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 Roman consul

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Join date : 2010-12-22

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PostSubject: Roman consul   Roman consul I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 25, 2010 6:44 am

After the legendary expulsion of the last Etruscan King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and the end of the Roman Kingdom, most of the powers and authority of the king were ostensibly given to the newly instituted consulship. Originally, consuls were called praetors ("leader"), referring to their duties as the chief military commanders. In 305 BC the name of the office was changed to consul; in Latin, consulere means "to take counsel". The consul was believed by the Romans to date back to the traditional establishment of the Republic in 509 BC but the succession of consuls was not continuous in the 5th century BC. Consuls had extensive capacities in peacetime (administrative, legislative and judicial), and in wartime often held the highest military command. Additional religious duties included certain rights which, as a sign of their formal importance, could only be carried out by the highest state officials. Consuls also read auguries, an essential step before leading armies into the field.
Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with veto power over the other's actions, a normal principle for magistracies. It is thought that originally only patricians were eligible for the consulship. Consuls were elected by the Comitia Centuriata, which had an aristocratic bias in its voting structure which only increased over the years from its foundation.[citation needed] However, they formally assumed powers only after the ratification of their election in the older Comitia Curiata, which granted the consuls their imperium by enacting a law, the "lex curiata de imperio".

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