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curule chair

a style of chair reserved in ancient Rome for the use of the highest government dignitaries and usually made like a campstool with curved legs. Ordinarily made of ivory, with or without arms, it probably derived its name from the chariot (currus) in which a magistrate was conveyed to a place of judgment; it served early as a seat of judgment. Subsequently it became a sign of office of all higher ("curule") magistrates, or officials, including the consul, praetor, curule aedile (see aedile), dictator, master of the horse, interrex, censor, and, later, the emperor.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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