the general name for the free
attendants of the magistrates at Rome, as distinguished from the servi publici.
They received wages (merces
) from the public treasury, and had places of
their own in the theatre and circus (Tac. Ann.
), doubtless near the magistrates on whom they waited. They
were divided into five classes--the ACCENSI, LICTORES,
VIATORES, SCRIBAE, and PRAECONES, treated
in separate articles. Sometimes the term apparitores
is used to exclude scribae
but this is
less exact, for the last two classes also apparebant
(Cf. Serv. on Verg.
; Cic. Cluent.
.) Each class constituted a
), subdivided into decuriae,
which had the right of holding property
and slaves. The number of members of a decuria
varied with the number of attendants to which each magistrate was entitled.
The term decuria
was afterwards applied, not
merely to a subdivision of a corporation, but to the whole of one not so
divided. The post of apparitor,
nominally conferred by the magistrates of each year, became practically a
permanent one, and was even transferred by sale. (Cf. Mommsen,
1.259-272; Becker, Röm.