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Callie Williamson

Ius honorarium (magistrate law), derived from honos (curule office), was a classification formulated by jurists of the Roman imperial period to distinguish the private law made by juridical magistrates of the Republic from ius civile (civil law) [Dig.1.1.7. (Papinian), Dig.1.1.11 (Paulus)]. The primary juridical magistrates were, in order of creation, the urban praetor (367bce), the curule aediles (367bce), and the peregrine praetor (c. 244bce), and later the provincial governors. None of these offices was created for the express purpose of judicial action, nor was this ever their sole function. As a corollary, they did not constitute a professional judiciary. The praetors’ basis of legal authority was imperium (the supreme power), a subset of which was iurisdictio, the authority to “speak the law,” and ius edicendi, the right to issue edicts.The curule aediles, whose sphere of operation was limited to the marketplace and city administration, had only iurisdictio and ius edicendi.


Alain Bresson

The agoranomoi were the magistrates who, in the Greek cities, were in charge of policing and organizing the market. Their role was to make sure that transactions were conducted according to the laws of market, which primarily meant preventing cheating on the quality of the goods offered for sale and on the weights and measures used by sellers. Their tasks could also include watching over the nature and quality of the coins used as means of exchange. They were in charge of monitoring prices and, in some cases, they set prices of goods—some basic foodstuffs like fish or meat. They also had to make sure that the market supply of essential goods remained adequate. The number of agoranomoi decreased in the late Hellenistic period (in Athens, from ten in the Classical period to only two). Late Hellenistic and Roman period magistrates belonged to the well-to-do stratum of the population in the cities, and the agoranomoi were no exception.