Tribunal Praetoris

Richardson, L. jr

Tribunal Praetoris: the platform on which the curule chair of a praetor was set to indicate that he was ready to receive business or that court was in session. It was probably large enough to accommodate an assessor or two, should the praetor wish to invite one, but little more. The praetor's lictors did not stand on the tribunal. The tribunals of the praetors in charge of different courts seem to have had customary locations around the Forum Romanum, but these were not permanently fixed. The court of the praetor urbanus was originally held in the Comitium, that of the praetor peregrinus in medio foro, the quaestio de ambitu in the Comitium, and so on. The ends of the various speakers' platforms and altar platforms in front of temples were the usual locations. Here the tribunals themselves needed to be only a few inches high.

In the travertine pavement of the Forum Romanum southeast of the Columna Phocae are matrices for the bronze letters of an inscription of the praetor peregrinus L. Naevius Surdinus (CIL 6.37068; cf. 6.1460; Nash 1.397 fig. 485). This has sometimes been thought to show the location of his tribunal, but without adequate warrant.

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