The Equestrian Order
The term eques Romanus seems to have been used in two senses. On the one hand, any Roman citizen of free birth for three generations who possessed four hundred thousand sesterces was allowed to use the title, but from these were chosen the six “squadrons”—purely ornamental formations—of equites equo publico. These were commanded by the seviri equitum (see Nos. 30, 32), young men destined for the senate, who until they obtained the quaestorship and thus entered the senate, ranked as equites. From the larger body were drawn the panels of jurymen (see Nos. 10, 138). From the equites — it is not certain in which sense—were also drawn the lower grade of military officers: the tribunes of the legions and the auxiliary cohorts and the prefects of the auxiliary alae (cavalry squadrons) and the procurators of the emperor, and the prefects of Egypt and of some smaller provinces, and the prefects of the praetorian guard, the corn supply of Rome, and the fire guard of Rome.
KeywordsOfficer Post Military Officer Military Tribune Judicial Power Fire Guard
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