Notícia

Por que houve tantos cônsules sufetos durante o Principado?

Por que houve tantos cônsules sufetos durante o Principado?

Conforme citado neste artigo da Wikipedia, ele afirma:

Se um cônsul morresse durante seu mandato (não incomum quando os cônsules estavam na linha de frente da batalha) ou fosse destituído do cargo, outro seria eleito pela Comitia Centuriata para servir o resto do mandato como cônsul sufecto ou cônsul sufecto.

No livro 'Roma Augusta 44 AC a 14 DC: A Restauração da República e o Estabelecimento do Império (A História de Edimburgo da Roma Antiga)', de J. S. Richardson - ele cita Suetônio dizendo:

A razão pela qual ele ocupou o cargo de consulado agora foi, assim nos diz Suetônio, para a introdução na vida pública de Caio César, e, dadas as celebrações que ocorreram, isso é sem dúvida correto; mas vale lembrar que no mesmo ano também se reintroduziu a eleição dos cônsules sufetos empossados ​​após a demissão dos cônsules eleitos, prática que havia sido usada pela última vez em 12 aC, ano da morte de Agripa.

Ele também diz:

De agora até o final do reinado de Augusto, a eleição de cônsules sufetos seria a norma, com exceções apenas em 3 aC e 14 dC.

Isso sugeriria que, muitas vezes, durante o Principado, os cônsules morriam, se demitiam ou eram destituídos do cargo.

Por que houve tantos cônsules sufetos durante o Principado?

Você pode encontrar uma lista dos cônsules romanos aqui.


A mudança no número e frequência dos cônsules sufetos reflete apenas a mudança do cargo de cônsul junto ao Principado.

Sob a República, além de enobrecer sua família, permitir que você governasse Roma por um ano e obter o ano em seu nome, o cargo de consulado era a ponte para um excelente trabalho de administração de uma província onde você poderia coletar dinheiro e contatos que lhe permitiriam pagar do valor que você gastou para chegar ao consulado em primeiro lugar, e se preparar para a próxima geração. Se você deixasse o consulado antes do trabalho, perderia essa recompensa.

Quando Augusto estava no comando, ele não tinha interesse em senadores ambiciosos usando exércitos nas províncias para chegar ao poder ... como ele. Por um tempo, ele sempre foi o próprio cônsul, o que causou resmungos porque isso bloqueou os aristocratas. A necessidade, então, era recompensar os aristocratas por seguirem os limites e encontrar candidatos para os empregos administrativos nas províncias. Os vários cônsules sufetos permitiram que um grupo maior de candidatos para esses empregos fosse criado e mais recompensas para os nobres se empenharem e aumentarem o status de suas famílias.

Portanto, a principal razão para a mudança foi que a natureza do trabalho do cônsul havia mudado de República para Império.


O Império Romano: Augusto e o Período do Principado

Oficialmente, após a batalha de Actium em 31 aC, Otávio (Augusto daqui em diante) foi o único governante de Roma. Ele nunca foi referido como & # 8220 rei & # 8221, entretanto, os romanos não gostavam dessa palavra. No entanto, nenhuma forma republicana de governo conseguiu manter o estado romano na linha. Eles recorreram à monarquia principalmente porque esta era a única maneira verdadeira de Roma ser governada.

Augusto foi o início da época chamada de período do Principado, que se caracteriza como uma época em que os governantes da nova monarquia faziam o possível para preservar aspectos da República Romana. Augusto foi um exemplo perfeito disso. Ele fez o possível para manter todas as formas conservadoras de governo e manter a maioria das formas políticas intactas. O único propósito de Augusto era eliminar o ódio e a confusão causados ​​pela guerra civil. Ele provou que foi um político forte ao longo de sua conquista do poder, e seu governo provou também que ele era um estadista de muito sucesso. O senado romano foi quem realmente deu a Otávio o título de Augusto, por Augusto querer devolver o poder ao senado romano em suas novas reformas.

