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Decuria

from decem, “ten,” and consequently a company of ten persons (Colum. i. 9.7).


1.

A division of the curiae. Each of the three ancient Roman tribes—the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres—was divided into ten curiae, and each curia into ten decuriae, so that there were 300 decuriae, which, according to Niebuhr, were equivalent to the gentes, but this is doubtful (Dionys. ii. 7; Plut. Rom. 20; de Rep. ii. 8). The constitution of the curiae is discussed under Curia. See also Gens.


2.

A corresponding division of the Senate. The original hundred members of the Senate were divided into ten decuriae, the heads of each decuria forming the Decem Primi in the Senate. (See Decem Primi; Senatus). In like manner in the municipal towns the Senate, usually called curia, was divided into decuriae. See Decuriones.


3.

In the same way for military purposes each of the three Roman tribes was represented by 100 equites, called centuriae. The three centuriae were divided into ten turmae, each consisting of thirty men; every turma contained ten Ramnes, ten Tities, and ten Luceres, and each of these decuriae was commanded by a decurio (Liv.i. 13; Varr. L. L. v. 91). See Equites.


4.

The Iudices were divided into three decuriae, to which Augustus added a fourth, and Caligula a fifth decuria. See Iudex.


5.

Collegia or corporations were divided into decuriae. Thus we read of decuriae of scribae, lictors, viatores, etc. The members of these decuriae were called decuriales.


6.

The tribes were divided into decuriae by electioneering agents for bribery and corruption (Cic. Planc. 18, 45; Cic. Planc. 19, 47). See Ambitus.

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