Aemilius Scaurus, praetor in 53 B.C. Cicero, speaking no doubt to his brief, gives them a very bad character, adding " ignoscent alii viri boni ex Sardinia; credo enim esse quosdam ".
Centum sagittarios ad pugnam aptissimos Robertus latrociniis aluit, quos 400 viri fortissimi invadere non audebant.
Viri rapinam improbo, sed latronum omnium humanissimus et princeps erat."
In his opinion - which is, in form at least, perfectly orthodox - the church of Peter will be, not abolished, but purified; actually, the hierarchy effaces itself in the third age before the order of the monks, the viri spirituales.
After the reign of Marcus Aurelius (according to Mommsen) the equites were divided into: (a) viri eminentissimi, the prefects of the praetorian guard; (b) viri perfectissimi, the other prefects and the heads of the financial and secretarial departments; (c) viri egregii, first mentioned in the reign of Antoninus Pius, a title by right of the procurators generally.