Lictor (Nova Roma)

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Apparitores of Nova Roma

· Album Decuriarum Apparitoriarum ·


A lictor (pl. lictores) in an appointed officer of a magistrate bearing the duties of bodyguard and protector of a magistrate, a bailiff or law enforcement officer, government police officer. In our modern context these duties may include serving as an honor guard at events for the magistrate, doing the duties of a messenger contacting various other officials and citizens, tasks regarding communication and representation, or as a magistrate's police officer attending tasks related to moderation of public forums.

The number of lictors that a magistrate may appoint is strictly limited and this restriction serves an important function: the number of lictors shows the importance and power of the magistrate. The consuls and proconsuls can appoint 12, the praetors and propraetors 6, the legati pro praetore and the praefectus Italiae can appoint 5 lictors. Aediles curules can appoint 2 lictors.

No other magistrate may appoint a lictor.

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