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Decemviri (singular Decemvir ) is the Latin expression for "ten men", which in the Roman Republic was used to describe any commission that consisted of ten men with special powers (compare " Triumviri " - "three men"), some of whom were even elected Replacing consuls to solve a given task.

Well-known decemviri commissions are:

Decemviri Consulari Imperio Legibus Scribundis

In 452 BC The Roman plebeians and patricians agreed to form a commission of ten men to write down the legal text (which has been passed down orally) on the basis of Roman administration; during the tenure of the Decemviri all other magistrates should be suspended and their decisions final. The first group of Decemviri, consisting entirely of patricians, took office in 451 BC. And was headed by Appius Claudius Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus and Titus Genucius Augurinus , the two consuls of the year. Each decemvir alternately led the government for one day, the respective chairman was accompanied by lictors who wore the fasces . The commission's conduct of office was exemplary, and they proposed a legal text in ten chapters to the Comitia Centuriata , written on ten bronze tablets, which was then passed.

The success of the commission led to the formation of a second in 450 BC. BC (Appius Claudius was the only Decemvir who also worked here). This second commission added two more chapters to the drafting of their predecessors, thereby completing the Twelve Tables Law ( Lex Duodecim Tabularum ), which now formed the heart of the Roman state constitution for the next few centuries. This Decemvir government became increasingly tyrannical and violent; each decemvir was now accompanied by twelve lictors who even carried the fasces with axes (only consuls and dictators were accompanied by twelve lictors and only the dictator was allowed to show the fasces with axes within the pomerium , this meant that the bearer had the right to do so to impose the death penalty).

When the term of office of this decemvirate expired, the decemviri refused to give up the office and the successors to take up office. Appius Claudius was rumored to have made an unjust decision that pushed a young woman named Verginia into prostitution , which led her father to kill her, a situation that sparked an uprising against the Decemvirate and the Decemviri in 449 v. Forced to resign, so that the normal magistratus ( magistratus ordinarii ) could be reinstated.

Decemviri Consulari Imperio Legibus Scribundis (451 BC):

Decemviri Consulari Imperio Legibus Scribundis (450-449 BC)

Decemviri Stlitibus Iudicandis

This type of decemvirate, also called Decemviri Litibus Iudicandis ( stlis ( old Latin ) = lis , dt. Dispute, process), was a civil court of ancient origin, the establishment of which is traditionally attributed to King Servius Tullius and which mainly deals with the freedom and other civil rights by and for private individuals. Initially, the Decemviri served as a jury, who pronounced judgments under the presidency of the praetor , but later they became simple judges ( magistratus minores ) of the republic, elected annually by the comitia tributa and part of the vigintisexviri ("26 men").

Suetonius and Cassius Dio report that Augustus gave the Decemviri the presidency of the Centumviri ("Hundred Men") courts .

Decemviri Agris Dandis Adsignandis

This type of decemvirate was convened from time to time to survey the public land ( ager publicus ) and to monitor its distribution.

See also