Obviamente, sendo o primeiro imperador de um tipo muito novo de monarquia para Roma, Augusto assumiu vários novos títulos que lhe deram o poder que detinha. Apenas para citar alguns, ele recebeu o poder proconsular (imperium proconsulare), ele manteve o título de Imperator (o que lhe permitiu ficar no controle do exército romano), e ele foi feito pontifex maximus (& # 8220 padre-chefe & # 8221). De todos os títulos que recebeu, gostava de ser referido como por um em particular: Princeps Civitates, o que significa & # 8220primeiro cidadão do estado & # 8221.

Augusto fez muitas reformas importantes no início de seu governo, relacionadas tanto com as causas nobres quanto com as populares. Ele trouxe de volta um forte senso de dignidade e nobreza de estar no Senado ao diminuir a quantidade de pessoas no Senado, bem como tirar alguns poderes provinciais. Augusto não considerava o populus responsável por tomar as principais decisões políticas e tirou muito poder das assembleias do povo (agora elas eram mantidas principalmente para votar em novos magistrados). Ele não mudou muito sobre o cursus honorum (que, novamente, é o processo de ascensão na hierarquia das magistraturas romanas) e ele via os atuais magistrados da república como uma posição executiva especial. Augusto também diminuiu o exército romano de 50 legiões para apenas 20 e os espalhou pelas províncias, de forma que o exército romano fosse menos um fardo para o povo de Roma. Finalmente, ele introduziu a & # 8220 guarda pretoriana & # 8221, um sistema de proteção usado para dentro da Itália.

Conforme declarado acima, o objetivo de Augusto durante seu reinado era tentar tornar Roma o mais sistemática, organizada e pacífica que pudesse. Ele separou a cidade romana em 14 alas ou distritos e colocou em prática forças especiais de & # 8220polícia & # 8221 para fazer cumprir a lei e a ordem em toda a cidade. Ele esperava que a introdução dessas forças policiais na sociedade romana diminuísse a violência extrema que havia ocorrido nos anos anteriores da história romana. Toda a Itália foi então dividida em onze regiões (distritos administrativos), um curador viarurn (& # 8220superintendente de rodovias & # 8221) foi instalado para manter o grande sistema de estradas em boas condições, e um sistema de postes foi introduzido em todas essas etapas mostrando claramente o desejo de Augusto & # 8217 para o povo romano viver uma vida limpa e sistemática.

Augusto trabalhou muito para reorganizar não apenas o sistema das províncias de Roma, mas também o fluxo de dinheiro das províncias. As províncias foram divididas em dois grupos separados. o senatorial províncias eram aquelas que permaneceram no controle do senado, enquanto as imperial as províncias estavam agora sob o controle do imperador. Sob um senado com novo poder, ou sob um imperador com boa moral, foi visto que as províncias de Roma aumentaram em prosperidade e riqueza rapidamente. As receitas auferidas pelas províncias senatoriais eram colocadas diretamente no tesouro do senado, enquanto a entrada de dinheiro das províncias imperiais ia para o fiscus (tesouraria do imperador). Augusto pode ser visto como um dos governantes economicamente mais inteligentes de sua época. Com a ajuda de uma abordagem muito sistemática de uma nova monarquia e uma mente perspicaz, Augusto foi capaz de criar com sucesso uma Roma muito forte e poderosa.

Tibério e cópia 2021. Todos os direitos reservados.


Conteúdo

  • 'Principado' é etimologicamente derivado da palavra latina princeps, significado chefe ou primeiroe, portanto, representa o regime político dominado por tal líder político, seja ele formalmente chefe de estado ou de governo ou não. Isso reflete a afirmação dos imperadores principados de que eles eram meramente "os primeiros entre iguais" entre os cidadãos de Roma.
  • Sob a República, o princeps senatus, tradicionalmente o membro mais antigo ou mais honrado do Senado, tinha o direito de ser ouvido em primeiro lugar em qualquer debate. [5] e seu círculo haviam fomentado a ideia (quase platônica) de que a autoridade deve ser investida no cidadão mais digno (princeps), que guiaria benevolamente seus conterrâneos, ideal do estadista patriota posteriormente adotado por Cícero. [6]

De uma forma mais limitada e precisa cronológico sentido, o termo Principado é aplicado a todo o Império (no sentido do estado romano pós-republicano), ou especificamente à primeira das duas fases do governo "Imperial" no antigo Império Romano antes do colapso militar de Roma no West (queda de Roma) em 476 deixou o Império Bizantino como único herdeiro. Esta fase inicial de 'Principado' começou quando Augusto afirmou auctoritas para si mesmo como princeps e continuou (dependendo da fonte) até o governo de Commodus, de Maximinus Thrax ou de Diocleciano. Posteriormente, o domínio imperial no Império é designado como o dominar, que é subjetivamente mais parecido com uma monarquia (absoluta), enquanto o anterior Principado é ainda mais 'republicano'.

