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From the prefix prae- and the root found in salio 'to jump'.



praesul m (genitive praesulis); third declension

  1. public dancer who dances in leaps
  2. the leader of the Salii (Ancient Roman priests of Mars)
    • 4th century, Historia Augusta
      Octavo aetatis anno in Saliorum collegium rettulit. [...] Fuit in eo sacerdotio et praesul et vates et magister, et multos inauguravit et exauguravit nemine praeeunte, quod ipse carmina cuncta didicisset. - When he [Marcus Aurelius] was eight years old, he [Hadrian] enrolled him in the college of the Salii. [...] In that priesthood, he was leader and seer and master, admitting and expelling many men, without anybody dictating the songs to him as he had learned them all.
  3. (post-classical) director, president
  4. (post-classical) patron, protector
    • 4th century, perhaps St. Ambrose
      Te lucis ante terminum / rerum creator poscimus / ut solita clementia / sis praesul ad custodiam - Before the end of the light, we beseech Thee, creator of things, that by thy accustomed mercy thou wouldst be [our] protector unto safekeeping
  5. (Medieval Latin) bishop
    • 11th-13th centuries, anonymous, Carmina Burana
      Bibit puer, bibit canus / bibit praesul et decanus - Children drink, the grey-haired drink / Bishops drink and so do deacons


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative praesul praesulēs
genitive praesulis praesulum
dative praesulī praesulibus
accusative praesulem praesulēs
ablative praesule praesulibus
vocative praesul praesulēs


  • praesul in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • praesul in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “praesul”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • praesul” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • praesul in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • praesul in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin