was a servant who attended upon and executed
the commands of certain Roman magistrates, to whom he bore the same relation
as the lictor did to other magistrates. The name viatores
was derived from the circumstance of their being chiefly
employed on messages either to call upon senators to attend the meeting of
the senate, or to summon the people to the comitia, &c. (Cic. de Senect. 16
, 56; Fest. p.
371; cf. Plin. Nat. 18.20
magistrates who had no lictors employed their viatores instead (Liv. 2.56
; Cic. in Vat. 9
, 22; TRIBUNUS
). Here they had to
carry out the jus prendendi
but not vocandi.
On the other hand, those magistrates who
had lictors used the lictors as their personal attendants [see LICTOR
], but the viatores to
summon the senate and for other official messages (Liv.
; Cic. pro Cluent.
27, 74). The viatores of the Aerarian quaestors
were employed as subordinates in the Aerarium.
Viatores were mostly freedmen or of low birth (V. Max.
); but those of the Quaestores
aerarii were of equestrian rank (C. I. L.
Mommsen infers from inscriptions that there were three decuriae of viatores
for the superior magistrates (one being reserved for consuls), and one
decuria for tribunes (see Mommsen, Staatsrecht,
1.360 f., and
inscriptions there cited). Viatores were employed also as attendants by
Augurs, Septemviri Epulones, and Sodales Augustales (Marquardt,