Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Decemviri, or Decemvirs (Lat. ten men), the name of various committees of ten in ancient Rome. The best known is that elected in 451 B.C. to revise and codify the laws in consequence of the disputes between patricians and plebeians. At the expiry of their year of office a fresh commission was elected, Appius Claudius (q.v.) being the only member who had served on both. These behaved very tyrannically, and the decision of Appius Claudius in the case of Virginia led to their overthrow. The laws they drew up formed the twelve tables, the most ancient body of Roman laws. Another (permanent) body of decemvirs had the care of the Sibylline books (q.v.).