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DUO VIRI

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 [p. 1.697]in the singular (Liv. 2.42, 5, &c.): 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. 1.1196 we have duo viri, and also duo vir (cp. C. I. L. 6.3732); but there seems to be no epigraphic authority for duumviri. That Cicero knew only tres viri, not triumviri, is shown by Ep. Fam. 8.13, 2. (Cf. Zumpt's Grammar, § 124.) The most important of these “commissions of two” were the following :--

1. DUO VIRI IURI DICUNDO, the highest magistrates in the municipal towns. [COLONIA p. 482 b.]

2. DUO VIRI SACRORUM, to whom was at first entrusted the charge of the Sibylline Books (cf. Liv. 3.10, 7; 5.13, 6: Mommsen, Hist. 1.240). The commission was afterwards made to consist of ten (Liv. 6.37, 12; 42, 2), and afterwards, probably by Sulla, of fifteen. [DECEMVIRI]

3. DUO VIRI NAVALES, an extraordinary commission appointed for the purpose of equipping or repairing a fleet. Originally a praefectus had been nominated for this purpose by the consuls, but in B.C. 311 the appointment was transferred to the people; and as the name was no longer suitable, the title of duo viri took its place (Mommsen, Röm. Staatsr. 2.565). The election was made as occasion arose, and the tenure of office was not limited to one year. There is no instance of its occurrence on record later than that of B.C. 180-178 (Liv. 41.1).

4. 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 only to the desire of the Romans to have two colleagues in each magistracy (Liv. 7.28; 22.33; 35.41). The duo viri aedi locandae, who gave out the contract for the erection of a temple at the public cost and on public ground, were not necessarily the same as those who dedicated it (cf. Liv. 22.33 with 23.21, 7), although they frequently were.

5. DUO VIRI VIIS EXTRA URBEM PURGANDIS were officers under the aediles, first mentioned in the Lex Julia Municipalis (50.50; cf. C. I. L. i. p. 119), and possibly therefore instituted by Caesar. They were abolished by Augustus, when the curatores viarum were instituted (Dio, 54.26).

6. DUO VIRI PERDUELLIONIS. [PERDUELLIO]

7. DUO VIRI QUINQUENNALES, the censors in the municipia. [COLONIA p. 483 a.]

[A.S.W]

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