Consul: roman inn magistrate, equivalent with a element minister or a president. Under the empire, the office to be prestigious yet unimportant.

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A roman magistrate and also two lictors moving fasces

The oldest and also most necessary magistracy to be the consulship, which can ideal be described as a twin prime ministership or presidency. The two males were elected by the Comitia centuriata, one assembly that the people in which the richest Romans were in the majority. The consuls offered for only one year (to stop corruption) and also could only dominance when castle agreed, due to the fact that each consul might veto the various other one\"s decision.

The consuls to be the chairmen that the Senate, which offered as a board of advisers. They likewise commanded the Roman military (both had two legions) and also exercised the highest juridical power in the roman empire. Therefore, the Greek chronicler Polybius that Megalopolis likened the consuls come kings. Only laws and the decrees the the Senate or the People\"s assembly minimal their powers; just the veto the a consul or a tribune could supersede their decisions. This expected that the consuls could constantly interfere v the decisions of praetors, aediles and quaestors. (Tribunes, censors and dictators to be immune.)

The idea to division executive management was probably obtained from Carthage, which to be ruled through a comparable college of suffetes (\"judges\"). This seems to be evidenced by the truth that the consuls to be originally recognized as iudices (\"judges\"). An different explanation is the the idea originated in Central-Italy, wherein colleges that meddices ruled tribes favor the Sabines and also the Samnite federation. (This subject matter is discussed here.)

Originally, the two consuls had actually to belong to the Patriciate, the roman aristocracy. In the 360s, however, the office was opened up for plebeians (in 366, according to an inaccurate chronology discussed here). The name \"consul\" was first used at this time.

One had actually to it is in at the very least 43 years old to end up being consul. (This to be laid down in the Lex Villia annalis of 180.) indigenous the third century BCE onward, the was also necessary the the candidate had actually served in various other magistracies (e.g., the praetorship). It was possible to have a 2nd term as consul, but ten year ought to different these two terms; however, in the late second century Gaius Marius to be consul in 107, 104, 103, 102, 101, and also 100. Later, males like Julius Caesar and Octavian had similar careers.

Under the empire, the consulship was regularly held for only two months; in this way, twelve senators could occupy the empire\"s highest office. (In the year 190, there were no much less than twenty-five consuls.) back the election of the consul took place in the structure of the Senate (Curia Julia), the candidates to be appointed by the emperor; if the emperor wanted to respect a certain senator, he mutual the office (e.g., the emperor Trajan and also senator Sextus Julius Frontinus in the very first two months of 100). At the time, the consulship was only a little an ext than a completely honorary title and the minimum age had been lowered considerably. However, throughout a situation (e.g., ~ the death of one emperor), a consul tho had good responsibilities.

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A consul had actually twelve bodyguards (lictores) and was permitted to undertake a purple-bordered toga. The two consuls offered their names come the roman year.