Watchman, keeper, supervisor. Custos is also an epithet for Jupiter appearing on coins of the emperors from Nero to Hadrian. It is said that after the Vitellian attack Domitian built a temple to Jupiter Custos for rescuing them, in which an image was put up that shows the emperor standing under the protection of the god (Tac. Hist. 3,74). Corporis custos was the name for bodyguards of ancient potentates, particularly for the German bodyguard of the Julio-Claudian house (CIL VI 8803; 8804). Custos urbis is often found as a synonym for the praefectus urbi.
Cite this pageMeissel, Franz-Stefan (Vienna), “Custos”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 September 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e308990>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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