Vicarius is a Latin word, meaning substitute or deputy. It is the root of the English word "vicar". In ancient Rome, this office was equivalent to the English "vice-", used as part of the title of various officials; each vicarius was assigned to a specific superior official, after whom his full title was completed by a genitive. At a low level of society, the slave of a slave hired out to raise money to buy manumission, was a servus vicarius. 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, the creation of a new administrative level, the diocese. The dioceses twelve, grouped several provinces, each with its own governor; the dioceses were headed by a vicarius, or, more properly, by a vices agens praefecti praetorio. An exception was the Diocese of the East, headed by a comes. In 370 or 381 Egypt and Cyrenaica were detached from the Diocese of the East and made a diocese under an official called the Augustal Prefect.
In the eastern parts of the Empire, dominated by Greek language and common use of Greek terminology, vicarius was called exarch. According to the Notitia dignitatum, the vicarius had the rank of vir spectabilis. For example, in the diocese of Hispania, his staff included: The princeps was chosen from among the senior agentes in rebus, from the salaried class of the ducenarii. A cornicularius. Two numerarii. A commentariensis. An adiutor. An ab actis. A cura epistolarum. An unnamed number of subadiuvae. Various exceptores. Singulares et reliquum officium. Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Meyendorff, John. Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A. D; the Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. Notitia dignitatum Pauly-Wissowa
Western Roman Empire
In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453. Though the Empire had seen periods with more than one Emperor ruling jointly before, the view that it was impossible for a single emperor to govern the entire Empire was institutionalised to reforms to Roman law by emperor Diocletian following the disastrous civil wars and disintegrations of the Crisis of the Third Century, he introduced the system of the tetrarchy in 286, with two separate senior emperors titled Augustus, one in the East and one in the West, each with an appointed Caesar. Though the tetrarchic system would collapse in a matter of years, the East–West administrative division would endure in one form or another over the coming centuries.
As such, the Western Roman Empire would exist intermittently in several periods between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Some emperors, such as Constantine I and Theodosius I, governed as the sole Augustus across the Roman Empire. On the death of Theodosius I in 395, he divided the empire between his two sons, with Honorius as his successor in the West, governing from Mediolanum, Arcadius as his successor in the East, governing from Constantinople. In 476, after the Battle of Ravenna, the Roman Army in the West suffered defeat at the hands of Odoacer and his Germanic foederati. Odoacer became the first King of Italy. In 480, following the assassination of the previous Western emperor Julius Nepos, the Eastern emperor Zeno dissolved the Western court and proclaimed himself the sole emperor of the Roman Empire; the date of 476 was popularized by the 18th century British historian Edward Gibbon as a demarcating event for the end of the Western Empire and is sometimes used to mark the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Odoacer's Italy, other barbarian kingdoms, would maintain a pretence of Roman continuity through the continued use of the old Roman administrative systems and nominal subservience to the Eastern Roman court. In the 6th century, emperor Justinian I re-imposed direct Imperial rule on large parts of the former Western Roman Empire, including the prosperous regions of North Africa, the ancient Roman heartland of Italy and parts of Hispania. Political instability in the Eastern heartlands, combined with foreign invasions and religious differences, made efforts to retain control of these territories difficult and they were lost for good. Though the Eastern Empire retained territories in the south of Italy until the eleventh century, the influence that the Empire had over Western Europe had diminished significantly; the papal coronation of the Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in 800 marked a new imperial line that would evolve into the Holy Roman Empire, which presented a revival of the Imperial title in Western Europe but was in no meaningful sense an extension of Roman traditions or institutions.
The Great Schism of 1054 between the churches of Rome and Constantinople further diminished any authority the Emperor in Constantinople could hope to exert in the west. As the Roman Republic expanded, it reached a point where the central government in Rome could not rule the distant provinces. Communications and transportation were problematic given the vast extent of the Empire. News of invasion, natural disasters, or epidemic outbreak was carried by ship or mounted postal service requiring much time to reach Rome and for Rome's orders to be returned and acted upon. Therefore, provincial governors had de facto autonomy in the name of the Roman Republic. Governors had several duties, including the command of armies, handling the taxes of the province and serving as the province's chief judges. Prior to the establishment of the Empire, the territories of the Roman Republic had been divided in 43 BC among the members of the Second Triumvirate: Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Antony received the provinces in the East: Achaea and Epirus, Bithynia and Asia, Syria and Cyrenaica.
