The cursus honorum was the sequential order of public offices held by aspiring politicians in both the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire. It was designed for men of senatorial rank; the cursus honorum comprised a mixture of political administration posts. Each office had a minimum age for election. There were minimum intervals between holding successive offices and laws forbade repeating an office; these rules were flagrantly ignored in the course of the last century of the Republic. For example, Gaius Marius held consulships for five years in a row between 104 BC and 100 BC, he was consul seven times in all serving in 107 and 86. Presented as opportunities for public service, the offices became mere opportunities for self-aggrandizement; the reforms of Sulla required a ten-year interval before holding the same office again for another term. To have held each office at the youngest possible age was considered a great political success. For instance, to miss out on a praetorship at 39 meant that one could not become consul at 42.
Cicero expressed extreme pride not only in being a novus homo who became consul though none of his ancestors had served as a consul, but in having become consul "in his year". The cursus honorum began with ten years of military duty in the Roman cavalry or in the staff of a general, a relative or a friend of the family; the ten years of service were intended to be mandatory in order to qualify for political office, but in practice, the rule was not always rigidly applied. A more prestigious position was that of a military tribune. In the early Roman Republic, 24 men at the age of around 20 were elected by the Tribal Assembly to serve as a commander in the legions, with six tribunes to each and command rotating among them. Tribunes could be appointed by the consuls or by military commanders in the field as necessary. After the reforms of Gaius Marius in 107 BC, the six tribunes acted as staff officers for the legionary legatus and were appointed tasks and command of units of troops whenever the need arose.
The subsequent steps of the cursus honorum were achieved by direct election every year. The first official post was that of quaestor. Candidates had to be at least 30 years old. However, men of patrician rank could subtract two years from this and other minimum age requirements. Twenty quaestors served in the financial administration at Rome or as second-in-command to a governor in the provinces, they could serve as the paymaster for a legion. A young man who obtained this job was expected to become a important official. An additional task of all quaestors was the supervision of public games; as a quaestor, an official was allowed to wear the toga praetexta, but was not escorted by lictors, nor did he possess imperium. At 36 years of age, proquaestor could stand for election to one of the aedile positions. Of these aediles, two were plebeian and two were patrician, with the patrician aediles called Curule Aediles; the plebeian aediles were elected by the Plebeian Council and the curule aediles were either elected by the Tribal Assembly or appointed by the reigning consul.
The aediles had administrative responsibilities in Rome. They had to take care of the temples, organize games, be responsible for the maintenance of the public buildings in Rome. Moreover, they took charge of Rome's food supplies; the Aedile was the supervisor of public works. He oversaw the public works and markets. Therefore, the Aediles would have been in some cooperation with the current Censors, who had similar or related duties, they oversaw the organization of festivals and games, which made this a sought-after office for a career minded politician of the late republic, as it was a good means of gaining popularity by staging spectacles. Curule Aediles were added at a date in the 4th century BC, their duties do not differ from plebeian aediles. However, unlike plebeian aediles, curule aediles were allowed certain symbols of rank—the sella curulis or'curule chair,' for example—and only patricians could stand for election to curule aedile; this changed, both Plebeians and Patricians could stand for Curule Aedileship.
The elections for Curule Aedile were at first alternated between Patricians and Plebeians, until late in the 2nd century BC, when the practice was abandoned and both classes became free to run during all years. While part of the cursus honorum, this step was not required to hold future offices. Though the office was held after the quaestorship and before the praetorship, there are some cases with former praetors serving as aediles. After serving either as quaestor or as aedile, a man of 39 years could run for praetor; the number of praetors elected varied through history increasing with time. During the republic, six or eight were elected each year to serve judicial functions throughout Rome and other governmental responsibilities. In the absence of the consuls, a praetor would be given command of the garrison in Italy. A praetor could exercise the functions of the consuls throughout Rome, but their main function was that of a judge, they would preside over trials involving criminal acts, grant court orders and validate "illegal" acts as acts of administering justice.
