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On this page: Praeses – Praesul – Praeteriti Senatores – Praetexta – Praetor



tion of the hereditas (cum petitor, &c. . . . praeju-dicium hereditati faciaf). Compare Gains Dig. 30. tit. 2. s. 1 ; and see praejudicium).

Savigny shows that in the legislation of Jus­ tinian, Praescriptio and Exceptio are identical and that either term can "be used indifferently. He observes that the Praescriptiones which in the old form of procedure were introduced into the formula for the benefit of the defendant, were properly Ex­ ceptiones, and it was merely an accident that cer­ tain Exceptiones were placed before the intentio instead of being placed at the end of the formula, as was the usual practice. Subsequently, as ap­ pears from Gains, only tha Praescriptiones pro actore were prefixed to the formula ; and those pro reo were placed at the end, and they retained, though improperly, the name of Praescriptiones. Thus Exceptio and Praescriptio came to be used as equivalent terms, a circumstance to which the disuse of the Ordo judiciorum contributed. Yet in the case of particular exeeptiones, one or other of the names was most in use, and the indiscriminate employment of them was an exception to the general rule. The prevalence of one or the other name in particular cases is easily explained: thus, the Doli and Rei Judicatae Exceptiones were al­ ways at the end of the Formula, and the Temporis and Fori Praescriptiones in earlier times were placed at the beginning. Savigny adds that in modern times Praescriptio has acquired the sense of Usucapion, but this is never the sense of the word Praescriptio in the Roman law. Though Exceptio and Praescriptio came to be used as equivalent, yet neither Exceptio nor Praescriptio is used in the sense of Temporis praescriptio with­ out the addition of the words Temporis, Temporalis, triginta annorum, &c. (Savigny, System, &c. iv. 309, v. 163.) [G.L.]

PRAESES. [province.]

PRAESUL. [salii.]


PRAETEXTA. [toga.]

PRAETOR. According to Cicero (de Leg. iii. 3) Praetor was a title which designated the consuls as the leaders of the armies of the state ; and he considers the word to contain the same elemental parts as the verb praeire. The period and office of the command of the consuls might appropriately be called Praetorium. (Liv. viii. 11.) Praetor was also a title of office among the Latins : and it is the name which Livy gives to the strategus of the Achaeans.

The first praetor specially so called was ap­pointed in the year b. c. 366, and he was chosen only from the Patricians, who had this new office created as a kind of indemnification to themselves for being compelled to share the consulship with the Plebeians. (Liv. vi. 42, vii. 1.) No Plebeian praetor was appointed till the year b. c. 337. The Praetor was called collega consulibus, and was elected with the same auspices at the Comitia Centuriata. The consuls were elected first, and then the praetors. (Liv. xlv. 44.)

The Praetorship was originally a kind of third consulship, and the chief functions of the praetor (jus in urbe dicere, Liv. vi. 42 ; jura reddere, Liv. •vii. 1) were a portion of the functions of the con­suls, who according to the passage of Cicero above referred to, were also called judices a judicando. The praetor sometimes commanded the armies of the state ; and while the consuls were absent with


the armies, he exercised their functions within the city. He was a Magistratus Curulis and he had the Imperium, and consequently was one of the Magistratus Majores: but he owed respect and. obedience to the consuls. (Potyb. xxxiii. 1.) His insignia of office were six lictors, whence he is called by Polybius yyefAcbv or ffrparTjylts e£a7re'Ae-kvs, and sometimes simply e£a7reAeKys. Plutarch (Sulla, 5) uses the expression ffTparfiyicLiroXiTiKi]. At a later period the Praetor had only two lictors in Rome. (Censorinus, c. 24.) The praetorship was at first given to a consul of the preceding year as appears from Livy. L. Papirius was praetor after being consul. (Liv. x. 47.)

In the year b. c. 246 another Praetor was ap­pointed, whose business was to administer justice in matters in dispute between peregrin i, or pere-grini and Ptoraan citizens ; and accordingly he was called Praetor Peregrinus. (Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 28.) The other Praetor was then called Praetor Urbanus " qui jus inter cives dicit," and sometimes simply Praetor Urbanus and Praetor Urbis. The t\vo Praetors determined by lot which functions they should respectively exercise. If either of them was at the head of the army, the other performed all the duties of both within the city. Some­times the military imperium of a Praetor was pro­longed for a second year. When the territories of the state were extended beyond the limits of Italy, new praetors were made. Thus two prae­tors were created b. c. 227, for the administration of Sicily and Sardinia, and two more were added when the two Spanish provinces were formed. b. c. 197. When there were six praetors, two stayed in the city, and the other four went abroad. (Liv. xlv. 44). The Senate determined their provinces, which were distributed among them by lot. (Liv. xxxii. 27, 28.) After the discharge of his judicial functions in the city, a Praetor often had the administration of a province with the title of Propraetor, and sometimes with the title of Pro­consul. Sulla increased the number of Praetors to eight, which Julius Caesar raised successively to ten, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen. (Dion Cassias, xlii. 51, xliii. 5J, and the notes of Reiinarus.) Augustus after several changes fixed the number at twelve. Under Tiberius there were sixteen. Two praetors were appointed by Claudius for mat­ters relating to Fideicommissa, when the business in this department of the law had become con­siderable, but Titus reduced the number to one ; and Nerva added a Praetor for the decision of matters between the Fiscus and individuals. " Thus," says Pomponius, speaking of his own time, " eighteen praetors administer justice (jus dicunt] in the State." (Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 34.) M. Aurelius, according to Capitolinus (M.Ant. c. 10), appointed a Praetor for matters relating to tutela, which must have taken place after Pomponius wrote. [pandectae.] The main duties of the Praetors were judicial, and it appears that it was found necessary from time to time to increase their number, and to assign to them special departments of the administration of justice.

Sometimes, extraordinary duties were imposed on them, as in the case of the Praetor Peregrinus (b.c. 144) .who was commissioned by a Senatus-consultum to look after the repair of certain aque­ducts and to prevent the improper use of the water. (Frontinus, De Aquaeduct, lib. 1.)

The Praetor Urbanus was specially named

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