The chief place of political assembly in republican Rome (Varro, Ling. 5. 155; Livy 5. 55) occupying an area north of the *forum Romanum at the foot of the Capitoline. It is associated with nine levels of paving from the late 7th to the mid-1st cent. bce, after which it ceased to exist as a recognizable monument owing to Caesar's reorganization of the area, although individual elements remained into the empire. The natural topography and the archaeological evidence suggest it was an irregular triangular space, eventually flanked by three platforms: the Rostra to the south, the praetorian tribunal (whence justice was administered) to the east, and the Graecostasis (place where foreign embassies awaited reception by the Senate) to the west. Although in the mid-2nd cent. the rostra was replaced by a curved stepped structure, the rest of the Comitium retained its original form. The numerous monuments and statues which filled it have perished, except for the altar, truncated column, and archaic cippus (a stone marker), bearing a ritual inscription (ILS 4913), sealed below a black marble pavement (lapis niger) originally dating to the Caesarian alterations and subsequently incorporated into the Augustan paving.
Ian Archibald Richmond, Donald Emrys Strong, and Janet DeLaine
In the eastern provinces correctores of the *free cities of a province, which were technically independent of the provincial governor, are first attested under *Trajan. He sent a praetorian senator to regulate the state of the free cities of *Achaia. (*Pliny (2), Ep. 8. 24 gives him advice.) Fewer than twenty such senatorial officials (in Greek διορθωτής or ἐπανορθωτής) are known in the period up to *Diocletian; sometimes the regulatory and adjudicatory duties constitutive of this role were not restricted only to the free cities of a province. They possessed *imperium and their powers were more wide-ranging than those of curatores (see curator rei publicae) appointed only to supervise the finances of individual cities.In Italy various senatorial officials (such as *iuridici, imperial legates, and praepositi delegated to oversee specific regions) are attested in the 2nd and 3rd cents. ce.
Free cities (civitates liberae, eleutherai poleis) formed a privileged category in Rome's system of provincial government. In the east the status ultimately derived from the blanket declaration of Greek freedom by T. *Quinctius Flamininus (196 bce); by the late republic a free city was one with a special agreement with Rome allowing it local autonomy (suis legibus uti) and sometimes tax-immunity (*immunitas), although whether these two privileges were routinely coupled (Bernhardt) is debated (Ferrary).
A. N. Sherwin-White and Andrew Lintott
Praefectura was the term for an assize-centre in Roman territory. When, for example, *Capua became a *municipium, praefecti (see praefectus) delegated by the *praetorurbanus were sent there from time to time, to perform jurisdiction and perhaps to promote the assimilation of Roman law by the Capuans, who were now citizens without the vote (cives sine suffragio). The praefecti are found later on a regular basis in other municipia and towns and in agrarian centres (fora and conciliabula) in the areas of full-citizens (e.g. CIL 12. 583. 31). They did not replace but assisted the local authorities of municipia; in small centres of Roman citizens they were sometimes the only judicial authority, while in *Campania, after the abolition of autonomy following the revolt of 215–211 bce, a special set of praefecti, elected at Rome, was instituted to take sole charge of local jurisdiction. After the *Social War (3) the old praefecturae in Italy were assimilated to municipia, but this seems to have been a gradual process, since we find the term praefectura in the texts of the Table of *Heraclea (1) (see lex(2) for the Tabula Heracleensis) and the lex Iulia agraria (lex Mamilia Roscia).