by a certain,; hence -these funerals were called Kunera Indktiva-. (Festus> s. v. Quirites; Suet Jill. 84.) 7r When things were lost, they cried them and searched for them. (Plaut. Merc. iii. 4. 78 ; Petron. 57.) 8. In the infliction of capital punishment, they sometimes conveyed the com­mands of the magistrates to the lictors. (Liv. xxvi. 15.)

Their,office, called praeconiwn^ appears to have been regarded as rather disreputable : in the time of Cicero a, law was passed preventing all persons who had been praecones from becoming decuriones jin the municipia. (Cie, ad Fam. vi. 18.) Under •the early emperors, however, it Became very pro­fitable (Juv. iii. 157, vii. 6 ; Martial, v. 56. 11, vi. 8. 5% which was no dqubt partly awing to fees, to which they were ensiled in the courts of justice and on other occasions, and partly to the bribes, which they received from the suitors, &c.


PRAEDA signifies, moveable things taken by an enemy in war. Such things were either dis­tributed by the Imperator among the soldiers (Liv. ii. 42, vi. 13 ; Sail. Jug. 68), or sold by the quaestors, and j th;e pro.duce was brought into the Aerarium ::—•

'Hstos captivos duos,

Here quos emi de-praeda de Quaestoribus."

(Plant. Capt. i. 2. 1.)

The difference between Praeda and Manubiae is explained by CteBius (xiii. 24) to be this: — Praeda is the things themselves that are taken in war, and Manubiae is " pecunia per quaestorem populi Romani ex praeda vendita contracta: " nor can any objection to this explanation be derived from the words of Cicero (de Leg. Agr. ii. 22), When prisoners were sold, they were said to be sold " sub corona," the true explanation of which expression is probably that given by Gellius (est. autem alia^ <be. vii. 4). The mode of sale of other things than slaves was at first probably in detail, but afterwards in the lump, that is, the whole praeda might be sold to the highest bidder, or it might be sold in large masses which contained a great number of separate things, in which cases the whole or the mass would pass to the purchaser as a universitas, and he might retail it if he chose. This mode of sale in the lump was called "sectionem venire." and the purchaser was called sector. It

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