In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
Tribune of the Plebs
The tribunes of the plebs were sacrosanct, meaning that any assault on their person was prohibited by law. In imperial times, the powers of the tribunate were granted to the emperor as a matter of course, during the day the tribunes used to sit on the tribune benches on the Forum Romanum. Fifteen years after the expulsion of the kings and establishment of the Roman Republic, a series of clashes between the people and the ruling patricians in 495 and 494 BC brought the plebeians to the brink of revolt, and there was talk of assassinating the consuls. Instead, on the advice of Lucius Sicinius Vellutus, the plebeians seceded en masse to the Mons Sacer, the senate agreeing to these terms, the people returned to the city. The first tribuni plebis were Lucius Albinius Paterculus and Gaius Licinius, soon afterward, the tribunes themselves appointed Sicinius and two others as their colleagues. However, they functioned very much like magistrates of the Roman state and they could convene the concilium plebis, which was entitled to pass legislation affecting the plebeians alone, and beginning in 493 BC to elect the plebeian tribunes and aediles.
From the institution of the tribunate, any one of the tribunes of the plebs was entitled preside over this assembly, the tribunes were entitled to propose legislation before the assembly. By the third century BC, the had the right to call the senate to order. Ius intercessionis, or intercessio, the power of the tribunes to intercede on behalf of the plebeians, because they were not technically magistrates, and thus possessed no maior potestas, they relied on their sacrosanctity to obstruct actions unfavourable to the plebeians. Being sacrosanct, no person could harm the tribunes or interfere with their activities, to do so, or to disregard the veto of a tribune, was punishable by death, and the tribunes could order the death of persons who violated their sacrosanctity. This could be used as a protection when a tribune needed to arrest someone and this sacrosanctity made the tribunes independent of all magistrates, no magistrate could veto the action of a tribune. If a magistrate, the senate, or any other assembly disregarded the orders of a tribune, only a dictator was exempted from the veto power.
Tribunes possessed the authority to enforce the right of provocatio ad populum and this entitled a citizen to appeal the actions of a magistrate by shouting, ego te provoco. Once invoked, this right required one of the tribunes to assess the situation, any action taken in defiance of this right was illegal on its face. Although a tribune could veto any action of the magistrates, senate, or other assemblies, once the tribune was no longer present, the action could be completed as if the veto had not occurred. Because the sacrosanctity of the depended on the oath of the plebeians to defend them. A tribune traveling abroad could not rely on his authority to intervene on behalf of the plebeians, for this reason, the activities of the tribunes were normally confined to the city itself, and a one-mile radius beyond. The reconciliation of the patricians and plebeians brought about by the institution of the tribunate in 493 BC was temporary, in 462, the tribune Gaius Terentillius Arsa alleged that the consular government had become even more oppressive than the monarchy that it had replaced
In ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census. From the 4th century BC or earlier, they were known as commoners, literary references to the plebs, usually mean the ordinary citizens of Rome as a whole, as distinguished from the elite—a sense retained by plebeian in English. In the very earliest days of Rome, plebeians were any tribe or clan without advisers to the King, in time, the word – which is related to the Greek word for crowd, plethos – came to mean the common people. In Latin the word plebs is a collective noun. The 19th-century historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr held that plebeians began to appear at Rome during the reign of Ancus Marcius and were possibly foreigners settling in Rome as naturalized citizens. In any case, at the outset of the Roman Republic, Plebeians were excluded from magistracies and religious colleges, and they were not permitted to know the laws by which they were governed. Plebeians served in the army, but rarely became military leaders, from the mid-4th century to the early 3rd century BC, several plebeian–patrician tickets for the consulship repeated joint terms, suggesting a deliberate political strategy of cooperation.
Although nobilitas was not a social rank during the Republican era. Such a man was a homo, a new man or self-made noble and his sons. Marius and Cicero are notable examples of novi homines in the late Republic, when many of Romes richest and most powerful men—such as Lucullus and Pompeius—were plebeian nobles. Some or perhaps many noble plebeians, including Cicero and Lucullus, by contrast, the populares or peoples party, which sought to champion the plebs in the sense of common people, were sometimes led by patricians such as Julius Caesar and Clodius Pulcher. In the U. S. military, Plebes are freshmen at the U. S, Military Academy, U. S. Naval Academy, Valley Forge Military Academy, the Marine Military Academy, the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, Georgia Military College, California Maritime Academy, the term is used for new cadets at the Philippine Military Academy. Early public schools in the United Kingdom would enroll pupils as plebeians as opposed to sons of gentry, vulgarism Bread and circuses Capite censi Plebeian Council Plebgate – a scandal in the United Kingdom in 2012 Proletariat Roman Republic Jackson J.
