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Prefect (from the Latin praefectus, substantive adjectivalform of praeficere: "put in front", i.e., in charge) is a magisterial title of varying definition, but essentially refers to the leader of an administrative area.
A prefect's office, department, or area of control is called a prefecture, but in various post-Roman empire cases there is a prefect without a prefecture or vice versa. The words "prefect" and "prefecture" are also used, more or less conventionally, to render analogous words in other languages, especially Romance languages.
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Praefectus, often with a further qualification, was the formal title of many, fairly low to high-ranking, military or civil officials in the Roman Empire, whose authority was not embodied in their person (as it was with elected Magistrates) but conferred by delegation from a higher authority. They did have some authority in their prefecture such as controlling prisons and in civil administration.
The Praetorian prefect (Praefectus praetorio) began as the military commander of a general's guard company in the field, then grew in importance as the Praetorian Guard became a potential kingmaker during the Empire. From the Emperor Diocletian's tetrarchy (c. 300) they became the administrators of the four Praetorian prefectures, the government level above the (newly created) dioceses and (multiplied) provinces.
For some auxiliary troops, specific titles could even refer to their peoples:
Roman provinces were usually ruled by high-rank officials. Less important provinces though were entrusted to prefects, military men who would otherwise only govern parts of larger provinces. The most famous example is Pontius Pilate, who governed Judaea at a time when it was administered as an annex of Syria.
As Egypt was a special imperial domain, a rich and strategic granary, where the Emperor enjoyed an almost pharaonic position unlike any other province or diocese, its head was styled uniquely Praefectus Augustalis , indicating that he governed in the personal name of the emperor, the "Augustus". Septimius Severus, after conquering Mesopotamia, introduced the same system there too.
After the mid-1st century, as a result of the Pax Romana, the governorship was gradually shifted from the military prefects to civilian fiscal officials called procurators, Egypt remaining the exception.
Especially in Medieval Latin, præfectus was used to refer to various officers—administrative, military, judicial, etc.—usually alongside a more precise term in the vernacular (such as Burggraf , which literally means Count of the Castle in the German language).
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The term is used by the Roman Catholic Church, which based much of its canon law terminology on Roman law, in several different ways.
Many college preparatory boarding schools utilize the position of Prefect as a high student leadership position.
In the 1980s, under the presidency of François Mitterrand (1981–1995), a fundamental change in the role of the prefect (and sub-prefect) took place. The previously extremely centralized French (Fifth) Republic was gradually decentralized by the creation of the Regions and the devolution of central state powers towards the Régions, Départements and Communes (municipalities). New elected authorities were created (e.g. the Conseils régionaux) in order to administrate the subdivisional entities (collectivités territoriales) of the nation (law from 2 March 1982). The changes have gradually altered the function of the prefect. He is still the supreme representative of the state in a département, but has lost his omnipotent function of chief administrator. Instead, he has acquired the roles of chief controller (not a title) of regional, departemental and communal public accounts and of chief inspector (not a title) of good (i.e. law-abiding) governance of the authorities of the respective territorial entities.
A Préfet maritime is a French Admiral (Amiral) who is commissioned to be the chief commander of a Zone maritime (i.e. a section of the French territorial waters and the respective shores).
In Paris, the Préfet de police (prefect of police) is the head of the city's police under the direct authority of the Ministre de l'Intérieur (Minister of the Interior), which makes him unique as usually in French towns and cities the chief of the local police is subordinated to the maire (mayor), who is the local representative of the minister in police matters.
The Prefect of Police ( Préfet de police) is the officer in charge of co-ordinating police forces in Paris (see above under "France"). The local police in Japan are divided among prefectures too.
A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, governor may be the title of a politician who governs a constituent state and may be either appointed or elected. The power of the individual governor can vary dramatically between political systems, with some governors having only nominal or largely ceremonial power, with others having complete control over the entire government.
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.
