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CURIA
Form: Latin.
The name of the thirty divisions into which the three tribus of the Roman patricians were divided for political and religious objects. Every curia contained a number of gentes, supposed to be exactly ten, and a president, curio, whose duty it was to look after its secular and religious business. At the head of all the curioe stood the Curio Maximus, who was charged with the notification of the common festivals Fordicidia and Fornacalia (see these words). The separate curiones were chosen by their respective curive, and the Curio Maximus was elected by the people in special comitia out of the number of curiones. For its special sacrifices every curia had its place of meeting, bearing the same name, with a hearth and dining-hall where the members met to feast and sacrifice. The plebeians seem to have been admitted to the sacrifices, which were offered on behalf of the whole people, and were paid for at the expense of the state (see further, COMITIA CURIATA). The term curia was also applied to certain houses intended for holding meetings, as, for instance, the official residence of the Salli on the Palatine, and especially the senate-house, Curia Hostilia, built by king Hostilius on the comitium, and burnt down 52 B.C. In its place Faustus Sulla, the son of the Dictator, erected the Curia Cornelia. Caesar interrupted the progress of this work to set up the Curia Iulia in its place. Then the senate met in the Curia Pompei, in the entrance-hall of Pompey's theatre, where Caesar was murdered. The Curia Iulia was not begun till 44 B.C., shortly before Caesar's death, and was consecrated in 29 by Augustus. (See plan of Roman Fora, under FORUM.)
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