A consul held the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, ancient Romans considered the consulship the highest level of the cursus honorum. Each year, the citizens of Rome elected two consuls to serve jointly for a one-year term; the consuls alternated in holding imperium each month, a consul's imperium extended over Rome and the provinces. However, after the establishment of the Empire, the consuls became mere symbolic representatives of Rome's republican heritage and held little power and authority, with the Emperor acting as the supreme authority. After the legendary expulsion of the last Etruscan King, Tarquin the Proud, a harsh ruler at the end of the Roman Kingdom, most of the powers and authority of the king were ostensibly given to the newly instituted consulship; this change in leadership came about when the king's son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped the wife and daughter of powerful Roman nobles. A group of nobles led by Lucius Junius Brutus, with the support of the Roman Army, expelled Tarquinius and his family from Rome in 509 BC.
Consuls were called praetors, referring to their duties as the chief military commanders. By at least 300 BC the title of Consul became used. Ancient writers derive the title consul from the Latin verb consulere, "to take counsel", but this is most a gloss of the term, which derives—in view of the joint nature of the office—from con- and sal-, "get together" or from con- and sell-/sedl-, "sit down together with" or "next to". In Greek, the title was rendered as στρατηγὸς ὕπατος, strategos hypatos, simply as ὕπατος; the consul was believed by the Romans to date back to the traditional establishment of the Republic in 509 BC, but the succession of consuls was not continuous in the 5th century BC. During the 440s, the office was quite replaced with the establishment of the Consular Tribunes, who were elected whenever the military needs of the state were significant enough to warrant the election of more than the two usual consuls; these remained in place until the office was abolished in 367/366 BC and the consulship was reintroduced.
Consuls had extensive powers in peacetime, in wartime held the highest military command. Additional religious duties included certain rites which, as a sign of their formal importance, could only be carried out by the highest state officials. Consuls read auguries, an essential step before leading armies into the field. Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with veto power over the other's actions, a normal principle for magistracies, it is thought that only patricians were eligible for the consulship. Consuls were elected by the Comitia Centuriata, which had an aristocratic bias in its voting structure which only increased over the years from its foundation. However, they formally assumed powers only after the ratification of their election in the older Comitia Curiata, which granted the consuls their imperium by enacting a law, the "lex curiata de imperio". If a consul died during his term or was removed from office, another would be elected by the Comitia Centuriata to serve the remainder of the term as consul suffectus.
A consul elected to start the year - called a consul ordinarius - held more prestige than a suffect consul because the year would be named for ordinary consuls. According to tradition, the consulship was reserved for patricians and only in 367 BC did plebeians win the right to stand for this supreme office, when the Lex Licinia Sextia provided that at least one consul each year should be plebeian; the first plebeian consul, Lucius Sextius, was elected the following year. The office remained in the hands of a few families as, according to Gelzer, only fifteen novi homines - "new men" with no consular background - were elected to the consulship until the election of Cicero in 63 BC. Modern historians have questioned the traditional account of plebeian emancipation during the early Republic, noting for instance that about thirty percent of the consuls prior to Sextius had plebeian, not patrician, names, it is possible that only the chronology has been distorted, but it seems that one of the first consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus, came from a plebeian family.
Another possible explanation is that during the 5th century social struggles, the office of consul was monopolized by a patrician elite. During times of war, the primary qualification for consul was military skill and reputation, but at all times the selection was politically charged. With the passage of time, the consulship became the normal endpoint of the cursus honorum, the sequence of offices pursued by the ambitious Roman who chose to pursue political power and influence; when Lucius Cornelius Sulla regulated the cursus by law, the minimum age of election to consul became, in effect, 41 years of age. Beginning in the late Republic, after finishing a consular year, a former consul would serve a lucrative term as a proconsul, the Roman Governor of one of the provinces; the most chosen province for the proconsulship was Cisalpine Gaul. Although throughout the early years of the Principate, the consuls were still formally elected by the Comitia Centuriata, they were in fact nominated by the princeps.
As the years progressed, the distinction between the Comitia Centuriata and the Comitia Tributa appears to have disappeared, so for the purposes of the consular
Tribune of the Plebs
Tribunus plebis, rendered in English as tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune, was the first office of the Roman state, open to the plebeians, throughout the history of the Republic, the most important check on the power of the Roman Senate and magistrates. These tribunes had the power to preside over the Concilium Plebis; 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, the office itself lost its independence and most of its functions. 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, the plebeians were burdened by the weight of crushing debt. A series of clashes between the people and the ruling patricians in 495 and 494 BC brought the plebeians to the brink of revolt, there was talk of assassinating the consuls.