A prefecture in France may refer to:
The praetorian prefect was a high office in the Roman Empire. Originating as the commander of the Praetorian Guard, the office gradually acquired extensive legal and administrative functions, with its holders becoming the Emperor's chief aides. Under Constantine I, the office was much reduced in power and transformed into a purely civilian administrative post, while under his successors, territorially-defined praetorian prefectures emerged as the highest-level administrative division of the Empire. The prefects again functioned as the chief ministers of the state, with many laws addressed to them by name. In this role, praetorian prefects continued to be appointed by the Eastern Roman Empire until the reign of Heraclius in the 7th century AD, when wide-ranging reforms reduced their power and converted them to mere overseers of provincial administration. The last traces of the prefecture disappeared in the Byzantine Empire by the 840s.
A prefect in France is the state's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements. The office of a prefect is known as a prefecture and that of a sub-prefect as a subprefecture.
The Vigiles or more properly the Vigiles Urbani or Cohortes Vigilum were the firefighters and police of Ancient Rome.
The Paris Police Prefecture is the unit of the French Ministry of the Interior that provides police, emergency services, and various administrative services to the population of the city of Paris and the surrounding three suburban départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne. It is headed by the Prefect of Police.
An administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located.
A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law throughout one or more of the many provinces constituting the Roman Empire. A Roman governor is also known as a propraetor or proconsul.
Maximinus was a Roman barrister and Praetorian Prefect of the later fourth century AD.
The praefectus urbanus, also called praefectus urbi or urban prefect in English, was prefect of the city of Rome, and later also of Constantinople. The office originated under the Roman kings, continued during the Republic and Empire, and held high importance in late Antiquity. The office survived the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and the last urban prefect of Rome, named Iohannes, is attested in 599. In the East, in Constantinople, the office survived until the 13th century.
The magister officiorum was one of the most senior administrative officials in the late Roman Empire and the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire. In Byzantium, the office was eventually transformed into a senior honorary rank, simply called magistros (μάγιστρος), until it disappeared in the 12th century.
In the Later Roman Empire, usually dated 284 A.D. to 602 A.D., the regional governance district known as the Roman or civil diocese was made up of a grouping of provinces headed by vicars of praetorian prefects. There were 12 dioceses in the beginning rising to 14 by 380.
Marcus Aurelius Cleander, commonly known as Cleander, was a Roman freedman who gained extraordinary power as chamberlain and favourite of the emperor Commodus, rising to command the Praetorian Guard and bringing the principal offices of the Roman state into disrepute by selling them to the highest bidder. His career is narrated by Dio Cassius, Herodian and the Historia Augusta.
Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius was a Roman politician, praefectus urbi of Rome in 368–370 and Roman consul in 379. Olybrius has been characterized as belonging to "the breed of flexible politicians who did well both under Valentinian I [...] and under Gratian."
Lucius Petronius Taurus Volusianus was a Roman citizen, apparently of equestrian origins, whose career in the Imperial Service in the mid-Third Century AD carried him from a relatively modest station in life to the highest public offices and senatorial status in a very few years. He may have secured his first appointments before the Licinian Dynasty - - acceded to the Empire in 253 AD, but it was in the course of their reign that his upward progress achieved an almost unprecedented momentum and the second factor seems to have been a consequence of the first. The nature of his relationship to the Licinii is uncertain, but it seems likely that a common origin in the Etruscan region of central Italy at least predisposed Gallienus in his favour and he seems to have been that emperor's most trusted servant and adviser during the period of his sole reign - 260(?)-268 AD.
The constitution of the late Roman Empire was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down, mainly through precedent, which defined the manner in which the late Roman Empire was governed. As a matter of historical convention, the late Roman Empire emerged from the Roman Principate, with the accession of Diocletian in AD 284, his reign marking the beginning of the Tetrarchy. The constitution of the Dominate ultimately recognized monarchy as the true source of power, and thus ended the fiction of dyarchy, in which emperor and Senate governed the empire together.
Flavius Caecina Decius Aginatius Albinus was an aristocrat of the Roman Empire; he was made consul for 444 as the junior partner of Emperor Theodosius II.
As the capital of France, Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon.
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition, but which, basically, refers to the leader of an administrative area. It may also refer to:
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