In Roman public law, cura(tio) means the responsibility for a particular area of public administration, normally inhering in a magistrate. *Cicero, in his description of the ideal (Roman) Republic, makes the aediles curatores of the city, the food supply, and the traditional games (Leg. 3.7). (He avoids the term for the other magistrates, probably for literary reasons.) In 3.10 he stipulates, in his affected pseudo-archaic language, that if anything outside the sphere of the magistracies needs to be attended to (coerari oesus est), the People shall elect a man to administer it (qui coeret) and give him the power to do so.
It is clear that this way of attending to business not within the sphere of any magistrate was a fairly late development, probably because of the Roman distrust of conferring special powers on one man, which was overcome only when the Republic was beginning to break down.Less
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