from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An annually elected magistrate of the ancient Roman Republic, ranking below but having approximately the same functions as a consul.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The title designating a Roman administrative official whose role changed over time:
- n. A high civic or administrative official, especially a chief magistrate or mayor. Sometimes used as a title.
- n. The title of the chief magistrate, the mayor, and/or the podestà in Palermo, in Verona, and in various other parts of Italy.
 The praetor -- The _praetor urbanus_, or city praetor, who decided all causes between citizens, and passed sentence on debtors.
This praetor was no doubt propraetor of the province of Africa, sent thither from Rome to undertake the regular administration, but he was at the same time placed at the disposal of the consul Marius; for as a propraetor had the _jus praetorem_ in his province, he was sometimes simply called praetor; thus Verres is often called praetor of Sicily.
Quintus was coming to the end of his term as praetor and was heavily in debt and apprehensive about what province he might draw in the forthcoming lottery.
Ambitious Romans aimed for the consulship soon after their term as praetor.
Cicero, who was praetor that year (the praetor was the magistrate next in rank to the consul), defended Cluentius, and told his client's whole story.
However, as I said, a stem zil forms the basis of many verbal derivatives zili, zilχ, zilχnce, zilace, etc., so I suspect that zilaθ wasn't intended as a noun specifically meaning "praetor" as usually claimed.
Now perhaps zil simply means something to the effect of "to put in power" however the above inscription does not indicate a noun meaning "praetor".
Since, under grammatical analysis, we can fully see that zilaθ is in fact a participle of a verb zil (which forms other words like the adjective zilx), the interpretation of "zilath" as a kind of praetor obviously can't be entirely accurate, even if the essence of the translation may be correct (ie. the verb in question may still refer to an act of leadership).
The status quo account of zilχ, for instance, is that it's the word for 'praetor' and thus an animate noun.
Now I shall try you, not only as 'praetor' in the greatest, but as 'censor' in lesser, and as the lowest magistrate in the least cases.
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