Instead, on the advice of Lucius Sicinius Vellutus, the plebeians seceded en masse to the Mons Sacer, a hill outside of Rome. The senate dispatched Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, a former consul, well-liked by the plebeians, as an envoy to the plebeians. Menenius was well-received, told the fable of the belly and the limbs, likening the people to the limbs who chose not to support the belly, thus starved themselves; the plebeians agreed to negotiate for their return to the city. No member of the senatorial class would be eligible for this office, the tribunes should be sacrosanct; the senate agreeing to these terms, the people returned to the city. The first tribuni plebis were Lucius Albinius Paterculus and Gaius Licinius, appointed for the year 493 BC. Soon afterward, the tribunes themselves appointed two others as their colleagues; the ancient sources indicate the tribunes may have been two or five in number. If the former, the college of tribunes was expanded to five in 470 BC. Either way, the college was increased to ten in 457 BC, remained at this number throughout Roman history.
They were assisted by plebeian aediles. Only plebeians were eligible for these offices. Although sometimes referred to as plebeian magistrates, the tribunes of the people, like the plebeian aediles, who were created at the same time, were technically not magistrates, as they were elected by the plebeian assembly alone. However, they functioned much like magistrates of the Roman state, they could convene the concilium plebis, entitled to pass legislation affecting the plebeians alone, 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 to preside over this assembly; the tribunes were entitled to propose legislation before the assembly. By the third century BC, the tribunes had the right to call the senate to order, lay proposals before it. Ius intercessionis called intercessio, the power of the tribunes to intercede on behalf of the plebeians and veto the actions of the magistrates, was unique in Roman history.
Because they were not technically magistrates, thus possessed no maior potestas, they relied on their sacrosanctity to obstruct actions unfavourable to the plebeians. Being sacrosanct, no person could interfere with their activities. To do so, or to disregard the veto of a tribune, was punishable by death, the tribunes could order the death of persons who violated their sacrosanctity; this could be used as a protection. This sacrosanctity made the tribunes independent of all magistrates. If a magistrate, the senate, or any other assembly disregarded the orders of a tribune, he could "interpose the sacrosanctity of his person" to prevent such action. Only a dictator was exempted from the veto power; the tribunes could veto acts of the Roman senate. The tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus imposed his veto on all government functions in 133 BC, when the senate attempted to block his agrarian reforms by imposing the veto of another tribune. Tribunes possessed the authority to enforce the right of provocatio ad populum, a precursor of the modern right of habeas corpus.
This entitled a citizen to appeal the actions of a magistrate by shouting appello tribunos! or provoco ad populum!. Once invoked, this right required one of the tribunes to assess the situation, determine the lawfulness of the magistrate's action. Any action taken in defiance of this right was illegal on its face. In effect, this gave the tribunes of the people unprecedented power to protect individuals from the arbitrary exercise of state power, afforded Roman citizens a degree of liberty unequalled in the ancient
Legatus Augusti pro praetore
A legatus Augusti pro praetore was the official title of the governor or general of some imperial provinces of the Roman Empire during the Principate era the larger ones or those where legions were based. Provinces were denoted imperial if their governor was selected by the emperor, in contrast to senatorial provinces, whose governors were elected by the Roman Senate. A legatus Augusti was always a senator of praetorian rank. However, the position of the governor of Egypt was unparalleled, for though an eques he had legions under his command; some smaller imperial provinces where no legions were based were administered by equestrian praefecti designated procuratores who commanded only auxiliary forces. The legatus Augusti was both the head of the provincial administration, chief judicial officer and commander-in-chief of all military forces based in the province; the only function outside the remit of the legatus was finance, handled by an independent procurator, who reported direct to the emperor.