A praetor was escorted by six lictors, wielded imperium. After a term as praetor, the magistrate would serve as a provincial governor with the title of propraetor
The lictors was a Roman civil servant, a bodyguard to magistrates who held imperium. Lictors were used since the Roman Kingdom, according to Roman historian Livy, the custom may have originated earlier, in the Etruscan civilization. Rome's first king, who appointed 12 lictors to attend him. Livy refers to two competing traditions for the reason; the first version is that 12 was the number of birds that appeared in the augury, which had portended the kingdom to Romulus. The second version, favoured by Livy, is that the number of lictors was borrowed from the Etruscan kings, who had one lictor appointed from each of their 12 states. Lictors were chosen from the plebs, but through most of Roman history, they seemed to have been freedmen. Centurions from the legions were automatically eligible to become lictors on retirement from the army, they were, however Roman citizens, since they wore togas inside Rome. A lictor had to be a built man, capable of physical work. Lictors were exempted from military service, received a fixed salary, were organized in a corporation.
They were chosen by the magistrate they were supposed to serve, but it is possible that they were drawn by lots. Lictors were associated with Comitia Curiata and one was selected from each curia, since there were 30 curiae and 30 lictors; the lictor's main task was to attend as bodyguards to magistrates. They carried rods decorated with fasces and, outside the pomerium, with axes that symbolized the power to carry out capital punishment. Dictatorial lictors had axes within the pomerium, they followed the magistrate wherever he went, including the Forum, his house and the baths. Lictors were organized in an ordered line before him, with the primus lictor directly in front of him, waiting for orders. If there was a crowd, the lictors opened the way and kept their master safe, pushing all aside except for Roman matrons, who were accorded special honor, they had to stand beside the magistrate whenever he addressed the crowd. Magistrates could only dispense with their lictors if they were visiting a free city or addressing a higher status magistrate.
Lictors had legal and penal duties. A Vestal Virgin was accorded a lictor; the degree of magistrate's imperium was symbolised by the number of lictors escorting him: Dictator: 24 lictors outside the pomerium, 12 inside. The latter rule was ignored beginning with the dictatorship of Sulla Emperor: 12 lictors, after Domitian 24 lictors Rex and Consul: 12 lictors Proconsul: 11 lictors Magister equitum: 6 lictors Praetor: 6 lictors, 2 within the pomerium Propraetor and Legatus: 5 lictors Curule aediles: 2 lictors Quaestor: 0 lictors in the city of Rome, but quaestors were permitted to have fasces in the provinces. Sometimes, lictors were ascribed to private citizens on special occasions, such as funerals or political reunions, as a show of respect by the city; the lictor curiatus was a special kind of lictor who did not carry rods or fasces and whose main tasks were religious. There were 30 of them, serving at the command of the Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Rome, they were present at sacrifices where they guided sacrificial animals to the altars.
Vestal Virgins and other high-ranking priests were entitled to be escorted and protected by lictores curiati. In the Empire, women of the royal family were followed by two of this kind of lictor; the lictores curiati were responsible to summon the Comitia Curiata and to maintain order during its procedures. Cursus honorum Praetorian Guard Livius.org: Lictor
Ius or Jus in ancient Rome was a right to which a citizen was entitled by virtue of his citizenship. The iura were specified by laws, so ius sometimes meant law; as one went to the law courts to sue for one's rights, ius meant justice and the place where justice was sought. On the whole, the Romans valued their rights as the greatest good of Roman citizenship, as opposed to citizenship in other city-states under the jurisdiction of Rome but without Roman rights. Outsiders and freedmen perforce used Roman lawyers to represent them in actions undertaken under the jurisdiction of Roman law. Representation was one of the civic obligations owed to the state by citizens; these munera included military service as well as paying taxes, but specialized obligations might be associated with functions of elected offices or assigned by the government, such as paying the cost of road or aqueduct maintenance. Some of these functions were lucrative, such as tax collecting, since the collector collected much more than he owed the government, but for the most part functionaries were appointed for their wealth and were expected to assume the costs as their munus.
If they did not, they were sometimes executed. Violation of the iura of other citizens, whether in office or out, was a serious matter, for which the punishment might be death. Ius in ancient Roman law had two principal meanings, which are still reflected in French droit, German Recht, English right and Castilian derecho. Ferdinand Mackeldy, 19th-century jurist, analyzed them into two principles: ius is the law, a set of compulsory rules, which he called objective or positive law, a set of possibilities to act, which he called subjective law, or duties. Ius was defined by the jurists Publius Juventius Celsus and Julius Paulus Prudentissimus as the aequum et bonum, "the just and the fair", or justice. Jurisprudence was the art of bringing it about through application of the laws. Iura were "the whole of laws", not a list of all the laws, but the principle of legality, which might be applied through this law or by the magistrates and lawyers of Rome through disputation in the law courts. Ius might be something less than the whole body of law when special fields were designated by an adjective, such as ius publicum, "public law," as opposed to private law.
The actual laws, or written statutes, were only the specific tools. Ius was the law in its broadest sense or its ideal state and unaffected by the contingent decrees that the state happened to enact—hence the distinction between the English terms justice and legislation. Ius as the law was the domain of Roman aristocrats, from whose ranks the magistrates were chosen and who defended clients in court. On a more practical basis, the populace of Rome daily encountered the primary meaning of ius, they understood. Furthermore, these rights could be named and enumerated in formulae beginning with the word ius followed by a descriptive phrase, most in the genitive case: "the right of...." Black defines ius in the sense of a right as "a power, faculty, or demand inherent in one person and incident upon another." This power, or potestas, was a license governing behavior between persons granted by the constitution. It determined what group of citizens could or could not do regarding another. One might act sui iuris, on one's own authority, asserting one's own right, or on behalf of another, alieni iuris, in response to a demand to serve his right by being under his authority.
This was the principle binding soldiers in the army: the consul, or a commander of some other rank, had a right to demand public service of citizens in the army, who were under his authority. The magistrates thus had the right and power to draft men into the army at any time, but this demand was never a private affair; the right to raise a legion from a given populace for a specified purpose under the Roman Republic had to be granted by a senatus consultum, a decree of the Senate. Under the Roman Empire the imperator was from a legal point of view the chief magistrate whose major ius was the ordering of all public affairs, for which he could demand assistance from anyone at any time; the cynical demands of the bad emperors and the beneficial ones of the good emperors are described at great length by the historians of the empire, such as Tacitus. The list below contains iura from different branches of Roman civilization. A ius of ancient Rome, marked by the imperial eagle begins in the Roman Republic and continues through the Roman Empire.
A ius of the Holy Roman Empire is marked with the double-headed eagle. The term is used in this article in the general sense to mean the Carolingian Empire, named after Charlemagne, who had the title Holy Roman Emperor, his domain included what is now France. Its iura reflect early Germanic laws, they are more to be found as legal principles in modern European countries. Iura that originated and remained as canon law are marked with the coat of arms of the Holy See. Ius albanagii; the right of confiscation of property of an alien, cf. droit d'aubaine. Ius Albinatus. In old French law; the droit d'aubaine in France, whereby the king
The Concilium Plebis was the principal assembly of the ancient Roman Republic. It functioned as a legislative assembly, through which the plebeians could pass laws, elect magistrates, try judicial cases; the Plebeian Council was organized on the basis of the Curia. Thus, it was a "Plebeian Curiate Assembly"; the Plebeian Council met in the well of the comitium and could only be convoked by the Tribune of the Plebs. The assembly elected the Tribunes of the Plebs and the plebeian aediles, only the plebeians were allowed to vote; when the Roman Republic was founded in 509 BC, the Roman people were divided into a total of thirty curiae. The curiae were organized on the basis of the family, thus the ethnic structure of early Rome; each curia had its own festivals and religious rites. The thirty curiae gathered into a legislative assembly known as the Comitia Curiata or Curiate Assembly; this assembly was created shortly after the legendary founding of the city in 753 BC, it formally elected new Roman kings.
During this time, plebeians had no political rights. Each plebeian family was dependent on a particular patrician family. Thus, each plebeian family belonged to the same curia. While the plebeians each belonged to a particular curia, only patricians could vote in the Curiate Assembly. Before the first plebeian secession in 494 BC, the plebeians met in their own assembly on the basis of the curiae. However, this assembly had no political role until the offices of plebeian tribune and plebeian aedile were created that year, in order to end the secession; as a result of the plebeian movement, the patrician aristocracy formally recognized the political power of the plebeian tribune, thus legitimized the power of the assembly over which the plebeian tribune presided. This "Plebeian Curiate Assembly" was the original Plebeian Council. After 494 BC, a plebeian tribune always presided over the Plebeian Curiate Assembly; this assembly elected the plebeian tribunes and the plebeian aediles, passed legislation that applied only to the plebeians.
During the years of the Roman Kingdom, King Servius Tullius enacted a series of constitutional reforms. One of these reforms resulted in the creation of a new organizational unit, the tribe, to assist in the reorganization of the army, its divisions were rather geographical. Tullius divided the city into four geographical districts, each encompassing a single tribe. Between the reign of Tullius and the late 3rd century BC, the number of tribes expanded from 4 to 35. By 471 BC, the plebeians decided that organization by tribe granted them a level of political independence from their patrician patrons that the curiae did not. Therefore, around 471 BC, a law was passed to allow the plebeians to begin organizing by tribe. Thus, the "Plebeian Curiate Assembly" began to use tribes, rather than curiae, as its basis for organization; as such, the Plebeian Council changed from a "Plebeian Curiate Assembly" to a "Plebeian Tribal Assembly". The only difference between the Plebeian Council after 471 BC and the ordinary Tribal Assembly was that the tribes of the Plebeian Council included only plebeians, whereas the tribes of the Tribal Assembly included both plebeians and patricians.
However, most Romans were plebeians. Therefore, the principal differences between the Plebeian Council and the Tribal Assembly were legal rather than demographic; these legal differences derived from the fact that Roman law did not recognize an assembly consisting only of one group of people from an assembly consisting of all of the People of Rome. Over time, these legal differences were mitigated with legislation; the Plebeian Council elected two plebeian officers, the tribunes and the aediles, thus Roman law classified these two officers as the elected representatives of the plebeians. As such, they acted as the presiding officers of this assembly; the creation of the office of plebeian tribune and plebeian aedile marked the end of the first phase of the struggle between the plebeians and the patricians. The next major development in this conflict occurred through the Plebeian Council. During a modification of the original Valerian law in 449 BC, plebiscites acquired the full force of law, thus applied to all Romans.
Before this time, plebiscites had applied only to plebeians. By the early 4th century BC, the plebeians, who still lacked any real political power, had become exhausted and bitter. In 339 BC they facilitated the passage of a law, which brought the Conflict of the Orders closer to a conclusion. Before this time, a bill passed by any assembly could become law only after the patrician senators gave their approval, which came in the form of a decree called the auctoritas patrum; the lex Publilia required the auctoritas patrum to be passed before a law could be voted on by one of the assemblies, rather than afterward. This modification seems to have made the auctoritas patrum irrelevant. Thus, the Plebeian Council became independent of the patrician aristocracy in everything but name. By 287 BC, the economic condition of the average plebeian had deteriorated further; the problem appears to have centered on widespread indebtedness. The plebeians demanded relief, but the senators, most of whom belonged to the creditor class, refused to abide by the plebeians' demands.
The plebeians withdrew en masse to the Janiculum hill. To end this movement, a plebeian dictator (Quintus Hortensiu