duumvir

duumvir

[doo-uhm-ver, dyoo-]
noun, plural duumvirs, duumviri [doo-uhm-vuh-rahy] . Roman History.
one of two officers or magistrates jointly exercising the same public function.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Latin, back formation from duumvirōrum, genitive plural of duovirī two men, equivalent to duo- duo- + virī, plural of vir man, cognate with Old English wer (see werewolf)

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duumvir (djuːˈʌmvə)
 
n , pl -virs, -viri
1.  Roman history one of two coequal magistrates or officers
2.  either of two men who exercise a joint authority
 
[C16: from Latin, from duo two + vir man]

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duumvir

in ancient Rome, a magistracy of two men. Duoviri perduellionis were two judges, selected by the chief magistrate, who tried cases of crime against the state. Duoviri navales, at first appointed but later popularly elected (311-178 BC), had charge of a fleet. The two chief magistrates of the colonies and municipia (i.e., communities under Roman domination) were often called duoviri jure dicundo.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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