Spielvogel. Smiths Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, article Plebs Livius. org, Plebs Texts on Wikisource, Plebeians
Constitution of the Roman Kingdom
The Constitution of the Roman Kingdom was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles originating mainly through precedent. During the years of the Roman Kingdom, the arrangement was centered on the king, who had the power to appoint assistants. The Roman Senate, which was dominated by the aristocracy, served as the council to the king. Often, the king asked the Senate to vote on various matters, the king could request a vote on various matters by the popular assembly, which he was free to ignore. The popular assembly functioned as a vehicle through which the People of Rome could express their opinions, in it, the people were organized according to their respective curiae. However, the assembly did have other functions. For example, it was a used by citizens to hear announcements. It could serve as a court for both civil and criminal matters. The period of the kingdom can be divided into two based on the legends. While the specific legends were probably not true, they were based on historical fact.
It is likely that, before the founding of the republic, the first legendary epoch spans the reigns of the first four legendary kings. The city fought several wars of conquest, the port of Ostia was founded, the early Romans were divided into three ethnic groups, the Ramnes and Luceres. The original patrician families belonged to ethnic groups. In an attempt to add a level of organization to the city, the vehicle through which the early Romans expressed their democratic impulses was known as a committee. The two principal assemblies that formed were known as the Curiate Assembly and the Calate Assembly, the two assemblies were designed to mirror the ethnic divisions of the city and, as such, the assemblies were organized according to curia. The vehicle through which the early Romans expressed their aristocratic impulses was a council of town elders, the elders of this council were known as patres, and thus are known to history as the first Roman senators. The populus and the elders eventually recognized the need for a political leader.
The populus elected the rex, and the elders advised the rex, the second epoch spans the reigns of the last three legendary kings
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history, often when a given Roman is described as becoming emperor in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific, early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably Princeps Senatus, the first emperors reigned alone, emperors would sometimes rule with co-Emperors and divide administration of the Empire between them. The Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king, the first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman Emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, a great effort was made to emphasize that the Emperors were the leaders of a Republic.
Elements of the Republican institutional framework were preserved until the end of the Western Empire. The Eastern emperors ultimately adopted the title of Basileus, which had meant king in Greek, but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor, other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their office, some emperors were given divine status after death. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the west after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim to the title until his death in 480. Constantine XI was the last Byzantine Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, a Byzantine group of claimant Roman Emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461. In western Europe the title of Roman Emperor was revived by Germanic rulers, the Holy Roman Emperors, in 800, at the end of the Roman Republic no new, and certainly no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power.
Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator, Julius Caesar had been an emperor, Julius Caesar, unlike those after him, did so without the Senates vote and approval. Julius Caesar held the Republican offices of four times and dictator five times, was appointed dictator in perpetuity in 45 BC and had been pontifex maximus for a long period. He gained these positions by senatorial consent, by the time of his assassination, he was the most powerful man in the Roman world. In his will, Caesar appointed his adopted son Octavian as his heir, a decade after Caesars death, Octavians victory over his erstwhile ally Mark Antony at Actium put an end to any effective opposition and confirmed Octavians supremacy. His restoration of powers to the Senate and the people of Rome was a demonstration of his auctoritas, some historians such as Tacitus would say that even at Augustus death, the true restoration of the Republic might have been possible. Instead, Augustus actively prepared his adopted son Tiberius to be his successor, the Senate disputed the issue but eventually confirmed Tiberius as princeps
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, the change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called Year of the Four Emperors. For political and personal reasons Octavian chose to emphasize his relationship with Caesar by styling himself simply Imperator Caesar, without any of the other elements of his full name. His successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius, bore the name as a matter of course, born Tiberius Claudius Nero, he was adopted by Caesar Augustus on June 26,4 AD, as Tiberius Julius Caesar. The precedent was set, the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him, Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name Caesar in the traditional way, his stepson would rule as the Emperor Nero. Galba helped solidify Caesar as the title of the heir by giving it to his own adopted heir. Galbas reign did not last long and he was deposed by Marcus Otho.
Otho did not at first use the title Caesar and occasionally used the title Nero as emperor, Otho was defeated by Aulus Vitellius who acceded with the name Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus. Vitellius did not adopt the cognomen Caesar as part of his name, vespasians son, Titus Flavius Vespasianus became Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus. By this point the status of Caesar had been regularised into that of a given to the Emperor-designate. After some variation among the earliest emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate on coins was usually Nobilissimus Caesar Most Noble Caesar, on March 1,293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors. The two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN, pius Felix Invictus Augustus, and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar.
