Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2020

viatoreslocked

  • Piero Treves
  •  and Andrew Lintott

Extract

Viatores were attendants on magistrates (see magistracy, roman), one of whose main functions was to summon persons to the magistrate's presence. Thus they might be used, for example, to call senators to a meeting from their country homes. However, they also had a function more akin to that of a bailiff, acting in the presence of a magistrate to seize a criminal or his property or indeed a recalcitrant political opponent. This last function was especially useful to a tribune (see tribuni plebis), who, unlike a consul or praetor, had not the help of *lictors. So *Caesar had M. *Porcius(2) dragged from the senate, and Ti. *Sempronius Gracchus(3) removed his fellow-tribune M. *Octavius from the tribunal. By the late republic they formed a corporation divided into several decuriae according to the rank of the magistrates (the first was therefore the decuria consularis).

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription