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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 ...
a promagistrate ( la, pro magistratu) was an ex-
consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; 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 powe ...

consul
or ex-
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 ...
whose
imperium In ancient Rome, ''imperium'' was a form of authority held by a Roman citizenship, citizen to control a military or governmental entity. It is distinct from ''auctoritas'' and ''potestas'', different and generally inferior types of power in t ...

imperium
(the power to command an
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...

army
) was extended at the end of his annual term of office or later. They were called
proconsul A proconsul was an official of 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 wo ...

proconsul
s and propraetors. This was an innovation created during 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 ...
. Initially it was intended to provide additional military commanders to support the armies of the consuls (the two annually elected heads of the Republic and its army) or to lead an additional army. With the acquisitions of territories outside Italy which were annexed as provinces, proconsuls and propraetors became provincial governors or administrators. A third type of promagistrate were the proquaestors.


History

The first type of promagistrate was the proconsul. In the early days of the Roman Republic, when Roman territory was small, Rome had only two
legions
legions
, each commanded by one of the two consuls. Rome was continually under attack by neighboring peoples (the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
in the north, the
Sabines The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; grc, Σαβῖνοι ''Sabĩnoi''; it, Sabini, all exonyms) were an Italic peoples, Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of the ancient Italian Peninsula, also inhabiting Latium north of the An ...
in the east and the
Volsci The Volsci (, , ) were an Italic Osco-Umbrian The Osco-Umbrian, Sabellic or Sabellian languages are a group of Italic languages, the Indo-European languages that were spoken in Central and Southern Italy by the Osco-Umbrians before being replaced ...

Volsci
and
Aequi 300px, Location of the Aequi (Equi) in central Italy, 5th century BC. The Aequi ( grc, Αἴκουοι and Αἴκοι) were an Italic tribe The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is ...
in the south).
Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
recorded five instances when a proconsul was appointed between 480 BC and 464 BC. In 480 BC a proconsul led the left wing of an army which combined the two consular legions while the consuls led the centre and the other wing. In 478 BC two proconsuls are mentioned. One served under the consul who went to fight the Etruscans in the north. Another one commanded a third legion. An extra legion was deployed so that two enemies in the south (the Volsci and Aequi) could be confronted individually with two armies. In 464 BC a proconsul led an irregular force of volunteers and reservists to support a consul whose army was insufficient to match the combined forces of two enemies. Dionysius did not specify the role of the proconsuls on the other occasion. Dionysius described these men as 'legates and proconsuls,' which implied proconsular imperium was directly delegated by the incumbent consul and that the proconsul acted as a sort of deputy of the consul in the military action. It was a temporary measure adopted to deal with an immediate military emergency. In the last of the mentioned occasions, the proconsul was appointed by a decree of the senate and
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 ...
noted that this "form of a decree has ever been deemed to be one of extreme exigency." It seems that in these instances an extra commander was drawn from men who had previously been consuls because they had prior experience of commanding an army. The concept of promagistracy originally involved the notion of the promagistrate acting on behalf of a magistrate: pro consule (on behalf of the consul), pro praetore (on behalf of the praetor). However, in practice this changed when there was a more regular need to create additional military commanders. In 366 BC the office of the
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 ...
was created. This was the city's chief justice. He also had the power to command an army. During the
Second Samnite War The First, Second, and Third Samnite Wars (343–341 BC, 326–304 BC, and 298–290 BC) were fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run throug ...
(326–304 BC) Rome increased the number of its legions. Several proconsuls were appointed to conduct specific operations. Proconsular imperium became an extension (
prorogatio In the constitution of ancient Rome, ''prorogatio'' was the extension of a commander's ''imperium In ancient Rome, ''imperium'' was a form of authority held by a Roman citizenship, citizen to control a military or governmental entity. It is dis ...
) of the imperium of a consul. During the
Third Samnite War The First, Second, and Third Samnite Wars (343–341 BC, 326–304 BC, and 298–290 BC) were fought between the Roman Republic and the Samnites, who lived on a stretch of the Apennine Mountains south of Rome and north of the Lucanians. * Th ...
(298–290 BC) the propraetors were also created. These were praetors whose imperium was extended and who were given the task of commanding reserve armies. Prorogatio was the extension of imperium beyond the one-year term of the consul or praetor. It was a dispensation from the limit of the existing term of office which applied only outside the city walls of Rome. It did not have effect within the city walls. Therefore, it was an exertion of the military command of the consul or praetor, but not of his public office. It was an exclusively military measure.


3rd century BC

As Rome acquired territories beyond Italy which she annexed as provinces there was a need to send governors there. In 227 BC, after the annexation of the first two Roman provinces, (
Sicilia (masculine) it, Siciliana (feminine) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , de ...
in 241 BC and
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 ...
in 238 BC), two praetors were added to the two praetors who acted as chief justices in the city of Rome and were assigned the administration of these two provinces. Two more praetors were added when the provinces of
Hispania Citerior Hispania Citerior (English: "Hither Iberia", or "Nearer Iberia") was a Roman province in Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5t ...
and
Hispania Ulterior Hispania Ulterior (English: "Further Hispania", or occasionally "Thither Hispania") was a region of Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th cent ...
were created in 197 BC. After this no new praetors were added even though the number of provinces increased. The Romans began to extend the imperium of the consuls and the praetors in Rome at the end of their annual term. The provinces were assigned by lot to the proconsuls and propraetors. The proconsuls were given the provinces which required a larger number of troops. A promagistrate held equal formal status to the equivalent magistrate and was attended by the same number of
lictor A lictor (possibly from la, ligare, "to bind") was a Ancient Rome, Roman civil servant who was an attendant and bodyguard to a Roman magistrate, magistrate who held ''imperium''. Lictors are documented since the Roman Kingdom, and may have origi ...

lictor
s.


1st century BC

In 81 BC
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Ancient Romans, Roman List of Roman generals, general and Politician, statesman. He won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history, and became the first man of Rom ...
added two new praetors so that two proconsuls and eight propraetors could be created to govern the ten provinces Rome had acquired by then. The praetors who had previously governed the first four provinces were reassigned to judicial affairs in Rome as the judicial load in the city had increased. Sulla made the governorships annual and required the holder to leave the province within thirty days after the arrival of his successor. In 52 BC Pompey introduced a law which provided that the promagistracies were to be assigned five years after the term of office of the consuls and praetors.
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
repealed it. Pompey's provision was re-enacted by
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
. The concept of delegated authority was sometimes used to confer proconsular imperium on someone who had never held consular power before. During the
Second Punic War The Second Punic War, which lasted from 218 to 201BC, was the second of three wars fought between Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading ...

Second Punic War
(218–201 BC)
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (, , ; 236/235–183 BC) was a Roman general and later consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin plural ''consules'') was the title of one of the two chief Roman magistrate, magistrates of the Roman Republic, a ...

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
volunteered to lead the second Roman expedition against the
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
in Hispania. He was too young to have been a consul. Therefore, proconsular imperium was bestowed on him by a vote of the people. This was an extraordinary measure, but it set a precedent. When Scipio left Hispania after his victory in 205 BC, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and
Lucius Manlius Acidinus :''For others of this gens In ancient Rome, a gens ( or ), plural gentes, was a family consisting of individuals who shared the same Roman naming conventions#Nomen, nomen and who claimed descent from a common ancestor. A branch of a gens was call ...
were sent there with proconsular power "without magistracy" ("sine magistratus", without holding public office). Neither of them had been a consul before. Therefore, they were sent to Hispania without having held consular public office, but they were given proconsular power so that they could command armies there. This was a constitutional oddity. It gave the Roman territory in Hispania a somewhat unofficial status. This situation continued until 198 BC when it was decided to create two new provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior (they were instituted in 197 BC). In 77 BC
Pompey the Great Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...

Pompey the Great
was sent to Hispania to support
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius (c. 128 – 63 BC) was a Roman politician and general. Like the other members of the influential Caecilia gens, Caecilii Metelli family, he was a leader of the Optimates, the conservative faction opposed to the Popu ...

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius
to fight against
Quintus Sertorius Quintus Sertorius (c. 126 – 73 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who led Sertorian War, a large-scale rebellion against the Roman Senate on the Iberian peninsula. He had been a prominent member of the Populares, populist faction of Lucius Co ...
in the
Sertorian War The Sertorian War was a civil war fought from 80 to 72 BC between a faction of Roman rebels ( Sertorians) and the government in Rome (Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A g ...
(80–72 BC). For this purpose the senate gave him proconsular imperium even through he had never been a consul. The term
provincia A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
referred to a field of responsibility, rather than a geographical administrative area. For example, the judicial responsibility of the urban praetor, who was a chief justice, was called provincia. The term often applied to military responsibility and was used to refer to the areas of military responsibility assigned to the consuls to deal with rebellions or threats of invasions; in other words, the area where imperium was exercised. It was in the Late Republic that the term provincia also referred to an administrative area outside Italy. When provinces in the modern sense of the word were established, they were originally the areas where the promagistrates exercised their military power. These governors performed judicial roles in arbitrating disputes between Romans and locals and between the local themselves. They gave the final pronouncements in cases where the laws of the locals did not apply or when there was an appeal. The foundation of this was the governor's ability to enforce his rulings through his military power. In theory, the Senate was meant to supervise the governors, but the distance of many provinces from Rome made this impracticable. Like the magistrates, the promagistrates were accountable for their actions while in office and liable to prosecution after their term of office was over. However, prosecution would occur post facto and there was a reluctance to convict members of the elites. Impunity was the general rule. Alternatively, the defendants could go into self-imposed exile in other cities to escape punishment. In 171 BC envoys from the provinces of Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior presented complaints about extortion against three former propraetors in the two provinces. They were put on trial. The trial of one of them was adjourned twice and on the third session he was acquitted. The other two cases were also adjourned and the other two men went into exile outside Roman territory before the new trial. One of the charges was unjust valuation of grain received as tribute. The senate decreed that no Roman official was to be allowed to set the price of grain or force the locals to sell the levied 5% quota at the price he wished. The senate appointed the
recuperator A recuperator is a special purpose counter-flow energy recovery Energy recovery includes any technique or method of minimizing the input of energy to an overall system by the energy transfer, exchange of energy from one sub-system of the overall ...
es (recuperators) to investigate extortion and maladministration by the propraetors and to recover damages for provincial plaintiffs. In 149 BC the Calpurnian Law established the standing court of recovery of property (quaestio de pecuniis repetundis) which was instituted to deal with cases of extortion. The ''lex de rebus repetundis'' passed by
Gaius Gracchus Gaius Sempronius Gracchus (154–121 BC) was a populist Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map ...
in 133 BC transferred the judges of these courts from the senatorial order (from which the promagistrates were drawn) to the equestrian order. This was the main means by which the provincials could prosecute former governors. If an ex governor was found guilty, he would have to restore twice the value of what he had misappropriated and face disgrace. However, such persecutions were to be undertaken in Rome and it was expensive for provincials to travel there and stay there. Moreover, there still was the possibility of the accused leaving Rome to escape prosecution.
Verres Gaius Verres (c. 120–43 BC) was a Roman magistrate The Roman magistrates were elected officials in Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian wh ...
, who had been governor in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
between 73 and 70 BC, was prosecuted by
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
when he returned to Rome for maladministration, fraud and extortion. When he realised that he stood no chance of acquittal, he fled to
Marseilles Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
, where he lived off the money he misappropriated in Sicily.


Quaestors

The
quaestor A ( , ; "investigator") was a public official 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 ...
s also served in a provincial administration. When a quaestor died in his province, the governors appointed a proquaestor in his stead. In Rome the quaestors were the treasurers. In the provinces they were in charge of the finances of the province. Originally there were only two quaestors who supervised the
aerariumAerarium (from Latin "aes", in its derived sense of "money") was the name (in full, "aerarium stabulum" - treasure-house) given in Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italia ...
in Rome. In 421 BC their number was doubled. From then on when the consuls undertook a military campaign they were accompanied by one quaestor each. The quaestors who remained in Rome came to be called quaestores urbani. Initially the role of these travelling quaestors was to oversee the sale of the war booty, part of which was given to the troops and part of which was given to the aerarium. Later they kept the treasury's fund from the army and gave the soldiers their pay. In 265 BC the number of quaestors was increased to eight. One quaestor became the quaestor ostiensis. He was based at Ostia, Rome's port, and was in charge of the grain provisions for the city. Three other quaestors were sent to towns in Italy to raise those parts of the revenue which were not farmed by the
publicani In antiquity, publicans ( Greek τελώνης ''telōnēs'' (singular); 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 aro ...
(see below) and to control them. Two were sent to Sicily. Lucius Cornelius Sulla increased their number to twenty and Julius Caesar to forty. The quaestors who were seconded to the proconsuls or propraetors in the provinces most probably performed the same functions as those who accompanied the consuls on their campaigns. An important part of their role was paying the soldiers and procuring provisions for the army. Like the quaestors in Italian cities, they also levied those parts of the public revenue in the province which were not farmed by the publicani controlled them. They had to send the raised revenues and their account to the aerarium. When the governor was absent from the province the quaestor took his place in an acting capacity and was then attended by
lictors A lictor (possibly from la, ligare, "to bind") was a Roman civil servant who was an attendant and bodyguard A bodyguard (or close protection officer/operative) is a type of security guard, government law enforcement officer, or servicemember w ...
. The quaestor in the provinces also performed the duties of the 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 ...
. The relationship between governor and quaestor was according to ancient custom regarded as resembling that between a father and his son. Sicily, the first Roman province, had two quaestors owing to the presence of Carthaginian and Greek territories when it was annexed. One was based in
Syracuse Syracuse may refer to: Places Italy *Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse ( ; it, Siracusa , or scn, Seragusa, label=none ; lat, Syrācūsae ; grc-att, wikt:Συράκουσαι, Συράκουσαι, Syrákousai ; grc-dor, wikt:Συράκο ...

Syracuse
and one in
Lilybaeum Marsala (, local ; la, Lilybaeum) is an Italian town located in the Province of Trapani in the westernmost part of Sicily. Marsala is the most populated town in its province and the fifth in Sicily. The town is famous for the docking of Giusepp ...
. In the period of rule by emperors the quaestors continued to serve in the senatorial provinces. In the imperial provinces they were replaced by the procuratores Augusti (see below). In 27 BC, when
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
established rule by emperors, the provinces of the Roman Empire were divided into
imperial province An imperial province was a 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 Republic and lat ...
s and
senatorial province A senatorial province ( la, provincia populi Romani, province of the Roman people) was a Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Italy that were co ...
s. Augustus professed that the senate would keep the finest portion of the empire while he would take on the hardship and danger of defending precarious provinces which were vulnerable to internal rebellions or to external attacks (in the case of provinces along the borders of the empire). In reality he kept the provinces where the bulk of the legions were stationed and left the senators provinces which would be unarmed and unprepared for battle. Among the senatorial provinces, Asia and Africa were assigned to ex-consuls, and the others to ex-praetors. It was established that only this class of senators could pronounce a death sentence. The propraetors chose their provincial assessors from their peers or from their inferiors. The proconsuls chose three assessors form those of equal rank, subject to the emperor's approval. In the imperial provinces which had more than one legion, the governors, the legati Augusti pro praetore, were lieutenants of the emperor appointed by him and were usually propraetors, although sometimes they were ex-quaestors or men who had held other offices below the praetorship. With the propraetors in the imperial provinces being subordinates of the emperor, the latter could exercise better control over the administration of their governors. Many of the letters written by
Pliny the Younger Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study ...

Pliny the Younger
have survived. Book 10 of this collection contains the correspondence he had with the emperor
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Trajanus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors use ...