Likewise, the junior sub-Emperors retained the title Caesar upon accession to the senior position, an exceptional case was the conferment of the dignity and its insignia to the Bulgarian khan Tervel by Justinian II who had helped him regain his throne in 705. The title was awarded to the brother of Empress Maria of Alania, according to the Klētorologion of 899, the Byzantine Caesars insignia were a crown without a cross, and the ceremony of a Caesars creation, is included in De Ceremoniis I.43. The title remained the highest in the hierarchy until the introduction of the sebastokratōr by Alexios I Komnenos. The title remained in existence through the last centuries of the Empire, in the late Byzantine hierarchy, as recorded in the mid-14th century Book of Offices of pseudo-Kodinos, the rank continued to come after the sebastokratōr. Pseudo-Kodinos writes that the forms of another form of hat, the domed skaranikon, and of the mantle. In the Middle East, the Persians and the Arabs continued to refer to the Roman and Byzantine emperors as Caesar
For the twelfth-century juris, see Vacarius. Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy and it is the root of the English word vicar. Originally, in ancient Rome, this office was equivalent to the English vice-, each vicarius was assigned to a specific superior official, after whom his full title was generally completed by a genitive. At a low level of society, the slave of a slave, later, in the 290s, the Emperor Diocletian carried out a series of administrative reforms, ushering in the period of the Dominate. These reforms saw the number of Roman provinces increased, and the creation of a new administrative level, the dioceses, initially twelve, grouped several provinces, each with its own governor. The dioceses were headed by a vicarius, or, more properly, an exception was the Diocese of the East, which was headed by a comes. In 370 or 381 Egypt and Cyrenaica were detached from the Diocese of the East, according to the Notitia dignitatum, the vicarius had the rank of vir spectabilis, the staff of a vicarius, his officium, was rather similar to a gubernatorial officium.
For example, in the diocese of Hispania, his included, The princeps was chosen from among the senior agentes in rebus
The Centuriate Assembly of the Roman Republic was one of the three voting assemblies in the Roman constitution. It was named the Centuriate Assembly as it originally divided Roman citizens into groups of one hundred men by classes, the Centuries originally reflected military status, but reflected the wealth of their members. The Centuries gathered into the Centuriate Assembly for legislative, the majority of votes in any Century decided how that Century voted. Each Century received one vote, regardless of how many electors each Century held, once a majority of Centuries voted in the same way on a given measure, the voting ended, and the matter was decided. Only the Centuriate Assembly could declare war or elect the highest-ranking Roman Magistrates, the Centuriate Assembly could pass a law that granted constitutional command authority, or Imperium, to Consuls and Praetors, and Censorial powers to Censors. In addition, the Centuriate Assembly served as the highest court of appeal in certain judicial cases, since the Romans used a form of direct democracy and not elected representatives, voted before each assembly.
As such, the citizen-electors had no power, other than the power to cast a vote, each assembly was presided over by a single Roman Magistrate, and as such, it was the presiding magistrate who made all decisions on matters of procedure and legality. Ultimately, the magistrates power over the assembly was nearly absolute. The only check on that power came in the form of vetoes handed down by other magistrates, any decision made by a presiding magistrate could be vetoed by a magistrate known as a Plebeian Tribune. In addition, decisions made by presiding magistrates could be vetoed by higher-ranking magistrates, in the Roman system of direct democracy, two primary types of assembly were used to vote on legislative and judicial matters. The Centuriate Assembly was a Committee, Committees were assemblies of all citizens, and were used for official purposes, such as for the enactment of laws. Acts of a Committee applied to all of the members of that Committee, the second type of assembly was the Council, which was a forum where specific groups of citizens met for official purposes.
In contrast, the Convention was a forum for communication. Conventions were simply forums where Romans met for specific purposes, such as, for example. Private citizens who did not hold political office could only speak before a Convention, Conventions were simply meetings, and no legal or legislative decisions could be made in one. Voters always assembled first into Conventions to hear debates and conduct other business before voting, a notice always had to be given several days before the assembly was to actually vote. For elections, at least three market-days had to pass between the announcement of the election, and the actual election, during this time period, the candidates interacted with the electorate, and no legislation could be proposed or voted upon. In 98 BC, a law was passed which required a similar three market-day interval to pass between the proposal of a law and the vote on that law
A dictator was a magistrate of the Roman Republic, entrusted with the full authority of the state to deal with a military emergency or to undertake a specific duty. All other magistrates were subordinate to his imperium, and the right of the tribunes to veto his actions or of the people to appeal from them was extremely limited. The office was abolished after the death of Caesar. With the abolition of the Roman monarchy in 509 BC, the imperium, or executive power, in time they would come to be known as consuls, although probably not until the creation of a third, junior praetor in 367 BC. Neither consul was superior to the other, and the decisions of one could be appealed to the other, according to most authorities, the first dictator was Titus Lartius, who appointed Spurius Cassius his magister equitum. His lieutenant, the magister equitum, was the master of the horse, the use of dictator to refer to the magister populi seems to have been widespread from a very early period. The appointment of a dictator involved three steps, the Senate would issue a decree known as a senatus consultum, technically, a senatus consultum was advisory, and did not have the force of law, but in practice it was nearly always followed.
