Prefecture
Overview
 
For subsequent types of praefectura, see Prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

.

A prefecture (from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Praefectura) is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.
Prefecture most commonly refers to a self-governing body or area since the tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

 when Emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 divided the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 into four districts (each divided into dioceses
Roman diocese
A Roman or civil diocese was one of the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy. It formed the intermediate level of government, grouping several provinces and being in turn subordinated to a praetorian prefecture....

, grouped under a Vicarius
Vicarius
Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar" and cognate to the Persian word most familiar in the variant vizier....

 (a number of Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

s, listed under that article), although he maintained two pretorian prefectures as an administrative level above the also surviving dioceses (a few of which were split).
As canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 is strongly inspired by Roman law, it is not surprising that the Catholic Church has several offices under a prefect.
Encyclopedia
For subsequent types of praefectura, see Prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

.

A prefecture (from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Praefectura) is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.

Antiquity

Prefecture most commonly refers to a self-governing body or area since the tetrarchy
Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

 when Emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 divided the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 into four districts (each divided into dioceses
Roman diocese
A Roman or civil diocese was one of the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy. It formed the intermediate level of government, grouping several provinces and being in turn subordinated to a praetorian prefecture....

, grouped under a Vicarius
Vicarius
Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root and origin of the English word "vicar" and cognate to the Persian word most familiar in the variant vizier....

 (a number of Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

s, listed under that article), although he maintained two pretorian prefectures as an administrative level above the also surviving dioceses (a few of which were split).

Ecclesiastic

As canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 is strongly inspired by Roman law, it is not surprising that the Catholic Church has several offices under a prefect. That term occurs also in otherwise styled offices, such as the head of a congregation or department of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

. Various ecclesiastical areas, too small for a diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

, are termed prefects.

Brazilian equivalent of prefecture

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, the prefecture (prefeitura in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) is the Prefeitura Municipal, home to the Executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 of a city and to the mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

's office.

Greek equivalent of prefecture

Modern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, under its 1975 Constitution, is divided into 51 nomoi  which form the units of local government. These are most commonly translated into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as prefectures or "Counties".

Each nomos is headed by a prefect (nomarch
Nomarch
Nomarchs were the semi-feudal rulers of Ancient Egyptian provinces. Serving as provincial governors, they each held authority over one of the 42 nomes into which the country was divided. Both nome and nomarch are terms derived from the Greek nomos, meaning a province or district...

), who was until recently a ministerial appointee but is nowadays elected by direct popular vote. Municipal elections in Greece are held every four years and voting for the election of nomarchs and mayors is carried out concurrently but with separate ballots.

The ancient sense

Xian (县/縣)

When used in the context of Chinese history, especially China before the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, the word "prefecture" is used to translate xian (县/縣). This unit of administration is translated as "county" when used in a contemporary context.

Zhou

In the context of Chinese history during or after the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, the word "prefecture" is used to translate zhou (州), another ancient unit of administration in China.

The modern sense

In modern-day People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, the prefecture (地区; pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

: dìqū) is an administrative division found in the second level of the administrative hierarchy. In addition to prefectures, this level also includes autonomous prefectures, leagues, and prefecture-level cities
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

. The prefecture level comes under the province level, and in turn oversees the county level.

Italian prefettura

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 a prefettura is the office of prefetto; like in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 he is the representative of the Government in each provincia.

French préfecture

In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, a préfecture is the capital city of a département. As there are 100 départements in France, there are 100 préfectures in France. A préfecture de région is the capital city of a région
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

.

Japanese sense of prefecture

In English, "prefecture" is used as the translation for , which are the main subdivisions of Japan, consisting of 47 prefectures, or 1 to, 1 do, 2 fu, and 43 ken.

Mongolian equivalent

Mongolian prefectures (Aimags
Aimags of Mongolia
Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags . Each aimag is subdivided into several sums. The name aimag is derived from the Mongolian and Turkic languages word for "tribe". The modern aimags were established since 1921...

) were adopted under the Manchu Empire
Manchu Empire
Manchu Empire may refer to:*Qing Dynasty , 1644–1912*Manchukuo , 1932–1945...

. Today these are usually translated as "provinces".

Moroccan Préfecture

In Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, the 61 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 48 provinces. They are subdivisions of the 16 regions of Morocco
Regions of Morocco
Regions of Morocco As part of a 1997 decentralization/regionalization law passed by the legislature 16 new regions were created. It is the current highest administrative division of Morocco. The regions are subdivided into a total of 61 second-order administrative divisions, which are prefectures...

. Each prefecture and province are subdivided in their turn into district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

s (cercles, sing. cercle), municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 (communes, sing. commune) or urban municipalities (communes urbaines, sing. commune urbaine), and arrondissement
Arrondissement
Arrondissement is any of various administrative divisions of France, certain other Francophone countries, and the Netherlands.-France:The 101 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements, which may be translated into English as districts. The capital of an arrondissement is called a...

s in some metropolitan areas.

Venezuelan equivalent

Traditionally the prefecture as being the City Hall
City hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...

 and the prefect as being the equivalent of a mayor and commissioner until recently; now the prefectures and prefect are analogous with the figure of Town Clerk.

See also

  • County
    County
    A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

  • Politics of the People's Republic of China
    Politics of the People's Republic of China
    The politics of the People's Republic of China take place in a framework of a single-party socialist republic. The leadership of the Communist Party is stated in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China...

  • Politics of Japan
    Politics of Japan
    The politics of Japan is conducted in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, where Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government. Japanese politics uses a multi-party system. Executive power exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Diet, with...

  • Politics of the Republic of China
    Politics of the Republic of China
    The politics of the Republic of China ,takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the premier is head of government, and of a dominant party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative...

  • Politics of Mongolia
    Politics of Mongolia
    Politics of Mongolia takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government...

  • Province
    Province
    A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

  • Subprefecture
    Subprefecture
    Subprefecture is an administrative division of a country that is below prefecture or province.-Albania:There are twelve Albanian counties or prefectures, each of which is subdivided into several districts, sometimes translated as subprefectures.-Brazil:...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK