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From the Latin duodecimvirātus, from duodecimvirī (duodecimvirs) + -ātus (-ate).




  1. (uncommon) A group of twelve people, especially (politics) a council of twelve men sharing office or rule, particularly such groups of magistrates in ancient Rome.
    • 1789, William Williams, Primitive History, from the Creation to Cadmus, page 482
      Strabo ſeems to ſay, there were fronting theſe halls, (which Diodorus likewiſe ſeems to diſtinguiſh from the labyrinth, ſtyling it the work of the Duodecimvirate) 27 other halls.
    • 1948, The Contemporary Review CLXXIV, page 184
      It is essential to [Stalin] and to his duodecimvirate that open war shall be avoided or postponed for as long as possible.
    • 1984, Diane Duane, My Enemy, My Ally, page 22
      The Tricameron…comprised…a “Senate”…and a “Praetorate,” a sort of quadruple troika or duodecimvirate: twelve men and women who implemented the Senate’s decrees, declared war or peace, and…spent most of the time squabbling amongst themselves for power.
    • 1996, Michael Peachin, Iudex vice Caesaris, page 135
      It would appear that the duodecimvirate was held after the praetorship, but before the consulate.
    • 2008, Michael Somers, Galactic Exodus, page 73
      The logs of each member of the covert duodecimvirate displayed identical readouts.


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