The name "aedile" is said to come from their having the care of the temple (aedes) of Ceres. The first aediles, created in 494 BC, were plebeian ones. They were the assistants of the tribunes in such matters as the tribunes entrusted to them, including the hearing of causes of smaller importance.
The Aediles Curules, who were also two in number, were originally chosen only from the patricians, afterwards alternately from the patricians and the plebes, and at last indifferently from both (Liv. 7,1). The office of curule aediles was instituted B.C. 365, and, according to Livy on the occasion of the plebeian aediles refusing to consent to celebrate the ludi maximi for the space of four days instead of three; upon which a senatus consultum was passed, by which two aediles were to be chosen from the patricians. From this time four aediles, two plebeian and two curules, were annually elected (Liv. 6,42).