Trajan
during his governorship in
Bithynia et Pontus Bithynia and Pontus ( la, Provincia Bithynia et Pontus) was the name of a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
in 110–113. In these letters Pliny informed the emperor about affairs in his province and often asked for instructions on specific matters. Trajan provided them in his replies. During the period of the Roman Republic tax collection was tendered to private companies owned by the
publicani In antiquity, publicans ( Greek τελώνης ''telōnēs'' (singular); 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 aro ...
(singular publicanus). These extracted money form the provincials unscrupulously to line their pockets. Livy wrote: "wherever there is a publicanus either public law is disregarded or the liberty of the allies is reduced to nothing." Julius Caesar abolished this system of tax collection and restored the custom of assigning this task to the cities in the provinces. Augustus handed this task to his own officials. In the imperial provinces the quaestors were replaced by the procuratores Augusti (imperial procurators) as the chief financial officers, who took direct charge of financial matters, including tax collection. These financial procurators were appointed by the emperor and were the agents of the emperor. The term procurator originally applied to agents, especially those who went away for Rome for some time on state business. They were direct subordinates of the emperor and therefore worked independently from the governors. They were responsible for the collection of rent in the imperial estates (Augustus has acquired large amounts of land from previous local rulers and potentates), tax collection, the supervision of mines and from paying civil servants and the soldiers. Thus, the financial system operated as an independent executive system. Good collaboration between legati Augusti pro praetore and procurators was advisable as the latter were the paymasters to the army. The building of fortifications was also supervised by the procurators. They belonged to 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, ...
order or were freedmen who had been imperial slaves and thus they were not connected with the senatorial order. With the procurators the emperors gained direct control over finances in the imperial province. These men were also a source of independent information for the emperor. There were also procurators in the senatorial provinces to supervise the imperial estates in those provinces as well. Tacitus wrote that Augustus conferred judicial power to the equestrian governors of the province of Egypt and that later a large number of judicial cases which had been presided over by the praetors both in Rome and in the other provinces were similarly transferred. The emperor
Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial p ...

Claudius
(reigned 41–54) remarked that the judgement of his procurators ought to have the same validity as the rulings of the emperor and handed the judicial power over to them in full. In this manner the emperor gained direct control over judicial matters via their procuratorial agents in Rome. The role of the praetors in Rome was reduced to organising public games. With regard to the provinces, Tacitus did not specify whether this applied to both imperial and senatorial provinces. He did not use the term propraetor either. Given that in the senatorial provinces the role of the procurators was restricted to supervising the imperial estates, it is unlikely that they took on judicial roles there. The mentioned correspondence between Pliny the Younger and Trajan, who reigned later (98–117), indicates that the governor of Bithynia et Pontus, a senatorial province, did preside over judicial cases. In 359 AD Constantius II (the son of Constantine the Great) tried to revive the old judicial role of the praetors in Constantinople by assigning cases regarding guardianship, the emancipation of sons from the legal authority of their fathers (
patria potestas The ''pater familias'', also written as ''paterfamilias'' (plural ''patres familias''), was the head of a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th centu ...
) and the
manumission Manumission, or enfranchisement, is the act of freeing slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslav ...
of slaves to them.


Praefecti

Procurators were also appointed as governors of small provinces. Under Augustus and Tiberius they were called praefecti (singular praefectus).Richardson, J, Roman Provincial Administration, p. 85


Non-Roman usage

The power of a promagistrate in the Roman provinces has led to the term ''proconsul'' being used to designate any high-ranking and authoritative official appointed from above (or from without) to govern a territory without regard for local political institutions (''i.e.'', one who is not elected and whose authority supersedes that of local officials). One of the most prominent examples of this is
Douglas MacArthur , birth_date = , birth_place = Little Rock, Arkansas (The Little Rock, The "Little Rock") , government_type = council-manager government, Council-manager , leader_title = List of mayors of Lit ...

Douglas MacArthur
, who was given vast powers to implement reform and recovery efforts in
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, and has been described occasionally as "the American proconsul of Japan".


Usage in the Roman Catholic Church

It was formerly the rule that the heads of all Curial
Congregation A congregation is a large gathering of people, often for the purpose of worship. Congregation may also refer to: *Church (congregation), a Christian organization meeting in a particular place for worship *Congregation (Roman Curia), an administrat ...
s must be
cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral Navigation * Cardina ...
s, and until the later 20th century they were titled pro-prefects until they were raised to that dignity. On their appointment,
nuncio An apostolic nuncio ( la, nuntius apostolicus; also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor