Constitution of the Late Roman Empire
The constitution of the late Roman Empire was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down through precedent, which defined the manner in which the late Roman Empire was governed. As a matter of historical convention, the late Roman Empire emerged from the Roman Principate, with the accession of Diocletian in AD 284, his reign marking the beginning of the Dominate; the constitution of the Dominate recognized monarchy as the true source of power, thus ended the fiction of dyarchy, in which emperor and Senate governed the empire together. Diocletian's reforms to the imperial government ended the ruse that the old republican magistracies were anything more than municipal officials with powers beyond Rome itself. By the late Empire, the consuls had no real duties beyond that of presiding at Senate meetings and the duties of the lesser magistrates were just the organisation of various games. Most other magistracies disappeared. Diocletian attempted to reform the imperial system itself into a structure in which four emperors, consisting of two Augusti and two Caesares, each governed one fourth of the Empire.
Known as the Tetrarchy, this constitutional structure, failed to outlast Diocletian, who lived to see the collapse of his system and the civil wars that followed in his retirement after abdication in AD 305. He enacted major administrative reforms to the Empire, his division of the Empire into east and west, with each half under the command of a separate emperor, remained with brief interruptions of political unity. Although it remained the sole capital until Constantinople was elevated to that status in 359, the city of Rome ceased to the seat of the imperial government: it was by the Urban Prefect. A vicar of the Prefect of Italy headed the imperial administration of Italy south of the Apennines and the Islands; the Senate and executive magistrates continued to function as Diocletian's constitution had specified. Diocletian's civil and military divisions of the empire remained in effect with little change though Upper Egypt from the mid-fifth was governed by a general, the dux, who exercised civilian authority over the population.
Emperors Constantine would modify Diocletian's constitution by changing the roles of officials somewhat but not the administrative framework. It was not until Justinian I 527-565 that major changes that saw the near abolition of the regional tier of officials, severe weakening of the Treasury and Crown Estates. Under Diocletian's new constitution, power was shared between two emperors called Augusti; the establishment of two co-equal Augusti marked a rebirth of the old republican principle of collegiality, as all laws and appointments that came from one of the Augusti, were to be recognized as coming from both conjointly. One Augustus was to rule the western half of the Empire, the other Augustus was to rule the eastern half of the Empire. Diocletian made Maximian his co-Augustus, gave him the Western Empire, while Diocletian took the Eastern Empire. Diocletian made Nicomedia his capital, Maximian made Milan his capital. To make the two halves symbolically appear to be one, Diocletian called his territory patres Orientis, while Maximian called his territory patres Occidentis.
The Augusti were distinct from the old Princeps, because under the Principate, the Princeps took the place of the old republican magistrates. When a Princeps issued a decree, that decree was only valid so long as that Princeps was Emperor, whereas in contrast, under the Republic, any decree issued by a magistrate was only good so long as that magistrate was in office. Under the Republic and the Principate, only the Senate and legislative assemblies were continuous institutions, thus only they could pass laws that remained in effect indefinitely. Under Diocletian's new Dominate, the Augusti took the place of the Senate and the assemblies, thus any decree of an Augustus remained in force after that particular emperor left office; such an act could only be invalidated by a future Emperor. The logical extension of this concept meant that neither a magistrate, the assemblies, nor the senate, could restrain the Emperor; the old republican magistrates, as well as the Princeps, both had legal status.
Under the Republic, the state gave the magistrates the authorization to hold their office, while under the Principate, the state gave the Princeps the legal authorization to be emperor. Any Augusti, in contrast, did not need authorization from the state to be emperor, because the Augusti became the state; the higher authority of the Augusti was illustrated by their robes and the imperial diadem, as well as the elaborate ceremony required of anyone who approached them. Unlike the old Princeps, the Augusti were viewed as being more than mortal, illustrated by the honors that they received; these honors had, in the past, been reserved only for the Gods. While emperors had received such honors in the past, they only received these honors after their death, yet, the Augusti could receive such honors while they were still alive. In 293, Diocletian and Maximian appointed two Caesares, which resulted in an arrangement known as the "Tetrarchy"; the Caesares were subordinate to their Augusti, the only authority that they had was that, given to them by their Augusti.
Their status was so inferior to the Augusti. The powers that were delegated to them included the right to hear appeals, a set of provinces were assigned to them so that they could supervise the governors of those provinces; the reason why Diocle
The Principate or early Roman Empire is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate. The Principate is characterised by the reign of a single emperor and an effort on the part of the early emperors, at least, to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance, in some aspects, of the Roman Republic, it is etymologically derived from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. This reflects the principate emperors' assertion that they were "first among equals" among the citizens of Rome; the title, in full, of princeps senatus / princeps civitatis was first adopted by Octavian Caesar Augustus, the first Roman'emperor' who chose, like the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, not to reintroduce a legal monarchy.
Augustus's purpose was to establish the political stability needed after the exhausting civil wars by a de facto dictatorial regime within the constitutional framework of the Roman Republic as a more acceptable alternative to, for example, the early Roman Kingdom. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, traditionally the oldest member of the Senate who had the right to be heard first on any debate. Although dynastic pretenses crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. In a more limited and precise chronological sense, the term is applied either to the Empire or the earlier of the two phases of'Imperial' government in the ancient Roman Empire, extending from when Augustus claimed auctoritas for himself as princeps until Rome's military collapse in the West in 476, leaving the Byzantine Empire sole heir, or, depending on the source, up to the rule of Commodus, of Maximinus Thrax or of Diocletian. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, subjectively more like an monarchy while the earlier Principate is still more'Republican'.
Under this'Principate stricto sensu', the political reality of autocratic rule by the Emperor was still scrupulously masked by forms and conventions of oligarchic self-rule inherited from the political period of the'uncrowned' Roman Republic under the motto Senatus Populusque Romanus or SPQR. 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. Imperial propaganda developed a'paternalistic' ideology, presenting the princeps as the incarnation of all virtues attributed to the ideal ruler, such as clemency and justice, in turn placing the onus on the princeps to play this designated role within Roman society, as his political insurance as well as a moral duty. What was expected of the princeps seems to have varied according to the times. Speaking, it was expected of the Emperor to be generous but not frivolous, not just as a good ruler but with his personal fortune providing occasional public games, horse races and artistic shows.
Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided paid employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in 68 CE, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian in 69 CE; the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. While many of the cultural and political expectations remained, the princeps was no longer a position extended on the basis of merit, or auctoritas, but on a firmer basis, allowing Vespasian and future emperors to designate their own heir without those heirs having to earn the position through years of success and public favor. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful and politically promising individual as his successor. In modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an "ideal" situation: the individual, 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, credited the system of succession as the key factor. This first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Starting with the Emperor Diocletian, oriental type of styles like dominus became current, though not legal, but there could by definition never be a clear, constitutional turning point, so this appreciation remains subjective; the reality is gradual development. This process is said to be established by the Emperor Septimius Severus. After the Crisis of the Third Century resulted in the Roman Empire's political collap
A tribute is wealth in kind, that a party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states exacted tribute from the rulers of land which the state conquered or otherwise threatened to conquer. In case of alliances, lesser parties may pay tribute to more powerful parties as a sign of allegiance and in order to finance projects that would benefit both parties. To be called "tribute" a recognition by the payer of political submission to the payee is required. Payments by a superior political entity to an inferior one, made for various purposes, are described by terms including "subsidy"; the ancient Persian Achaemenid Empire is an example of an ancient tribute empire. However, failure to keep up the payments had dire consequences; the reliefs at Persepolis show processions of figures bearing varied types of tribute. The medieval Mongol rulers of Russia expected only tribute from the Russian states, which continued to govern themselves.
Athens received tribute from the other cities of the Delian League. The empires of Assyria, Babylon and Rome exacted tribute from their provinces and subject kingdoms. Ancient China received tribute from various states such as Japan, Vietnam, Borneo, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Central Asia; the Aztec Empire is another example. The Roman republic exacted tribute in the form of payments equivalent to proportional property taxes, for the purpose of waging war. Tribute empires contrast with those like the Roman Empire, which more controlled and garrisoned subject territories. A tributary state is one that preserves its political position and such independence as it has only by paying tribute. Although, Roman Republic and Roman Empire sometimes controlled client kingdoms providing it with tribute. In ancient China, the tribute system provided an administrative means to control their interests, as well as providing exclusive trading priorities to those who paid tribute from foreign regions, it was an integral part of the Confucian philosophy, seen by the Chinese as equivalent to younger sons looking after older parents by devoting part of their wealth, assets or goods to that purpose.
Political marriages have existed between the Chinese empire and tribute states, such as Songtsen Gampo and Wencheng. China received tribute from the states under the influence of Confucian civilization and gave them Chinese products and recognition of their authority and sovereignty in return. There were several tribute states to the Chinese-established empires throughout ancient history, including neighboring countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Borneo and Central Asia; this tributary system and relationship are well known as Jimi or Cefeng, or Chaogong. In Japanese, the tributary system and relationship is referred to as Shinkou and Choukou. According to the Chinese Book of Han, the various tribes of Japan had entered into tributary relationships with China by the first century. However, Japan ceased to present tribute to China and left the tributary system during the Heian period without damaging economic ties. Although Japan returned to the tributary system during the Muromachi period in the reign of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it did not recommence presenting tribute.
According to the Korean historical document Samguk Sagi, Goguryeo sent a diplomatic representative to the Han dynasty in 32 AD, Emperor Guangwu of Han acknowledged Goguryeo with a title. The tributary relationship between China and Korea was established during the Three Kingdoms of Korea, but in practice it was only a diplomatic formality to strengthen legitimacy and gain access to cultural goods from China; this continued under different dynasties and varying degrees until China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. The relationship between China and Vietnam was a "hierarchic tributary system". China ended its suzerainty over Vietnam with the Treaty of Tientsin following the Sino-French War. Thailand was always subordinate to China as a vassal or a tributary state since the Sui dynasty until the Taiping Rebellion of the late Qing dynasty in the mid-19th century; some tributaries of imperial China encompasses suzerain kingdoms from China in East Asia has been prepared. Before the 20th century, the geopolitics of East and Southeast Asia were influenced by the Chinese tributary system.
