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p983 Quinqueviri

Unsigned article on p983 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

QUINQUEVIRI, or five commissioners, were frequently appointed under the republic as extraordinary magistrates to carry any measure into effect. Thus Quinqueviri Mensarii, or public bankers, were occasionally appointed in times of great distress [Mensarii]; the same number of commissioners was sometimes appointed to superintend the formation of a colony, though three (triumviri) was a more common number. [Colonia, p315B.] We find too that Quinqueviri were created to superintend the repairs of the wall and of the towers of the city (Liv. XXV.7), as well as for various other purposes.

Besides the extraordinary commissioners of this name, there were also permanent officers, called Quinqueviri, who were responsible for the safety of the city after sunset, as it was inconvenient for the regular magistrates to attend to this duty at that time: they were first appointed soon after the war with Pyrrhus (Dig. 1 tit. 2 s2 § 31).


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