magistratus (maj-[schwa]-stray-t[schwa]s), n. [fr. Latin magister “a master”] Roman law.

1. A magistrate.

2. A magistrate’s office.

“Magistratus. Denotes both the public office and the official himself. Magistracy was a Republican institution; under the Principate some magistratus continued to exist but with gradually diminishing importance; in the post-Diocletian Empire some former magistracies still exist but reduced nearly completely to an honorific title …. The most characteristic features of the Republican magistracy were the limited duration (one year) and colleagueship since each magistracy was covered by at least two persons … with equal power …. Magistrates were elected by the people …. During his year of service a magistratus could not be removed. Misdemeanor in office could be prosecuted only after the term, hence the tenure of an office for two consecutive years was prohibited …. The tenure of a public office was considered an honor; for that reason the magistrates did not receive any compensation. Their political influence was, however, of greatest importance ….” Adolf Berger, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law 571–72 (1953).

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