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Bill Thayer

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 p952  Praefectus Classis

Unsigned article on p952 of

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

PRAEFECTUS CLASSIS, the commander of a fleet. This title was frequently given in the times of the republic to the commander of a fleet (Liv. XXVI.48, Liv. XXXVI.42); but Augustus appointed two permanent officers with this title, one of whom was stationed at Ravenna on the Hadriatic and the other at Misenuma on the Tuscan sea, each having the command of a fleet (Suet. Aug. 49; Veget. IV.32; Tac. Hist. III.12).

Thayer's Note:

a The most famous praefectus classis at Misenum — admiral of the Tyrrhenian Fleet — was of course Pliny the Elder; as such, he was the highest-ranking Roman to die in the A.D. 79 eruption of Vesuvius, within a few feet of the sea.

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Page updated: 16 Dec 08