These lands had been conquered by Alexander the Great. The whole region the major cities, had been assimilated into Greek culture, Greek serving as the lingua franca. Octavian obtained the Roman provinces of the West: Italia, Gallia Belgica, Hispania; these lands included Greek and Carthaginian colonies in the coastal areas, though Celtic tribes such as Gauls and Celtiberians were culturally dominant. Lepidus received the minor province of Africa. Octavian soon took Africa while adding Sicilia to his holdings. Upon the defeat of Mark Antony, a victorious Octavian controlled a united Roman Em
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Augustus was an ancient Roman title given as both name and title to Gaius Octavius, Rome's first Emperor. On his death, it became an official title of his successor, was so used by Roman emperors thereafter; the feminine form Augusta was used for other females of the Imperial family. The masculine and feminine forms originated in the time of the Roman Republic, in connection with things considered divine or sacred in traditional Roman religion, their use as titles for major and minor Roman deities of the Empire associated the Imperial system and Imperial family with traditional Roman virtues and the divine will, may be considered a feature of the Roman Imperial cult. In Rome's Greek-speaking provinces, "Augustus" was translated as sebastos, or Hellenised as Augoustos. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Augustus was sometimes used as a name for men of aristocratic birth in the lands of the Holy Roman Empire, it remains a given name for males. Some thirty years before its first association with Caesar's heir, Augustus was an obscure honorific with religious associations.
One early context, associates it with provincial Lares. In Latin poetry and prose, it signifies the "elevation" or "augmentation" of what is sacred or religious; some Roman sources connected it to augury, Rome was said to have been founded with the "august augury" of Romulus. The first true Roman Emperor known as "Augustus" was Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, he was the adopted son and heir of Julius Caesar, murdered for his seeming aspiration to divine monarchy subsequently and deified. Octavian studiously avoided any association with Caesar's claims, other than acknowledging his position and duties as Divi filius, "son of the deified one", his position was unique and extraordinary. He had ended Rome's prolonged and bloody civil war with his victory at Actium, established a lasting peace, he was self-evidently favored by the gods. As princeps senatus he presided at senatorial meetings, he was chief priest of Roman state religion. He held consular imperium, with authority equal to the official chief executive, he was supreme commander of all Roman legions, held tribunicia potestas.
As a tribune, his person was inviolable and he had the right to veto any act or proposal by any magistrate within Rome. He was renamed Augustus by the Roman Senate on January 16, 27 BC – or the Senate ratified his own careful choice. So his official renaming in a form vaguely associated with a traditionally Republican religiosity, but unprecedented as a cognomen, may have served to show that he owed his position to the approval of Rome and its gods, his own unique, elevated, "godlike" nature and talents, his full and official title was Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus. Augustus' religious reforms extended or affirmed augusti as a near ubiquitous title or honour for various minor local deities, including the Lares Augusti of local communities, obscure provincial deities such as the North African Marazgu Augustus; this extension of an Imperial honorific to major and minor deities of Rome and her provinces is considered a ground-level feature of Imperial cult, which continued until the official replacement of Rome's traditional religions by Christianity.
The title or name of Augustus was adopted by his successors, who held the name during their own lifetimes by virtue of their status and powers. This included the Christian emperors. Most emperors used imperator but others could and did bear the same title and functions. "Caesar" was used as a title, but was the name of a clan within the Julian line. Augusta was the female equivalent of Augustus, had similar origins as an obscure descriptor with vaguely religious overtones, it was bestowed on some women of the Imperial dynasties, as an indicator of worldly power and influence and a status near to divinity. There was no qualification with higher prestige; the title or honorific was shared by state goddesses associated with the Imperial regime's generosity and provision, such as Ceres, Bona Dea, Juno and Ops, by local or minor goddesses around the empire. Other personifications perceived as female and given the title Augusta include Pax and Victoria; the first woman to receive the honorific Augusta was Livia Drusilla, by the last will of her husband Augustus.
From his death she was known as Julia Augusta, until her own death in AD 29. Under Tetrarchy, the empire was divided into Western halves; each was ruled by a senior emperor, with the rank of augustus, a junior emperor, who ranked below him as a caesar. The Imperial titles of imperator and augustus were rendered in Greek as autokratōr, augoustos; the Greek titles were used in the Byzantine Empire until its extinction in 1453, although "sebastos" lost its imperial exclusivity and autokratōr became the exclusive title of the Byzantine Emperor. The last Roman Emperor to rule in the West, Romulus Augustus became known as Augustulus, due to the unimportance of his reign. Charlemagne used the title serenissimus augustus as a prefix to his titles His successors limited themselves to imperator augustus, in order to avoid conflict with the Byzantine emperors. Beginning with Otto III, the Holy Roman Emperors used Romanorum Imperator Augustus; the form
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine the Great. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire. In Greek sources, the term is translated either as stratelates; the title of magister militum was created in the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine the Great deprived the praetorian prefects of their military functions. Two posts were created, one as head of the foot troops, as the magister peditum, one for the more prestigious horse troops, the magister equitum; the latter title had existed since Republican times, as the second-in-command to a Roman dictator. Under Constantine's successors, the title was established at a territorial level: magistri peditum and magistri equitum were appointed for every praetorian prefecture, and, in addition, for Thrace and, Africa. On occasion, the offices would be combined under a single person styled magister equitum et peditum or magister utriusque militiae.