This assured them their sovereignty and the system assured China the incoming of certain valuable assets. "The theoretical justification" for this exchange was the Mandate of Heaven, that stated the fact that the Emperor of China was empowered by the heavens to rule, with this rule the whole mankind would end up being beneficiary of good deeds. Most of the Asian countries joined this system voluntary. There is a clear differentiation between the term "tribute" and "gift." The former, known as gong, has important connotations. The Chinese emperors made sure that the gifts they paid to other states were known as mere gifts, not tributes. At times when a Chinese dynasty had to bribe nomads from raiding their border such as in the Han Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, the emperors gave "gifts" to the Xiongn
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
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. 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, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. 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 temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been 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, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
The Pontifex Maximus or pontifex maximus was the chief high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office, its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian who, however decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title. Although in fact the most powerful office of Roman priesthood, the pontifex maximus was ranked fifth in the ranking of the highest Roman priests, behind the rex sacrorum and the flamines maiores; the word "pontifex" and its derivative "pontiff" became terms used for Catholic bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, the title of "Pontifex Maximus" was applied within the Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop and appears on buildings and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times.
The official list of titles of the Pope given in the Annuario Pontificio includes "Supreme Pontiff" as the fourth title, the first being "Bishop of Rome".. The etymology of "pontifex" is uncertain, has been since Roman times; the word appears to consist of the Latin word for "bridge" and the suffix for "maker". However, there is a possibility that this definition is a folk etymology for an Etruscan term, since Roman religion was influenced by Etruscan religion, little is known about the Etruscan language, not Indo-European. According to the common interpretation, the term pontifex means "bridge-builder"; this was originally meant in a literal sense: the position of bridge-builder was indeed an important one in Rome, where the major bridges were over the Tiber, the sacred river: only prestigious authorities with sacral functions could be allowed to "disturb" it with mechanical additions. However, it was always understood in its symbolic sense as well: the pontifices were the ones who smoothed the "bridge" between gods and men.
The interpretation of the word pontifex as "bridge-builder" was that of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Marcus Terentius Varro. Plutarch pointed out that the term existed before there were any bridges in Rome and derived the word from Old Latin pontis meaning a powerful or absolute master, while others derived it from potis facere in the sense of "able to sacrifice"; the last derivation is mentioned by Varro, who rejected it, but it was the view of Pontifex Maximus Quintus Scaevola. Others have held that the word was pompifex; the word pons meant "way" and pontifex would thus mean "maker of roads and bridges". Another opinion is that the word is a corruption of a similar-sounding but etymologically unrelated Etruscan word, yet another hypothesis considers the word as a loan from the Sabine language, in which it would mean a member of a college of five, from Osco-Umbrian ponte, five. This explanation takes into account the fact that the college was established by Sabine king Numa Pompilius and the institution is Italic: the expressions pontis and pomperias found in the Iguvine Tablets may denote a group or division of five or by five.
The pontifex would thence be a member of a sacrificial college known as pomperia. The Roman title "Pontifex Maximus" was rendered in Greek inscriptions and literature of the time as "ἀρχιερεύς" or by a more literal translation and order of words as "ἀρχιερεὺς μέγιστος" (literally, "greatest high priest"; the term "ἀρχιερεύς" is used in the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and in the New Testament to refer to the Jewish high priest in 2Mac 4, 7. The Collegium Pontificum was the most important priesthood of ancient Rome; the foundation of this sacred college and the office of Pontifex Maximus is attributed to the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius. Much of what is known about the Regal period in Roman history is mythical; the Collegium acted as advisers to the rex in religious matters. The collegium was headed by the pontifex maximus, all the pontifices held their office for life, but the pontifical records of early Rome were most destroyed when the city was sacked by the Gauls in 387 BCE, the earliest accounts of Archaic Rome come from the literature of the Republic, most of it from the 1st century BC and later.
According to the Augustan-era historian Livy, Numa Pompilius, a Sabine, devised Rome's system of religious rites, including the manner and timing of sacrifices, the supervision of religious funds, authority over all public and private religious institutions, instruction of the populace in the celestial and funerary rites including appeasing the dead, expiation of prodigies. Numa is said to have founded Roman religion after dedicating an altar on the Aventine Hill to Jupiter Elicius and consulting the gods by means of augury. Numa wrote down and sealed these religious instructions, gave them to the first Pontifex Maximus, Numa Marcius. In the Roman Republic, the Pontifex Maximus was the highest office in the state religion of ancient Rome and directed the College of Pontiffs. According to Livy, after the overthrow of the monarchy, the Romans created the priesthood of the rex sacrorum, or "king of sacred rites," to carry out certain religious duties and rituals performed by the king; the rex sacrorum was explicitly deprived of military and political power, but the pontifices were permi
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