In the military hierarchy, the legatus' direct subordinates were the legati legionis, who in turn commanded the tribuni militum and the praefecti of the auxiliary regiments attached to the legion. In AD 68, 15 out of a total of 36 provinces were ruled by legati Augusti: Hispania Tarraconensis, Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Belgica, Germania Inferior, Germania Superior, Dalmatia, Cappadocia, Lycia et Pamphylia and Numidia. Roman governorLegatusProcurator Cambridge Ancient History 2nd Ed.: Vol X The Augustan Empire G. H. Stevenson. Roman Provincial Administration Till The Age of The Antonines John Richardson. Roman Provincial Administration 227 BC to AD 117 A. H. M. Jones.'Procurators and Prefects in the Early Principate' "Studies in Roman Government and Law" pp. 117-125
Durrës known as Epidamnos and Dyrrachium, is the second most populous city of the Republic of Albania. The city is the capital of the surrounding Durrës County, one of 12 constituent counties of the country. By air, it is 165 kilometres northwest of Sarandë, 31 kilometres west of Tirana, 83 kilometres south of Shkodër and 579 kilometres east of Rome. Located on the Adriatic Sea, it is the country's economic and historic center. Founded by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corfu under the name of Epidamnos around the 7th century BC, the city developed to become significant as it became an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire; the Via Egnatia, the continuation of the Via Appia, started in the city and led across the interior of the Balkan Peninsula to Constantinople in the east. In the Middle Ages, it was contested between Bulgarian and Ottoman dominions. Following the Albanian Declaration of Independence, the city served as the capital of the Principality of Albania for a short period of time.
Subsequently, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Nazi Germany in the interwar period. Moreover, the city experienced a strong expansion in its demography and economic activity during the Communism in Albania. Durrës is served by the Port of Durrës, one of the largest on the Adriatic Sea, which connects the city to Italy and other neighbouring countries, its most considerable attraction is the Amphitheatre of Durrës, included on the tentative list of Albania for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once having a capacity for 20,000 people, it is the largest amphitheatre in the Balkan Peninsula. In antiquity, the city was named Epidamnos and Dyrrhachion in Greek, corresponding to Latin Epidamnus and Dyrrachium; the name Dyrrhachion is explained as a Greek compound from δυσ-'bad' and ῥαχία'rocky shore, roaring waves', an explanation hinted at in antiquity by Cassius Dio, who writes it referred to the difficulties of the rocky coastline, while reporting that other Roman authors linked it to the name of an eponymous hero Dyrrachius.
The modern names of the city in Albanian and Italian are derived from Dyrrachium through the Medieval Slavic form Дърачь, from the era when the city was held by the Bulgarian and Serbian empires. This is the root of the Ottoman Turkish name Dıraç. In English usage, the Italian form Durazzo used to be widespread, but the local Albanian name Durrës has replaced it in recent decades. Though surviving remains are minimal, as one of the oldest cities in Albania, the city was founded as Epidamnos in the ancient region of Illyria in 627 BC by ancient Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra, modern-day Corfu; the Romans replaced the rule of Teuta with that of Demetrius of one of her generals. He lost his kingdom, including Epidamnus, to the Romans in 219 BC at the Second Illyrian War. In the Third Illyrian War Epidamnus was attacked by Gentius but he was defeated by the Romans at the same year. For Catullus, the city was Durrachium Hadriae tabernam, "the taberna of the Adriatic", one of the stopping places for a Roman traveling up the Adriatic, as Catullus had done himself in the sailing season of 56.
After the Illyrian Wars with the Roman Republic in 229 BC ended in a decisive defeat for the Illyrians, the city passed to Roman rule, under which it was developed as a major military and naval base. The Romans renamed it Dyrrachium, they considered the name Epidamnos to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of Dyrrachium is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city. Julius Caesar's rival Pompey made a stand there in 48 BC before fleeing south to Greece. Under Roman rule, Dyrrachium prospered. Another lesser road led south to the city of the modern Butrint; the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus made the city a colony for veterans of his legions following the Battle of Actium, proclaiming it a civitas libera. In the 4th century, Dyrrachium was made the capital of the Roman province of Epirus nova, it was the birthplace of the emperor Anastasius I in c. 430. Sometime that century, Dyrrachium was struck by a powerful earthquake which destroyed the city's defences.