As such they were directly in command of the local mobile field army of the comitatenses, composed of cavalry, which acted as a rapid reaction force. Other magistri remained at the immediate disposal of the Emperors, were termed in praesenti. By the late 4th century, the regional commanders were termed magister militum. In the Western Roman Empire, a "commander-in-chief" evolved with the title of magister utriusque militiae; this powerful office was the power behind the throne and was held by Stilicho, Flavius Aetius and others. In the East, there were two senior generals, who were each appointed to the office of magister militum praesentalis. During the reign of Emperor Justinian I, with increasing military threats and the expansion of the Eastern Empire, three new posts were created: the magister militum per Armeniam in the Armenian and Caucasian provinces part of the jurisdiction of the magister militum per Orientem, the magister militum per Africam in the reconquered African provinces, with a subordinate magister peditum, the magister militum Spaniae.
In the course of the 6th century and external crises in the provinces necessitated the temporary union of the supreme regional civil authority with the office of the magister militum. In the establishment of the exarchates of Ravenna and Carthage in 584, this practice found its first permanent expression. Indeed, after the loss of the eastern provinces to the Muslim conquest in the 640s, the surviving field armies and their commanders formed the first themata. Supreme military commanders sometimes took this title in early medieval Italy, for example in the Papal States and in Venice, whose Doge claimed to be the successor to the Exarch of Ravenna. 383-385/8: Flavius Bauto, magister militum under Valentinian II 385/8-394: Arbogast, magister militum under Valentinian II and Eugenius 383–388: Andragathius after 383-408: Flavius Stilicho 422-?: Asterius? – 480: Ovida 411 – 421: Flavius Constantius 422 - 425: Castinus 425 - 430: Flavius Constantius Felix 431 - 432: Bonifacius 432 - 433: Sebastianus 433 – 454: Flavius Aetius 455 - 456: Avitus & Remistus 456 – 472: Ricimer 472–473: Gundobad 475: Ecdicius Avitus 475–476: Flavius Orestes 352–355: Claudius Silvanus 362–364: Flavius Iovinus, magister equitum under Julian and Jovian?
– 419: Flavius Gaudentius 425–430: Flavius Aetius 435-439: Litorius 452–458: Agrippinus 458–461: Aegidius 461/462: Agrippinus? - 472: Bilimer 441-442: Asterius 443: Flavius Merobaudes 446: Vitus?-350: Vetranio, magister peditum under Constans 361: Flavius Iovinus, magister equitum under Julian 365–375: Equitius, magister utriusquae militiae under Valentinian I 395-? Alaric I 448/9 Agintheus. 468–474: Julius Nepos 477–479: Onoulphus 479–481: Sabinianus Magnus 528: Ascum 529–530/1: Mundus 532–536: Mundus c. 538: Justin c. 544: Vitalius c. 550: John 568–569/70: Bonus 581–582: Theognis c. 347: Flavius Eusebius, magister utriusquae militiae 349–359: Ursicinus, magister equitum under Constantius 359–360: Sabinianus, magister equitum under Constantius 363–367: Lupicinus, magister equitum under Jovian and Valens 371–378: Iulius, magister equitum et Peditum under Valens 383: Flavius Richomeres, magister equitum et peditum 383–388: Ellebichus, magister equitum et peditum 392: Eutherius, magister equitum et peditum 393–396: Addaeus, magister equitum et peditum 395/400: Fravitta 433–446: Anatolius 447–451: Zeno 460s: Flavius Ardabur Aspar -469: Flavius Iordanes 469–471: Zeno 483–498: Ioannes Scytha c.
