This title was frequently given in the
times of the Republic to the commander of a fleet (Liv.
, as contrasted with praefecti navium,
the commanders of the several
ships); but Augustus appointed two permanent officers with this title, one
of whom was stationed at Ravenna on the Adriatic and the other at Misenum on
the Tuscan sea, each having the command of a fleet. (Suet. Aug. 49
; Veget. 4.32; Tac. Ann.
3.12.) These were also of
equestrian rank, in some cases even freedmen (Tac.