Anastasius I rebuilt and strengthened the city walls, thus creating the strongest fortifications in the western Balkans. The 12-metre-high walls were so thick that, according to the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene, four horsemen could ride abreast on them. Significant portions of the ancient city defences still remain, although they have been much reduced over the centuries. Like much of the rest of the Balkans and the surrounding Dyrraciensis provinciae suffered from barbarian incursions during the Migrations Period, it was besieged in 481 by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, in subsequent centuries had to fend off frequent attacks by the Bulgarians. Unaffected by the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city continued under the Byzantine Empire as an important port and a major link between the Empire and western Europe; the city and the surrounding coast became a Byzantine province, the Theme of Dyrrhachium in the first decade of the 9th century. The city remained in Byzantine hands until the late 10th century, when
A Triumvir Monetalis was one of three moneyers appointed in Ancient Rome to oversee the minting of coins. The triumviri monetalis derived their name from the Roman mint's location in the temple of Juno Moneta. In time, the mint gave the goddess's epithet the additional connotation of "of" or "related to money", which became the source of the English word money; the "money triumvirs" were known as the triumviri or tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo, the three men "charged with casting and striking bronze and gold". Moneyer Other triumvirs
The gens Cornelia was one of the greatest patrician houses at Rome. For more than seven hundred years, from the early decades of the Republic to the third century AD, the Cornelii produced more eminent statesmen and generals than any other gens. At least seventy-five consuls under the Republic were members of this family, beginning with Servius Cornelius Maluginensis in 485 BC. Together with the Aemilii, Fabii and Valerii, the Cornelii were certainly numbered among the gentes maiores, the most important and powerful families of Rome, who for centuries dominated the Republican magistracies. All of the major branches of the Cornelian gens were patrician, but there were plebeian Cornelii, at least some of whom were descended from freedmen; the origin of the Cornelii is lost to history, but the nomen Cornelius may be formed from the hypothetical cognomen Corneus, meaning "horny", that is, having thick or callused skin. The existence of such a cognomen in early times may be inferred from Corneolus.
Such a derivation implies a Latin origin for the Cornelii, there is no evidence to contradict this, but beyond this no traditions survive relating to the family's beginning. The Cornelii employed a wide variety of praenomina, although individual families tended to favor certain names and avoid others. Servius, Lucius and Gnaeus were common to most branches, while other names were used by individual stirpes. Other names occur infrequently; the Cornelian gens included both patricians and plebeians, but all of its major families were patrician. The surnames Arvina, Cethegus, Cossus, Lentulus, Mammula, Merula, Scapula, Scipio and Sulla belonged to patrician Cornelii, while the plebeian cognomina included Balbus and Gallus. Other surnames are known from freedmen, including Chrysogonus, Culleolus and others. A number of plebeian Cornelii had no cognomen; the first of the Cornelii to appear in history bore the surname Maluginensis. This family seems to have divided into two stirpes in the 430s, the senior line retaining Maluginensis, while the younger branches assumed Cossus.
From their filiations, the first of the Cornelii Cossi would seem to have been younger sons of Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis, a member of the Second Decemvirate in 450 BC. Both families produced a number of consuls and consular tribunes during the fourth and fifth centuries BC; the Maluginenses disappeared before the period of the Samnite Wars, although the Cornelii Scipiones appear to have been descended from this family, while the surname Cossus appears as late as the beginning of the third century. Cossus itself seems to belong to a class of surnames derived from objects or animals, referring to the larva of certain beetles that burrow under the bark of trees; the Cornelii Lentuli subsequently revived Cossus as a surname. The Cornelii Scipiones derived their surname from a legend in which the first of the family served as a staff for his blind father. Since the first of the Scipiones seems to have borne the cognomen Maluginensis, he would seem to have been the son of Publius Cornelius Maluginensis, one of the consular tribunes in 404 BC.
The Scipiones produced numerous consuls and several prominent generals, of whom the most celebrated were Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. Members of this family held the highest offices of the Roman state from the beginning of the fourth century BC down to the second century of the Empire, a span of nearly six hundred years, its members bore a large number of additional surnames, including Barbatus, "bearded", Scapula, "shoulder blade", Asina, "she-ass", Calvus, "bald", Hispallus, "little Spaniard", Nasica, "nosed", Corculum, "little heart", in addition to those derived from their military exploits: Africanus and Asiaticus. The last generations of this great family were adopted from the Salvidieni, so bore the additional names of Salvidienus Orfitus; the Scipiones had a large family sepulchre at Rome, which still exists, having been rediscovered in 1780. The cognomen Lentulus belongs to a class of surnames deriving from the habits or qualities of the persons to whom they were first applied.
An alternative explanation is that the name is a diminutive of lens, a lentil, so belongs to the same class of surnames as Cicero, a chickpea, Caepio, an onion. The Cornelii Lentuli were famed for their pride and haughtiness, so that Cicero uses Lentulitas, "Lentulusness", to describe the most aristocratic of the patricians; the Lentuli appear in history from the time of the Samnite Wars to the first century of the Empire, a period of about four hundred years. Their origin is uncertain. According to Livy, early in the Second Samnite War, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus described his father as the only man who, during the Gallic sack of Rome in 390 BC, had opposed paying a ransom to ensure the departure of the Gauls from the city; the filiations of other early Lentuli suggest that their ancestors used the name Gnaeus, suggesting that they could have been descendants of the Cornelii Cossi. The Lentuli used a number of additional surnames, including Caudinus referring to the Battle of the Caudine Forks, crus, a leg, or the shin, bestowed upon the conqueror of the Gaetuli, Lupus, a wolf, black, Spinther, a bracelet, Sura, the calf.
