MAGISTRATE

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MAGISTRATE ; a public civil officer, invested with the executive government or some branch of it. Thus, in monarchical governments, a king is the highest or first magistrate. But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like. In Athens, Sparta, and Rome, the chief magistrates were as follows: From Cec.rops to Codrus, Athens had 17 kings; from Medon to Alcmeeon, 13 archons for life; from Charops to Eryxias, 13 decennial, and from that time, annual archons. The democracy established by Solon was changed into a monarchy by Pisistratus, who was sticceeded by his sons Hippias and Hipparehus. The ancient democracy was then restored, but was interrupted for a year, after the unhappy issue of the Peloponnesian war, by the domination of the 30 tyrants, and, for a short time, by that of the decemviri. Under the Macedonian kings, and afterwards under the Romans, except at intervals, the freedom of Athens was only a name. Antipater decreed that 9000 of the principal citizens should administer the government, and Cassander made Demetrius Phalereus prefect of the city. In Sparta, the magistrates were kings, senators, ephori, &c. Chosen by a majority of suffrages, they held their offices, some, as the kings and senators, for life, others for a limited time. Among the Romans, there were different magistrates at different times. The first rulers were elective kings. After the expulsion of Tarquin the Proud (in the year of the city 244, B. C. 510), two consuls were elected annually to administer the government. In cases of pressing danger, a dictator was appointed, with unlimited power, and in case of a failure of all the magistrates, an interrex succeeded. This course continued, with occasional interruptions, till the year of the city 672, or B. C. 81, when Sylla assumed the supreme power, as perpetual dictator. After three years, however, he voluntarily laid aside his authority, and the consular government lasted till Julius Caesar caused himself to be declared perpetual dictator, B. C. 49. From this time, the consular power was never entirely restored. Soon after the assassination of Caesar, the triumvirs, Octavius, Lepidus and Antony, assumed a still more absolute sway; and Octavius finally became chief ruler of the Roman empire, under the title of princeps or imperator. He retained the magistrates of the republic only in name. In the beginning of the republic, the consuls seem to have been the only regular magistrates. But, on account of the constant wars, which required their presence in the army, various other magistrates were ap pointed, as pretors, censors, tribunes of the people, &c. Under the emperors, still different officers arose. The Roman magistrates were divided into ordinary and extraordinary, higher and lower, curule and not curule, patrician and plebeian, civic and provincial. A distinction between patrician and plebeian magistrates was first made in the year of Rome 260 (B. C. 494); that between civic and provincial, when the Romans extended their conquests beyond the limits of Italy. The ordinary magistrates were divided into higher and lower; to the former belonged the consuls, pretors and censors; to the latter, the tribunes of the people, ediles, questors (q. v.), &c. The most important extraordinary magistrates were the dictator, with his master of horse, and the interrex. The difference between curule and not curule magistrates depended on the right of using the curule chair, which belonged only to the dictator, consuls, pretors, censors and curule ediles. During the republic, magistrates were chosen at the comitia, particularly in the centuriata and tributa; in the former, the higher ordinary authorities were chosen, and in the latter, the lower ordinary authorities. Under the emperors, the mode of the election of magistrates is uncertain. MAGLIABECCHI, Antonio; a learned critic, who was librarian to the duke of Tuscany, celebrated alike for the variety of his knowledge and the strength of his memory. He was born at Florence, in 1633, and, in the early part of his life, was en gaged in the employment of a goldsmith, which he relinquished to devote himself to literary pursuits. He was assisted in his studies by Michael Ermini, librarian to cardinal Leopold de' Medici, and other literati residing at Florence. Through unremitting application, he acquired a multifarious stock of erudition, which made him the wonder of his age. Duke Cosmo III made Magliabecchi keeper of the library which he had collected, and gave him free access to the Laurentian library, and the Oriental MSS. ; of the latter collection he published a catalogue. His habits were very eccentric. His attention was wholly absorbed by his books; among which he took his rest and his meals, dividing his time between the ducal library and his private collection, interrupted only by the visits of persons of rank or learning, attracted towards him by the report of his extraordinary endowments. He left no literary work deserv ing of particular notice ; but he freely af forded information to those authors who sought his assistance in their own undertakings. Notwithstanding his sedentary mode of life, he was 81 years old when he died, in July, 1714. (See Spence's Parallel between R. Hill and Magliabecchi.)