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''Praeses'' (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
 ''praesides'') is a
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word meaning "placed before" or "at the head". In antiquity, notably under the Roman Dominate, it was used to refer to Roman
governors A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
; it continues to see some use for various modern positions.


Roman governors

''Praeses'' began to be used as a generic description for
provincial Provincial may refer to: Government & Administration * Provincial capitals, an administrative sub-national capital of a country * Provincial city (disambiguation) * Provincial minister (disambiguation) * Provincial Secretary, a position in Canadi ...
governors A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
—often through paraphrases, such as ''qui praeest'' ("he who presides")—already since the early
Principate The Principate is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republ ...
, but came in general use under the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. The jurist
Aemilius Macer Aemilius Macer of Verona Verona ( , ; vec, Verona or ''Veròna'') is a city on the Adige River in Veneto, northern Italy, Italy, with 258,031 inhabitants. It is one of the seven provincial capitals of the region. It is the largest city Comune ...
, who wrote at the time of
Caracalla Caracalla ( ; 4 April 188 – 8 April 217), formally known as Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), was Roman emperor from 198 to 217. He was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Co-ruler ...

Caracalla
(reigned 198–217), insists that the term was applied only to the governors who were also —thereby excluding the
equestrian The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of equestrian sports, Equestrian sports *Equestrianism, ...
'' procuratores''—but, while this may reflect earlier usage, it was certainly no longer the case by the time he wrote. In the usage of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the term appears originally to have been used as an honorific, affixed to the formal gubernatorial titles (''
legatus A ''legatus'' (Anglicisation, anglicised as legate) was a high-ranking Roman military officer in the Roman Army, equivalent to a modern high-ranking general officer. Initially used to delegate power, the term became formalised under Augustus as ...

legatus
Augusti 300px, Coin of the emperor Diocletian, marked ''Augustus'' (plural ''augusti''; , ; "majestic", "great" or "venerable") was an ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 ...
'' etc.), and even, occasionally, for
legion Legion may refer to: Military * Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...

legion
commanders or fiscal ''procuratores''. By the mid-3rd century, however, ''praeses'' had become an official term, including for equestrian officials. The form '' rocuratorvice praesidis'' had also come into common use for equestrian ''procuratores'' entrusted with the governance of provinces in the absence of, or in lieu of, the regular (senatorial) governor. This marks a decisive step in the assumption of full provincial governorships by equestrians, with the first equestrian ''praesides provinciae'' appearing in the 270s. This evolution was formalized in the reforms of
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
(r. 284–305) and
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
(r. 306–337), when the term ''praeses'' came to designate a specific class of provincial governors, the lowest after the '' consulares'' and the ''
corrector A corrector (English plural ''correctors'', Latin plural ''correctores'') is a person or object practicing correction, usually by removing or rectifying errors. The word is originally a Roman title ''corrector'', derived from the Latin verb ''cor ...
es''. In the East, however, they ranked between the two other classes, possibly because the few ''correctores'' there were instituted after the ''praesides''. The term ''praeses'' remained in general use for provincial governors, and was still used in legal parlance to designate all classes of provincial governors collectively. In common usage, the ''praesides'' were often also designated by more generic titles such as ''
iudex A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a Judicial panel, panel of judges. A judge hears all the witnesses and any other Evidence (law), evidence presented by the barristers or solicitors of the cas ...
'' ("judge"), ''
rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical), a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations *Rector (academia), a senior official in an educ ...
'' or '' moderator'', and sometimes archaically as ''
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 ...
''. In
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, the term was rendered as (''
hegemon Hegemony (, , ) is the political, economic, and military predominance of one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (ne ...
''). Most of the provinces created by Diocletian by splitting the larger older ones were entrusted to such ''praesides'', and they form the most numerous group of governors in the late-4th century ''
Notitia Dignitatum Palestine and the River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy.">Peronet_Lamy.html" ;"title="River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy">River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' ...
'': ;in thirty-one provinces in the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
''Notitia Dignitatum''
''in partibus Occidentis'', I
/ref> *four in the
Diocese of Illyricum In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
:
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...
,
Pannonia Prima Pannonia Prima was an ancient Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', ...
, Noricum Mediterraneum, Noricum Ripense *seven in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
:
Alpes Cottiae The Alpes Cottiae (; English: 'Cottian Alps') were a small province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...
, and ,
Samnium Samnium ( it, Sannio) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" ...

