Curia (Latin plural curiae) in ancient Rome referred to one of the original groupings of the citizenry, eventually numbering 30, and later every Roman citizen was presumed to belong to one. While they originally likely had wider powers, they came to meet for only a few purposes by the end of the Republic: to confirm the election of magistrates with imperium, to witness the installation of priests, the making of wills, and to carry out certain adoptions.
The term is more broadly used to designate an assembly, council, or court, in which public, official, or religious issues are discussed and decided. Lesser curiae existed for other purposes. The word curia also came to denote the places of assembly, especially of the senate. Similar institutions existed in other towns and cities of Italy.
In medieval times, a king's council was often referred to as a curia. Today, the most famous curia is the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church, which assists the Roman Pontiff in the hierarchical government of the Church.