Vigintisexviri

The vigintisexviri (sg. vigintisexvir; lit.'twenty-six men') were a college (collegium) of minor magistrates (magistratus minores) in the Roman Republic. The college consisted of six boards:[1]

  • the decemviri stlitibus judicandis – 10 magistrates who judged lawsuits, including those dealing with whether a man was free or a slave;[2]
  • the tresviri capitales, also known as nocturni – three magistrates who had a police function in Rome, in charge of prisons and the execution of criminals;[3]
  • the tresviri monetales or tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo – three magistrates who were in charge of striking and casting bronze, silver and gold (minting coins);[4]
  • the quattuorviri viis in urbe purgandis – four magistrates overseeing road maintenance within the city of Rome;
  • the duoviri viis extra urbem purgandis – two magistrates overseeing road maintenance near Rome; and
  • the four praefecti Capuam Cumas – praefecti sent to Capua and Cumae in Campania to administer justice there.[1]

Being a member of the vigintisexviri was a prerequisite to the quaestorship after the reforms of Sulla.[5] The label used for these magistrates may only have been introduced after Sullan times, but the first of the constituent boards may date back to the third century BC.[1]

The duoviri viis extra urbem purgandis and the four praefecti Capuam Cumas were abolished by Augustus c.13 BC, reducing the vigintisexviri to the vigintiviri.[1] In AD 13, the senate restricted eligibility, ordaining that only equites should be eligible to the college of the then-vigintiviri.[6] The remaining boards were not abolished entirely until at least the third century.[1]


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