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LEGATES. Legates are extraordinary ambassadors sent by the pope to catholic countries to represent him, and to exercise his jurisdiction. They are distinguished from the ambassadors of the pope who are sent to other powers.
     2. The canonists divide them into three kinds, namely: 1. Legates A latere. 2. Legati missi. 3. Legati nati.
     3.-1. Legates latere hold the first rank among those who are honored by a legation; they are always chosen from the college of cardinals, and are called a latere, in imitation of the magistrates of ancient Rome, who were taken from the court, or side of the emperor.
     4.-2. The legati missi are simple envoys.
     5.-3. The legati nati, are those who are entitled to be legates by birth.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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