It appears to have furnished many recruits, especially for the cohortes urbanae.
Though not a military officer, the praefect commanded the city cohorts (cohortes urbanae), which formed part of the garrison of Rome and ranked above the line regiments, though below the guards (see Praetorians).
In course of time the command seems to have been enlarged so as to include all the troops in Italy except the corps commanded by the city praefect (cohortes urbanae).
- the commander of the seven cohortes vigilum, a night police force instituted by Augustus (A.D.
Accordingly, the general's quarters in a camp came to be called praetorium, 6 and one of the gates porta praetoria, and the general's bodyguard cohors praetoria, or, if large enough to include several cohorts, cohortes praetoriae.
In particular cohortes praetoriae now designated the imperial bodyguard.
This force was the only body of troops in Rome (save a few cohortes urbanae, a fire brigade, and some non-Roman personal guards of the emperor), or, indeed, anywhere near the capital.