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praetor, ōris, m. [for praeitor, from praeeo].
- I. Prop., a leader, head, chief, president: regio imperio duo sunto: iique praeeundo, judicando, consulendo, praetores, judices, consules appellantor, Cic. Leg. 3, 3, 8.
So, in gen., of the chief magistrates in colonies, as in Capua: cum in ceteris coloniis duoviri appellentur, hi se praetores appellari volebant, Cic. Agr. 2, 34, 93; cf. the context.
Of the Roman consul as chief judge, Liv. 3, 55.
Of the dictator: praetor maximus, Liv. 7, 3: aerarii, president of the treasury, an office created by Augustus, Tac. A. 1, 75; id. H. 4, 9.
Of the suffetes in Carthage, Nep. Hann. 7, 4.
Of generals, commanders of foreign nations, Cic. Div. 1, 54, 123; id. Inv. 1, 33, 55; Nep. Milt. 4, 4 et saep.
- II. In partic., a prœtor, a Roman magistrate charged with the administration of justice; the office was first made distinct from the consulship A. U. C. 387. After the first Punic war, A. U. C. 490, there were two, praetor urbanus for Roman citizens, and praetor peregrinus for strangers, Cic. Lael. 25, 96; id. Mur. 20, 41: praetor primus centuriis cunctis renunciatus, i. e. appointed first, id. Imp. Pomp. 1, 2; id. Pis. 1, 2; Gai. lnst. 1, 6; 1, 78. The praetor had a tribunal where he sat on the sella curulis, with the judges on subsellia beside him. But he used to decide less important controversies wherever the parties found him: e plano, Suet. Tib. 33: in aequo quidem et plano loco, Cic. Caecin. 17, 50: Quid vis in jus me ire? tu’s praetor mihi, Plaut. Truc. 4, 3, 66.
- 2. Transf.
- (α) For propraetor, a proprœtor, an officer who, after the administration of the prœtorship, was sent as governor to a province, Cic. Verr. 2, 4, 12, § 27; 2, 4, 25, § 56 al.
- (β) For proconsul, q. v., Cic. Fam. 2, 17, 6; id. Verr. 2, 3, 54, § 125.