503–505: Areobindus Dagalaiphus Areobindus 505–506: Pharesmanes?516-?518: Hypatius?518–529: Diogenianus 520-525/526: Hypatius 527: Libelarius 527–529: Hypatius 529–531: Belisarius 531: Mundus 532–533: Belisarius 540: Buzes 542: Belisarius 543–544: Martinus 549–551: Belisarius 555: Amantius 556: Valerianus 569: Zemarchus 572–573: Marcian 573: Theodorus 574: Eusebius 574/574-577: Justinian 577–582: Maurice 582–583: John Mystacon 584-587/588: Philippicus 588: Priscus 588–589: Philippicus 589–591: Comentiolus 591–603: Narses 603-604 Germanus 604-605 Leontius 605-610 Domentziolus Valerian Dagisthaeus Bessas 377–378: Flavius Saturninus, magister equitum under Valens 377–378: Traianus, magister peditum under Valens 378: Sebastianus, magister peditum under Valens 380–383: Flavius Saturninus, magister peditum under Theodosius I 392–393: F
Constitution of the Roman Republic
The constitution of the Roman Republic was a set of unwritten norms and customs, which together with various written laws, guided the procedural governance of the Roman Republic. The constitution emerged from that of the Roman kingdom, evolved over the five hundred years of the Republic, was transformed into the constitution of the Roman Empire; the Roman republican constitution can be divided into three main branches: the Assemblies, composed of the people, which served as the supreme repository of political power and had the authority to elect magistrates, accept or reject laws, administer justice, declare war or peace. A complex set of checks and balances developed between these three branches. For example, the assemblies theoretically held all power, but were called and governed by the magistrates, controlling discussion, exercised dominating influence over them. To check the power of the magistrates, each magistrate could veto one of their colleagues and the plebeians elected tribunes who could intercede and veto the actions of a magistrate.
The Republic's constitution evolved over time. Starting from a period of patrician domination, the Conflict of the Orders granted plebeian citizens equal political rights, while creating the tribunate to check patrician power and empowering the Plebeian Council, an assembly composed of the plebeians of Rome, with full legislative authority; the late Republic saw an increase in the centralisation of power into the hands of provincial governors, the use of military power to enforce political changes, the use of violence, combined with exploitation of the suitably bribed or intimidated "sovereign" assemblies, to grant supreme authority to victorious commanders. The increasing legitimisation of violence and centralisation of authority into fewer and fewer men would, with the collapse of trust in the Republic's institutions, put it on a path to civil war and its transformation into the autocratic Roman Empire; the early republican constitution was dominated by the patricians, who monopolised all control of the magistracies, the Senate, the voting blocs of the assemblies.
It developed with a tendency towards greater popular representation at the expense of the patrician class. The main historical sources for the origins of the Roman political system and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, relied on the Roman annalists, who supplemented what little written history existed with oral history; this lack of evidence poses problems for the reliability of the traditional account of the republic's origins. According to this traditional account, Rome had been ruled by a succession of kings; the Romans believed that this era, that of the Roman kingdom, began in 753 BC and ended in 510 BC. After the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic, the people of Rome began electing two consuls each year. According to the consular fasti, a list of the consuls going back to the foundation of the Republic, the first consuls were chosen in 509 BC; some scholars doubt this traditional account, arguing instead that the monarchy evolved into a government led by elected magistrates.
Remnants of the monarchy, were reflected in republican institutions, such as the religious office of rex sacrorum and the interregnum. There, is, however evidence that the early Republic was a time of violent change, with the word rex carrying the same connotations as tyrant and laws which declared forfeit the life and property of any man who plotted to install himself as a king or tyrant; the first assemblies of the Republic emerged during the Kingdom, with their use to ratify regal elections and the repurposing of the comitia centuriata to elect the first consuls. This regime was dominated by the patricians, the sources on the early Republic overwhelmingly focus on the conflicts between the patricians and the plebs, in what is known as the Conflict of the Orders; the early years of the Republic were a time of periodic popular unrest. In 494 BC, under harsh measures from patrician creditors, during a military campaign, the plebeians under arms seceded to the Mons Sacer outside the city and refused to fight in the campaign without political concessions.
With the pressure of an external threat, the patricians were forced to create the office of plebeian tribune who were declared sacrosanct, i.e. that they were declared inviolable and that anyone could be summarily executed for violation of the sanctity of his person. This was the basis of the tribune's ability to veto any political act or to protect any individual from an injustice committed by a magistrate, known as intercessio and auxilium, respectively; the people gave two assistants known as plebeian aediles. Again under pressure from the plebs, a political compromise was reached in which the consuls and tribunes would give place to a commission of ten men, the decemviri, who would be empowered to publish a code of laws for all Rome, the Twelve Tables. According to Livy, it codified all public and private law, but its promulgation did not grant further political rights to the plebs, as it enshrined into the tables a law banning intermarriage between plebeians and patricians. With a short attempt to establish
Constitution of the Roman Empire
The Constitution of the Roman Empire was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down through precedent. 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 theoretically two co-equal branches of government. In practice, the actual authority of the imperial Senate was negligible, as the emperor held the true power of the state. During the reign of the second emperor, many of the powers, held by the Roman assemblies were transferred to the Senate; the powers of an emperor existed by virtue of his legal standing. The two most significant components to an emperor's power were the "tribunician powers" Latin: tribunicia potestas and the proconsular imperium, or the power to command; the tribunician powers gave the emperor authority over Rome itself and the civil government, while the proconsular powers gave him authority over the provinces and the army.
While these distinctions were defined during the early empire they were lost, the emperor's powers became less constitutional and more monarchical. The traditional magistracies that survived the fall of the republic were the Consulship, Plebeian Tribunate, Aedileship and Military Tribunate. Any individual of the senatorial class could run for one of these offices. If an individual was not of the senatorial class, he could run for one of these offices if he was allowed to run by the emperor, or otherwise, he could be appointed to one of these offices by the emperor; the general who won the last civil war of the Roman Republic, Gaius Octavian, became the master of the state. In the years after 30 BC, Octavian set out to reform the Roman constitution; the ultimate consequence of these reforms was the abolition of the republic and the founding of the Roman Empire. When Octavian deposed his fellow triumvir, Mark Antony, in 32 BC, he resigned his position as triumvir, but was vested with powers similar to those that he had given up.
Octavian wanted to solidify his status as master of the state whilst avoiding assassination. On 13 January 27 BC, Octavian gave up his extraordinary powers, including his proconsular imperium, triumvirate authority, powers granted in the consensus universorum, back to the Senate and people of Rome. However, he kept the Senate's grant of tribunician power in 36 BC and remained consul for 27 BC, he received from the Senate, doubtlessly at his own suggestion, greater proconsular imperium for a period of ten years, giving him supreme authority over the provinces, therefore, the entire Roman military. These various powers and offices both allowed him to maintain his legal authority over the empire at large and claim that the Republic was restored; the wide-reaching grant of proconsular authority was precedented in lex Gabinia's grant of similar authority to Pompey in 67 BC. Furthermore, the proconsular powers were theoretically outranked by the consular powers held by the sitting consuls, allowing Octavian to claim he did not stand above any other magistrates of the state.
To maintain his control in Italy, not considered a province, Octavian had the Assemblies elect him to the position of consul. At this point, the Senate granted Octavian the title "augustus" and the position of princeps senatus, or the first Senator; when Augustus, as Octavian was renamed, gave up the consulship in 23 BC, the Senate granted him an expansion of his proconsular authority, with legal authority at the same level as those of the normal consuls. Furthermore, Augustus expanded the use of the tribunician powers granted in 36 BC, which allowed him to interfere in administration, convoke the people, propose legislation, veto other political bodies, etc. After these final reforms had been instituted, Augustus never again altered his constitution, although he did periodically assume the office of censor to affect changes in the Senatorial rolls and hold the consulship. When, in 20 BC, a famine in Rome led to the people offering Augustus the dictatorship, he refused, instead taking on the cura annonae: the administration of the grain supply.
And when the ten-year term of his proconsular authority elapsed, he continued the fiction of the temporary nature of his authority, having it renewed in 18 BC, 13 BC, 8 BC, 3 BC, 8 AD. While there were minor changes in the provinces which he governed by nature of his proconsular authority, its overriding nature did not change until after his death. Augustus' final goal was to figure out a method to ensure an orderly succession, something necessary in any monarchial constitution and to avoid the resurgence of civil war. Augustus could not transfer his powers to a successor upon his death, as they were given to him for some fixed term or during his life. Thus, any successor would need to influence. In 6 BC Augustus granted tribunician powers to his stepson Tiberius and recognised Tiberius as his heir. In AD 13, a law was passed which made Tiberius' legal powers equivalent to and independent from those of Augustus. On Augustus' death, Tiberius had to take control of the state, since the nominally republican constitution did not allow for the dead emperor to bequeath powers.
With the support of the Praetorian Guard and the army, he took control of the state. During his reign, the power to elect magistrates was transferred from the assemblies to the Senate and he ended the practice of proposing laws before them; when Tiberius died, Caligula was proclaimed emperor by the Senate. In 41, Caligula was assassinated, for two days following his assa