How to use Praefect in a sentence
Rivalry had already existed between Stilicho and Rufinus, the praetorian praefect of the East, who had exercised considerable influence over the emperor and who now was invested with the guardianship of Arcadius.
Having entered the Roman army, he rose to be praetorian praefect in the Persian campaign of Gordian III., and, inspiring the soldiers to slay the young emperor, was raised by them to the purple (244).
Early in 98 he was promoted to the position of praefect of the public treasury in the temple of Saturn.
He moved that the title of pater patriae should be bestowed upon Augustus, and yet resigned the appointment of praefect of the city after six days' tenure of office, because it was opposed to his ideas of constitutionalism.
Plots against his life naturally began to spring up. That of his favourite Perennis, praefect of the praetorian guard, was discovered in time.Advertisement
The attempt also of the daring highwayman Maternus to seize the empire was betrayed; but at last Eclectus the emperor's chamberlain, Laetus the praefect of the praetorians, and his mistress Marcia, finding their names on the list of those doomed to death, united to destroy him.
A praefect was not one of the magistrates proper; he was, strictly speaking, only the deputy or lieutenant of a superior magistrate or commander.
The city praefect (praefectus urbis) acted at Rome as the deputy of the chief magistrate or magistrates during his or their absence from the city.
The absence of the chief magistrate for more than a single day rendered the appointment of a praefect obligatory; but the obligation only arose when all the higher magistrates were absent.
Hence so long as the consuls were the only higher magistrates their frequent absence often rendered the appointment of a praefect necessary, but after the institution of the praetorship (367 B.C.) the necessity only arose exceptionally, as it rarely happened that both the consuls and the praetor were absent simultaneously.Advertisement
But a praefect continued to be regularly appointed, even under the empire, during the enforced absence of all the higher magistrates at the Latin festival.
No formalities in the appointment and no legal qualifications on the part of the praefect were required.
The praefect had all the powers of the magistrate whose deputy he was, except that he could not nominate a deputy to himself.
There could only be one city praefect at a time, though the dictator Caesar broke the rule by appointing six or eight praefects simultaneously.
Augustus occasionally appointed a city praefect to represent him in his absence from Italy, although the praetors, or even one of the consuls, remained in the capital.Advertisement
As under the republic, the praefect was not allowed to quit the city for more than a day at a time.
By the beginning of the 3rd century, and perhaps earlier, appeals to the emperor in civil cases were handed over by him to be dealt with by the praefect.
Except where special restrictions interfered, an appeal lay from the praefect to the emperor.
The constitutional changes of Diocletian and Constantine extended still further the power of the praefect, in whom, after the disbanding of the guards and the removal from Rome of the highest officials, the whole military, administrative and judicial powers were centred.
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).Advertisement
Further, the praetorian praefect acquired, in addition to his military functions, a criminal jurisdiction, which he exercised not as the delegate but as the representative of the emperor, and hence it was decreed by Constantine (331) that from the sentence of the praetorian praefect there should be no appeal.
The title of "praefect" was borne by various other Roman officials, of whom we may mention the following
Soon afterwards he received from Vespasian the appointment of praefect of the Roman fleet at Misenum.
Mutinies became frequent in all parts of the empire; to ore of them the life of the jurist and praetorian praefect Ulpian was sacrificed; another compelled the retirement of Dio Cassius from his command.
His advisers were men like the famous jurist Ulpian, the historian Dio Cassius and a select board of sixteen senators; a municipal council of fourteen assisted the city praefect in administering the affairs of the fourteen districts of Rome.Advertisement
Arrius Aper, praefect of the praetorian guards, his father-in-law, who was suspected of having murdered him, was slain by Diocletian, whom the soldiers had already proclaimed his successor.
The petitions addressed to the senate by the town of Bononia and by the communities of Rhodes and Ilium were gracefully supported by him in Latin and Greek speeches, and during Claudius's absence in 52 at the Latin festival it was Nero who, as praefect of the city, administered justice in the forum.
Her first object was the final ruin of Agrippina, and by rousing Nero's jealousy and fear she induced him to seek her death, with the aid of a freedman Anicetus, praefect of the fleet of Misenum.
His talents gained him the favourable notice of Hadrian, who appointed him praefect of the free towns in the province of Asia (125).(125).
He is generally supposed to have been praetorian praefect in Spain (399), proconsul of Africa (410), and lord chamberlain (422).Advertisement
He spent the winter at Edessa, and in 217, when he recommenced his campaign, he was murdered between Edessa and Carrhae on the 8th of April at the instigation of Opellius (Opilius) Macrinus, praefect of the praetorian guard, who succeeded him.
After the death of Numerianus he was chosen emperor by the troops at Chalcedon, on the 17th of September 28 4, and slew with his own hands Arrius Aper, the praefect of the praetorians.
Here the son of King Donnus, Cottius - who held the rank of imperial praefect over the fourteen tribes over which his father had ruled as king, so that in the inscription he calls himself "M.
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).