Samnium
, Valeria,
Corsica et Sardinia The Province of Sardinia and Corsica ( la, Provincia Sardinia et Corsica, Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 B ...
. *two in the
Diocese of Africa The Diocese of Africa ( la, Dioecesis Africae) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of th ...
:
Mauretania Sitifensis Mauretania Sitifensis was a Roman province in Africa Proconsularis. The capital was Setifis. History In the later division of the Roman Empire under the Emperor Diocletian, the eastern part of Mauretania Caesariensis, from Saldae to the river ...
,
Tripolitana Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس ', Berber language, Berber: ', from Vulgar Latin ''*Trapoletanius'', from Latin ', from Greek Τριπολιτάνια) is a historic region and provinces of Libya, former province of Libya. Tripolitania was a s ...
*four in Diocese of the Spains (Iberia and opposite African coast):
Tarraconensis Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman R ...

Tarraconensis
,
Carthaginensis 200px, Carthaginensis Province Hispania Carthaginensis was a Roman province segregated from Hispania Tarraconensis in the new division of Hispania by emperor Diocletian in 298. The capital of the new province was settled in Carthago Nova, now Car ...

Carthaginensis
,
Insulae Baleares The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago of islands in Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The four largest islands are Mallorca, Menor ...
,
Mauretania Tingitana Mauretania Tingitana (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...
*eleven in the Diocese of the Gauls:
Alpes Maritimae The Alpes Maritimae (; English: 'Maritime Alps') were a small province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial ...
, Alpes Poenninae et Graiae,
Maxima Sequanorum # # # * * ' . According to the key, the map depicts 17 ''Provinciae Galliae'', "Provinces of Gaul," of which the 17th, '' rovinciaMaxima Sequanorum'', "Greater Sequania," identified with an XVII shown in the Jura Mountains, contains the ''Seq ...

Maxima Sequanorum
, Aquitanica Prima and Secunda,
Novempopulania Novempopulania (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

Novempopulania
, Narbonensis Prima and Secunda, Lugdunensis Secunda, Tertia and Senonica *three in the
Diocese of Britain In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
:
Britannia Prima Britannia Prima or Britannia I (Latin for "First Roman Britain, Britain") was one of the Roman province, provinces of the Diocese of Britain, Diocese of "the Roman Britain, Britains" created during the Diocletian Reforms at the end of the 3rd centur ...
and Secunda,
Flavia Caesariensis Flavia Caesariensis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
. ;in forty provinces in the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
''Notitia Dignitatum''
''in partibus Orientis'', I
/ref> * five in the
Diocese of Egypt The Diocese of Egypt ( la, Dioecesis Aegypti, el, ) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organizatio ...
:
Libya Superior Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in An ...

Libya Superior
and Inferior,
Thebais The Thebaid or Thebais ( grc-gre, Θηβαΐς, ''Thēbaïs'') was a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and the int ...
,
Ægyptus , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ma ...
,
Arcadia Arcadia may refer to: Places Australia * Arcadia, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * Arcadia, Queensland * Arcadia, Victoria Greece * Arcadia (region) Arcadia ( el, Ἀρκαδία) is a region in the central Peloponnese. It takes its name ...
. * eight in the
Diocese of the East The Diocese of the East ( la, Dioecesis Orientis; el, ) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organizat ...
:
Palaestina Salutaris Palaestina Salutaris or Palaestina Tertia was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Midd ...
and Secunda,
Phoenice Libanensis Phoenice or Phoenike ( el, Φοινίκη) was an city in and capital of the .: "To the north the Chaonians had expelled the Corcyraeans from their holdings on the mainland and built fortifications at Buthrotum, Kalivo and Kara-Ali-Bey; and ...
,
Euphratensis Euphratensis (Latin for "Euphrates, Euphratean"; grc-gre, Εὑφρατησία, ''Euphratēsía''), fully Augusta Euphratensis, was a late Roman and then Byzantine province in Syria (region), Syrian region, part of the Byzantine Diocese of the Ea ...
, Syria Salutaris,
Osrhoene Osroene (; grc, Ὀσροηνή / ''Osrhoēnē'', Romanized as ''Osroëne'', or ''Osrhoene'') was an ancient region and state in Upper Mesopotamia. The ''Kingdom of Osroene'', also known as the "Kingdom of Edessa" ( syc, ܡܠܟܘܬܐ ܕܒܝܬ ܐ ...
, Mesopotamia,
Cilicia Secunda Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the litera ...

