Although not sacrosanct, they had the right of sitting in a curule chair and wore the distinctive toga praetexta.
Having served in the army in Spain and Sardinia, he became curule aedile, praetor and (after an unsuccessful attempt in 117) consul in 115.
As curule aedile in 58, Scaurus celebrated the public games on a scale of magnificence never seen before.
This nobility consisted of all those who, as descendants of curule magistrates, had the jus imaginum - that is, who could point to forefathers ennobled by office.
That is to say, it consisted of the remains of the old patriciate, together with those plebeian families any members of which had been chosen to curule offices.
On that day, he tells us, while his sons occupied the curule chairs in the senate-house, he himself had the honour of pronouncing a panegyric on the monarch.
Fourteen years later, when curule aedile, he distributed large quantities of grain among the citizens at a very low price.
He was twice dictator and six times consul, and occupied the curule chair twenty-one times.
The plain white toga (toga Pura) was the ordinary dress of the citizen, but the toga praetexta, which had a border of purple, was worn by boys till the age of sixteen, when they assumed the plain toga virilis, and also by curule magistrates and some priests.
But although the curule aediles always ranked higher than the plebeian, their functions gradually approximated and became practically identical.
In 63 B.C. he was curule aedile, assisted Cicero in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy, and distinguished himself by the splendour of the games he provided.
Already in 68 B.C. he had paraded the bust of Marius at his aunt's funeral; in 65 B.C., as curule aedile, he restored the trophies of Marius to their place on the Capitol; in 64 B.C., as president of the murder commission, he brought three of Sulla's executioners to trial, and in 63 B.C. he caused the ancient procedure of trial by popular assembly to be revived against the murderer of Saturninus.
The place is little mentioned in ancient literature, though Silius Italicus tells us that it was hence that the Romans took their magisterial insignia (fasces, curule chair, purple toga and brazen trumpets), and it was undoubtedly one of the twelve cities of Etruria.
Its presidents were the magistrates of the people, usually the consuls and praetors, and, for purposes of jurisdiction, the curule aediles.
Two individuals are of some importance: (i) Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, pontifex maximus and curule aedile, 213 B.C. In 211, as praetor, he had charge of Apulia; later, he was sent to Sicily, where he proved a successful administrator.
His connexion with Sicily led him to come forward in 70 B.C., when curule-aedile elect, to prosecute Gaius Verres, who had oppressed the island for three years.
He came of a family of good standing, long settled at Velitrae (Velletri), but his father was the first of the family to obtain a curule magistracy at Rome and senatorial dignity.
By virtue of his office he was entitled to a seat in the senate and a curule chair.
In 80 he returned to Rome as curule aedile, in which capacity he exhibited games of exceptional magnificence.
In 79 he was curule aedile with his brother, in 77 praetor, in 73 consul with Gaius Cassius Varus.
After having held several curule offices, he was consul elect in A.D.