Either consul could nominate a dictator, if both consuls were available, the dictator was chosen by agreement, if they could not agree, the consuls would draw lots for the responsibility. Finally, the Comitia Curiata would be called upon to confer imperium on the dictator through the passage of a law known as a lex de imperio. A dictator could be nominated for different reasons, or causa and these reasons could be combined, but are not always recorded or clearly stated in ancient authorities, and must instead be inferred. In the earlier period it was customary to nominate someone whom the consul considered the best available military commander, often this was a former consul, from 360 BC onward, the dictators were usually consulares. Normally there was only one dictator at a time, although a new dictator could be appointed following the resignation of another. A dictator could be compelled to resign his office without accomplishing his task or serving out his term if there were found to be a fault in the auspices under which he had been nominated.
Like other curule magistrates, the dictator was entitled to the toga praetexta, in a notable exception to the Roman reluctance to reconstitute the symbols of the kings, the lictors of the dictator never removed the axes from their fasces, even within the pomerium. Symbolizing their power over life and death, the axes of a dictators lictors set him apart from all other magistrates, in an extraordinary sign of deference, the lictors of other magistrates could not bear fasces at all when appearing before the dictator. As the kings had been accustomed to appear on horseback, this right was forbidden to the dictator, unless he first received permission from the comitia. In addition to holding a command and carrying out the actions decreed by the Senate. The full extent of the power was considerable, but not unlimited
It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city.
Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, the Roman Republic, and as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika.
The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD
This reflects the principate emperors assertion that they were merely first among equals among the citizens of Rome. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, although dynastic pretences crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, the theory implied the first citizen had to earn his extraordinary position by merit in the style that Augustus himself had gained the position of auctoritas. Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian, the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful, in modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an ideal situation, the individual who was most capable was promoted to the position of princeps.
Of the Antonine dynasty, Edward Gibbon famously wrote that this was the happiest and most productive period in human history and this first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Richard Alston, Aspects of Roman History, henning Börm, Wolfgang Havener, Octavians Rechtsstellung im Januar 27 v. Chr. und das Problem der „Übertragung“ der res publica. Gedanken zur Periodisierung der römischen Kaiserzeit, kurt A. Raaflaub, Mark Toher, Between Republic and Empire, Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate. Berkeley / Los Angeles / Oxford 1990
Ius or Jus in ancient Rome was a right to which a citizen was entitled by virtue of his citizenship. The iura were specified by laws, so ius sometimes meant law, as one went to the law courts to sue for ones rights, ius meant justice and the place where justice was sought. On the whole, the Romans valued their rights as the greatest good of Roman citizenship, as opposed to citizenship in other city-states under the jurisdiction of Rome and freedmen perforce used Roman lawyers to represent them in actions undertaken under the jurisdiction of Roman law. Representation was one of the obligations owed to the state by citizens. If they did not, they were tried and sometimes executed, violation of the iura of other citizens, whether in office or out, was a serious matter, for which the punishment might be death. Ius in ancient Roman law had two meanings, which are still reflected in French droit, German Recht, English right. Ius was defined by the jurists Publius Juventius Celsus and Julius Paulus Prudentissimus as the aequum et bonum, the just and the fair, or justice.
Jurisprudence was the art of bringing it about through application of the laws, thus ius was law in the abstract, as in the English usage of the term the law. Ius might be something less than the body of law when special fields were designated by an adjective, such as ius publicum, public law. The actual laws, or written statutes, were only the specific tools through which ius was applied, Ius as the law was generally the domain of Roman aristocrats, from whose ranks the magistrates were chosen and who often defended clients in court. On a more practical basis, the populace of Rome daily encountered the primary meaning of ius and they understood that they had rights. Furthermore, these rights could be named and enumerated in formulae beginning with the word ius followed by a phrase, most often in the genitive case. Black defines ius in the sense of a right as a power, faculty, or demand inherent in one person and this power, or potestas, was a license governing behavior between persons granted by the constitution.
It determined what one citizen or group of citizens could or could not do regarding another, i. e. potestas is to be translated as authority, which the possession of iura gave to individuals. One might act socially sui iuris, on ones own authority, asserting ones own right, or on behalf of another, alieni iuris, in response to a demand to serve his right by being under his authority. This was the principle binding soldiers in the army, the consul, or a commander of some other rank, had a right to public service of citizens in the army. Typically, the right to raise a legion from a given populace for a specified purpose under the Roman Republic had to be granted by a senatus consultum, a decree of the Senate. The cynical demands of the bad emperors and the ones of the good emperors are described at great length by the historians of the empire