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


Praetor, a Roman officer of state. Down to 367 B.C. the title was applied to the consuls, but after that date the office was made separate, and the praetor (who was a patrician) was a kind of third consul. He had the curule chair, the imperium, and was attended by six lictors. At a later period the praetor became mainly a judge, and two were appointed - the prcetor urbanus, who dealt with city affairs and could not go more than ten miles from its walls, and the prcetor peregrinus, who dealt with cases in which Romans had disputes with strangers and who administered a system of equity. Other praetors were appointed as the tide of conquest spread, so that by the time of Julius Caesar there were sixteen. Under the Empire the number varied from twelve to sixteen.