from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An elected official of ancient Rome who was responsible for public works and games and who supervised markets, the grain supply, and the water supply.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An elected official who was responsible for the maintenance of public buildings and the regulation of festivals; also supervised markets and the supply of grain and water.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A magistrate in ancient Rome, who had the superintendence of public buildings, highways, shows, etc.; hence, a municipal officer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. etc. See edile, etc.
Although he is remembered today only as the father of Augustus, he was at this time aedile of the plebs and very much the coming man.
Glossary aedile an elected official, of whom four were chosen annually to serve a one-year term, responsible for the running of the city of Rome: law and order, public buildings, business regulations, etc.
That they had long been under police regulation, and compelled to register with the aedile, is evident from a passage in Tacitus:
Procuration also, had to be notified before the aedile, whose special business it was to see that no Roman matron became a prostitute.
When an applicant registered with the aedile, she gave her correct name, her age, place of birth, and the pseudonym under which she intended practicing her calling.
The result of the trial is as follows: "the tribunes gave as their decision that the aedile had been lawfully driven from that place, as being one that he ought not to have visited with his officer."
Attic. iv, 14, where an action at law is cited, in which the aedile Hostilius had attempted to force his way into the apartments of Mamilia, a courtesan, who thereupon, had driven him away with stones.
It was a bitter moment for Cicero, and when at last we reached his house and he was able to close the door on the crowd of his supporters in the street, I thought he might collapse, as he had on the eve of the elections for aedile.
He kept his head down in the latter, anxious in particular to avoid falling into conversation with Pompey the Great, fearful that Pompey might ask him to drop his prosecution of Verres and give up his candidacy for aedile or—worse—offer to help, which would leave Cicero beholden to the mightiest man in Rome, an obligation he was determined to avoid.
When he stood for aedile, the number of registered electors was some four hundred thousand; but now those rolls had been revised by the censors, and with the extension of the franchise as far north as the River Po, the electorate had increased to almost one million.