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VIA´TOR 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). Those magistrates who had no lictors employed their viatores instead (Liv. 2.56, 3.56; 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. 6.15, 8.18, 22.11, 41.15; 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. 9.1, 8); but those of the Quaestores aerarii were of equestrian rank (C. I. L. 14.169, 3544). 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, Staatsverw. 3.226).

[L.S] [G.E.M]

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