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Aediles Cereales



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AEDILES CEREALES. - This third class of Ediles was of much later appointment and of more questionable origin, clashing as they did in functional operations with the other two. Under the free republic, the number of Ediles had been limited to four, viz., two plebeians and two patricians. But according to Dion, two Curators, with the like number of Cereal Ediles, were instituted by Julius Caesar (when about to proceed on his expedition against Parthia), for the purpose of assisting in the conveyance of corn from foreign lands to Rome, and of distributing it among the people, (See Annona). This fact is confirmed by the inscriptions on two marbles, cited by Ursinus, bearing the words AEDILI PLEB. CERIAL. - A denarius of Critonius, who was Cereal Edile, in the year of Rome 710 (B. C. 44), has for the type of its obverse (like Fannia above), the head of Ceres. "And appropriately too" says Eckhel, "for we learn from Cicero, that the care of providing annona, and of preparing the Cerealian games, belonged not less to the plebeian than to the curule ediles. The eminent author of Doctrina num. vet. then makes an apposite quotation from Livy, shewing expressly that on one of those occasions, when L. Valerius and M. Horatius were consuls (B. C. 449), the sacred ceremonies in the temple of Ceres were, by a senatus consultum, placed under the jurisdiction and management of the Plebeian Ediles." - See CEREALES.
The Edileship was continued under the Emperors, and it was not until the reign of Constantine the Great that the institution itself was abolished. - Pitiscus.

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