The praetorium, also spelled prœtorium or pretorium, was originally the name for the commander's tent or house in a Roman fortification, a castra or castellum.
Later, praetorium was used for the residence of a procurator (governor) of a Roman province, thus acquiring an administrative and juridical sense that was carried over in the Byzantine Empire, where the praitōrion was the residence of a city's governor. The term was also used for the emperor's headquarters.
Praetor ("leader") was originally the title of the highest-ranking civil servant in the Roman Republic but later became a position directly below the rank of consul. A general's lifeguard was known as the cohors praetoriae, out of which developed the Pretorian Guard, the emperor's lifeguard.
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