The Lentuli revived several
Senate of the Roman Empire
The Senate of the Roman Empire was a political institution in the ancient Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Republic, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the "Roman Senate" to the "Roman Emperor." Beginning with the first emperor, the Emperor and the Senate were technically two co-equal branches of government. In practice, however the actual authority of the imperial Senate was negligible, as the Emperor held the true power of the state; as such, membership in the Senate became sought after by individuals seeking prestige and social standing, rather than actual authority. During the reigns of the first Emperors, legislative and electoral powers were all transferred from the "Roman assemblies" to the Senate. However, since the control that the Emperor held over the senate was absolute, the Senate acted as a vehicle through which the Emperor exercised his autocratic powers; the first emperor, inherited a Senate whose membership had been increased to 900 senators by his adoptive father, Julius Caesar.
Augustus sought to reduce the size of the Senate, did so through three revisions to the list of senators. By the time that these revisions had been completed, the Senate had been reduced to 600 members, after this point, the size of the Senate was never again drastically altered. To reduce the size of the senate, Augustus expelled senators who were of low birth, he reformed the rules which specified how an individual could become a senator. Under Augustus' reforms, a senator had to be a citizen of free birth, have not been convicted of any crimes under lex Julia de vi privata, have property worth at least 1,000,000 sesterces. Under the Empire, as was the case during the late Republic, one could become a senator by being elected quaestor. Under the Empire, one could only stand for election to the Quaestorship if one was of senatorial rank, to be of senatorial rank, one had to be the son of a senator. If an individual was not of senatorial rank, there were two ways for that individual to become a senator.
Under the first method, the Emperor granted that individual the authority to stand for election to the Quaestorship, while under the second method, the Emperor appointed that individual to the senate by issuing a decree. Beginning in 9 BC, with the passage of Augustus' lex Julia de senatu habendo, an official list of senators was maintained and revised each year. Individuals were added to the list if they had satisfied the requirements for entry into the Senate, were removed from the list if they no longer satisfied the requirements necessary to maintain senate membership; the list named each senator by order of rank. The Emperor always outranked all of his fellow senators, was followed by "Consuls" and former Consuls by "Praetors" and former Praetors, so on. A senator's tenure in elective office was considered when determining rank, while senators, elected to an office did not outrank senators, appointed to that same office by the EmperorMembers of the senatorial order were distinguished by a broad reddish-purple stripe edging their togas – the formal dress of all Roman citizens.
Under the Empire, the power that the Emperor held over the Senate was absolute, due, in part, to the fact that the Emperor held office for life. During senate meetings, the Emperor sat between the two Consuls, acted as the presiding officer. Senators of the early Empire could ask extraneous questions or request that a certain action be taken by the Senate. Higher ranking senators spoke before lower ranking senators, although the Emperor could speak at any time. Besides the Emperor and Praetors could preside over the senate; the Senate ordinarily met in the Curia Julia on either the Kalends, or the Ides, although scheduled meetings occurred more in September and October. Other meetings were held on an ad hoc basis. Under Augustus, a quorum was set at 400 senators, although excessive absenteeism forced the senate to lower the number of senators necessary for a quorum, and, on some matters, to revoke the quorum rules altogether. Most of the bills that came before the Senate were presented by the Emperor or his supporters in the body.
In the early principate and Tiberius made conscious efforts to hide their influence on the body, lobbying in private instead of directly proposing legislation. Since no senator could stand for election to a magisterial office without the Emperor's approval, senators did not vote against bills, presented by the Emperor. If a senator disapproved of a bill, he showed his disapproval by not attending the Senate meeting on the day that the bill was to be voted on; each Emperor selected a quaestor to compile the proceedings of the Senate into a document, which included proposed bills, official documents, a summary of speeches, presented before the Senate. The document was archived, while parts of it were published and distributed to the public. While the Roman assemblies continued to meet after the founding of the Empire, their powers were all transferred to the Senate, so senatorial decrees acquired the full force of law; the legislative powers of the Imperial Senate were principally of a financial and an administrative nature, although the senate did retain a range of powers over the provinces.
The Senate could regulate festivals and religious cults, grant special honors, excuse an individual from legal liability, manage temple