Cilicia Secunda
* seven in the
Diocese of Asia The Diocese of Asia ( la, Dioecesis Asiana, el, Διοίκησις Ἀσίας/Άσιανῆς) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bish ...
:
Pisidia Pisidia (; el, Πισιδία, ''Pisidía''; tr, Pisidya) was a region of ancient Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paenins ...
,
Lycaonia Lycaonia (; el, Λυκαονία, ''Lykaonia'', tr, Likaonya) was a large region in the interior of Asia Minor, north of the Taurus Mountains. It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the north by Galatia, on the west by Phrygia and Pi ...
,
Phrygia Pacatiana In classical antiquity, Phrygia (; grc, Φρυγία, ''Phrygía'' ; tr, Frigya) (also known as the Kingdom of Muska) was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Asian Turkey, centred on the Sangarios River. After its co ...
and
Phrygia Salutaris In classical antiquity, Phrygia (; grc, Φρυγία, ''Phrygía'' ; tr, Frigya) (also known as the Kingdom of Muska) was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Asian Turkey, centred on the Sangarios River. After its co ...
,
Lycia Lycia ( Lycian: 𐊗𐊕𐊐𐊎𐊆𐊖 ''Trm̃mis''; el, Λυκία, ; tr, Likya) was a geopolitical region in Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula ...
,
Caria Caria (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

Caria
,
Insulae The Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, 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 Republic, it ...
. * eight in the
Diocese of Pontus The Diocese of Pontus ( la, Dioecesis Pontica, el, Διοίκησις Πόντου/Ποντικῆς) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of ...
:
Honorias Honorias ( el, ) was a late Roman province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of t ...
,
Cappadocia Prima Cappadocia was a Roman province, province of the Roman Empire in Anatolia (modern central-eastern Turkey), with its capital at Caesarea Mazaca, Caesarea. It was established in 17 AD by the Emperor Tiberius (ruled 14-37 AD), following the death of ...
and Secunda, Helenopontus,
Pontus Polemoniacus Pontus or Pontos (; el, Πόντος, translit=Póntos, "Sea") is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, ...
,
Armenia Prima Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UN]classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the ...
and
Armenia Secunda Roman Armenia refers to the rule of parts of Greater Armenia by the Roman Empire, from the 1st century AD to the end of Late Antiquity. While Armenia Minor had become a client state and incorporated into the Roman Empire proper during the 1st cen ...
, Galatia Salutaris. * four in the
Diocese of Thrace The Diocese of Thrace Map of Ancient Thrace made by Abraham Ortelius in 1585, stating both the names Thrace and Europe. Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical ...
: Haemimontus, Rhodope, Moesia, Moesia Secunda, Scythia Minor, Scythia * four in the Diocese of Dacia: Dacia Ripensis, Moesia, Moesia Prima, Praevalitana, Dardani#Roman Dardania, Dardania * four in the Diocese of Macedonia: Thessalia, Epirus Vetus and Epirus Nova, Macedonia Salutaris. In the East, the staff (''officium (Ancient Rome), officium'') of the ''praeses'' (attested for Thebais) comprised the same as that of a ''consularis'', i.e. a ''princeps officii'', ''cornicularius'', ''commentariensis'', ''adiutor'', ''numerarius'', ''ab actis'', ''a libellis'', ''subadiuva''; finally unspecified ''exceptores'' and ''cohortalini'' (menial staff). In the West (attested for Dalmatia), the ''officium'' was again the same as with the ''consulares'' and ''correctores'', comprising the ''princeps officii'', ''cornicularius'', two ''tabularii'', ''commentariensis'', ''adiutor'', ''ab actis'', ''subadiuva'', and the usual ''exceptores'' and ''cohortalini''.''Notitia Dignitatum''
''in partibus Occidentis'', XLV
/ref> The status of a ''praeses'' could also be awarded as a separate honour, ''ex praeside'', attached to the rank of ''vir perfectissimus''.


German advisors

In German academia a doctoral advisor is called the . However, in the 18th century and before, the doctoral system was quite different. Instead of a as such, the candidate had a ''praeses'' to act as mentor and who would also head the oral ''viva voce'' exam. In the 18th century the ''praeses'' often chose the subject and compiled the theses and the candidate had only to defend. Sometimes there were several candidates at the same time defending the same thesis, in order to save time.


Modern uses

The Chair (official), chair of a student society in the Netherlands or Belgium may be called a praeses; in Dutch language, Dutch the official spelling has changed to "''preses''" but most student societies still observe the Latin spelling. Various minor offices may be designated by a compound title, e.g. ''dooppraeses'' in charge of initiation and associated hazing. In Norway, the office of archbishop has been abolished. Instead, the Lutheran Church of Norway has a Church of Norway Bishops Conference, Bishops Conference which is presided over by a ''praeses''. The Landeskirche, church bodies Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and Evangelical Church of Westphalia, in which the title and function of bishop are unknown, are also chaired by a ''praeses'' (german: Präses, plural: Präsides). In other German church bodies the title usually refers to the president of the synod. Roman Catholic monastic institutions, especially Franciscan ones, use the term to indicate the presiding officer of a collegial meeting of the order. The official Scots language, Scots title of the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament is ''Preses o the Scots Pairlament''. The Polish language, Polish word ''prezes'', derived from Latin ''praeses'' means ''chairman''.


References

Ancient Roman titles Gubernatorial titles Government of the Roman Empire Byzantine administrative offices {{italic title