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decurio

in ancient Rome, the head of a group of 10. The title had two applications, one civil, the other military. In the first usage decurio was applied to a member of the local council or senate of a colonia (a community established by Roman citizens and having full citizenship rights) or a municipium (a corporation and community established by non-Romans but granted certain rights of citizenship). Qualifications were numerous, and the position was regarded as an honour. The decuriones had wide powers in local administration, finance, and judiciary proceedings.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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