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Duo Viri

“The two men”; a name applied to various magistrates and commissioners at Rome and in the coloniae and municipii. The form duumvir, “one of the two men,” is used in the singular (Liv. ii. 42, 5, etc.); it is doubtful whether duumviri should ever be used in the plural. Some editors print it so, but in the MSS. and inscriptions we generally find only iiviri; in C. I. L. i. 1196 we have duo viri, and also duo vir (cf. C. I. L. vi. 3732); but there seems to be no epigraphic authority for duumviri. That Cicero knew only tres viri, not triumviri, is shown by Ep. Fam. viii. 13, 2. The most important of these “commissions of two” were the following:


Duo viri Iuri Dicundo, the highest magistrates in the municipal towns.


Duo viri Sacrörum, to whom was at first intrusted the charge of the Sibylline Books (q. v.) (cf. Liv.iii. 10Liv., 7). The commission was afterwards made to consist of ten (Liv. vi. 37, 12; 42, 2), and subsequently, probably by Sulla , of fifteen.


Duo viri navāles, an extraordinary commission appointed for the purpose of equipping or repairing a fleet (Mommsen, Röm. Staatsr. ii. 565).


Duo viri aedi dedicandae, elected by the people for the purpose of dedicating a temple. The duty was always performed by one of the two only, and the election of a second seems to have been due solely to the desire of the Romans to have two colleagues in each magistracy (Liv.vii. 28Liv., xxii. 33Liv., xxxv. 41). The duo viri aedi locandae, who gave out the contract for the erection of a temple, were not necessarily the same as those who dedicated it (cf. Liv. xxii. 33 with xxiii. 21, 7), although they frequently were.


Duo viri viis extra urbem purgandis were officers under the aediles, first mentioned in the Lex Iulia Municipalis, and possibly therefore instituted by Caesar. They were abolished by Augustus when the curatores viarum were instituted (Dio , liv. 26).


Duo viri perduelliōnis. (See Perduellio.)


Duo viri quinquennāles, the censors in the municipia.

hide References (9 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (9):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 10
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 21
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 42
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 33
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 41
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 6, 37
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 6, 42
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 7
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 7, 28
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