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[8arg] Inquiry and difference of opinion as to whether the praefect appointed for the Latin Festival has the right of convening and consulting the senate.
JUNIUS declares 1 that the praefect left in charge of the city because of the Latin Festival 2 may not hold a meeting of the senate, since he is neither a senator nor has he the right of expressing his opinion, because he is made praefect at an age when he is not eligible to the senate. But Marcus Varro in the fourth book of his Investigations in Epistolary Form 3 and Ateius Capito in the ninth of his Miscellanies 4 assert that the praefect has the right to convene the senate, and Capito declares that Varro agrees on this point with Tubero, contrary to the view of Junius: “For the tribunes of the commons also,” says Capito, 5 “had the right of convening the senate although before the bill of Atinius 6 they were not senators.”
1 Frag. 10, Huschke; id., Bremer.
2 The feriae Latinae were held on the Alban Mount in April at a date set by the consuls. Since the consuls must be present at the celebration, they appointed a prafectus urbi to take their place in Rome. Under the empire he was called praefectus urbi fcriarum Latinarum, to distinguish him from the praefectus urbi instituted by Augustus (Suet. Aug. xxxvii). Since a praefectus had the powers of the officer or officers in whose place he was appointed, Varro and Capito are right in theory; but since very young men were often appointed to the office (Suet. Nero, vii. 2; S.H.A. vita Marci, iv, etc.), Junius may have been right as to the actual practice.
3 p. 196, Bipont.
4 Frag. 4, Huschke; id., Bremer.
5 De Off. Sen. 2, Bremer.
6 The date of this bill is not known.
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