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A curule seat is a design of a (usually) foldable and transportable
chair One of the basic pieces of furniture Furniture refers to movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating (e.g., chairs, stools, and sofas), eating (table (furniture), tables), and sleeping (e.g., beds). Furni ...

chair
noted for its uses in
Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
and Europe through to the 20th century. Its status in early Rome as a symbol of political or military power carried over to other civilizations, as it was also used in this regard by kings in Europe,
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
, and others.


History


Ancient Rome

In the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
, and Empire, the curule chair (''sella curulis'', supposedly from ''currus'', "chariot") was the seat upon which magistrates holding
imperium In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A histori ...

imperium
were entitled to sit. This includes
dictator A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the c ...
s, magistri equitum,
consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
s,
praetor Praetor ( , ), also pretor, was the granted by the government of to a man acting in one of two official capacities: (i) the commander of an , and (ii) as an elected ' (magistrate), assigned to discharge various duties. The functions of the magi ...
s,
curule aedile Aedile ( ; la, aedīlis , from , "temple edifice") was an elected office of the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to ...
s, and the
promagistrates In ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roma ...
, temporary or de facto holders of such offices. Additionally, the
censor Censor may refer to: People with the name *Cato the Elder Marcus Porcius Cato (; 234–149 BC), also known as Cato the Censor ( la, Censorius), the Elder and the Wise, was a Roman soldier, senator The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">R ...
s and the
Flamen A (plural ''flamens'' or ''flamines'') was a priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They al ...
of
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant A gas giant is a giant planet composed mainly of hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and at ...
(
Flamen Dialis In Religion in ancient Rome, ancient Roman religion, the Flamen Dialis was the Glossary of ancient Roman religion#sacerdos, high priest of Jupiter (god), Jupiter. The term ''Dialis'' is related to ''Diespiter'', an Old Latin form of the name ''Jupi ...
) were also allowed to sit on a curule seat, though these positions did not hold imperium.
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...

Livy
writes that the three ''
flamines maiores A was a priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer ...
'' or high priests of the
Archaic Triad The Archaic Triad is a hypothetical divine triad, consisting of the three allegedly original deities worshipped on the Capitoline Hill in Rome: Jupiter (mythology), Jupiter, Mars (mythology), Mars and Quirinus. This structure was no longer clearly ...
of major gods were each granted the honor of the curule chair. According to
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
the curule seat, like the Roman toga, originated in
Etruria Etruria () was a region of Central Italy Central Italy ( it, Italia centrale or just ) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ) ...

Etruria
, and it has been used on surviving Etruscan monuments to identify magistrates. However, much earlier stools supported on a cross-frame are known from the
New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartne ...
. One of the earliest recorded examples of the curule chair proper was in 494 BC when the honour of a curule chair in the
circus maximus The Circus Maximus (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repub ...

circus maximus
was awarded to the
Roman dictator A dictator was a magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In , a ' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both an ...
Manius Valerius Maximus Manius Valerius Maximus was Roman dictator in 494 BC during the First secessio plebis in 494 BC, first secession of the plebs. His brothers were Publius Valerius Publicola and Marcus Valerius Volusus. They were said to be the sons of Valerius Vo ...
as a result of his victory over the Sabines. According to
Cassius Dio Lucius Cassius Dio (; ) or Dio Cassius ( ''Dion Kassios'')), Cassius Lucius Dio or Cassius Claudius Dio; alleged to have the ' (nickname) Cocceianus was a Roman statesman and historian of Greek and Roman origin. He published 80 volumes of the ...
, early in 44 BC a senate decree granted
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
the curule seat everywhere except in the theatre, where his
gilded Gilding is a decorative technique for applying a very thin coating of gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an ...
chair and jeweled crown were carried in, putting him on a par with the gods. As a form of
throne A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary {{Short pages monitor