O título, por extenso, de princeps senatus / princeps civitatis ("primeiro entre os senadores" / "primeiro entre os cidadãos") foi adotado pela primeira vez por Otaviano César Augusto (27 aC-14 dC), o primeiro "imperador" romano que escolheu, como o assassinado Júlio César, não reintroduzir uma lei monarquia. O objetivo de Augusto era provavelmente estabelecer a estabilidade política desesperadamente necessária após as exaustivas guerras civis por um de fato regime ditatorial dentro da estrutura constitucional da República Romana - o que Gibbon chamou de "uma monarquia absoluta disfarçada pelas formas de uma comunidade" [7] - como uma alternativa mais aceitável para, por exemplo, o início do Reino Romano.

Embora pretensões dinásticas tenham surgido desde o início, formalizar isso em um estilo monárquico permaneceu politicamente perigoso [8] e Otaviano estava sem dúvida correto em trabalhar por meio de formas republicanas estabelecidas para consolidar seu poder. [9] Ele começou com os poderes de um cônsul romano, combinados com os de uma tribuna da plebe, mais tarde acrescentou o papel de censor e finalmente tornou-se Pontifex Maximus também. [10]

Tibério também adquiriu seus poderes aos poucos, e se orgulhava de enfatizar seu lugar como primeiro cidadão: "um bom e saudável princeps, a quem você investiu com tão grande poder discricionário, deve ser o servidor do Senado, e muitas vezes de todo o corpo cidadão ". [11] Depois disso, porém, o papel do príncipe foi mais institucionalizado: como disse Dio Cássio, Calígula foi "votou em um único dia todas as prerrogativas que Augusto, durante tanto tempo, haviam sido votadas gradativa e gradativamente". [12]

No entanto, sob este "Principado stricto sensu", a realidade política do governo autocrático do imperador ainda estava escrupulosamente mascarada por formas e convenções de autogoverno oligárquico herdadas do período político da República Romana 'sem coroa' (509 aC-27 aC) sob o lema Senatus Populusque Romanus ("O Senado e o povo de Roma") ou SPQR. Inicialmente, a teoria implicava que o 'primeiro cidadão' tinha que ganhar sua posição extraordinária (de fato evoluindo para a monarquia quase absoluta) por mérito no estilo que o próprio Augusto ganhou a posição de auctoritas.

A propaganda imperial desenvolveu uma ideologia paternalista, apresentando o princeps como a própria encarnação de todas as virtudes atribuídas ao governante ideal (muito parecido com um grego tiranos anteriores), como clemência e justiça, e liderança militar, [13] obrigando o princeps para desempenhar esse papel designado na sociedade romana, como sua garantia política, bem como um dever moral. O que era esperado especificamente do princeps parece ter variado de acordo com os tempos, e os observadores: [14] Tibério, que acumulou um enorme excedente para a cidade de Roma, foi criticado como um avarento, mas Calígula foi criticado por seus gastos pródigos em jogos e espetáculos.

De modo geral, esperava-se que o Imperador fosse generoso, mas não frívolo, não apenas como um bom governante, mas também com sua fortuna pessoal (como no proverbial "pão e circo" - panem et circenses) proporcionando jogos públicos ocasionais, gladiadores, corridas de cavalos e shows artísticos. Grandes distribuições de alimentos para o público e instituições de caridade também eram meios que aumentavam a popularidade, enquanto a construção de obras públicas fornecia empregos remunerados para os pobres.

Redefinição sob Edição Vespasiana

Com a queda da dinastia Julio-Claudiana em 68 DC, o principado tornou-se mais formalizado sob o imperador Vespasiano a partir de 69 DC. [16] A posição de princeps tornou-se uma entidade distinta dentro da constituição romana mais ampla - formalmente ainda republicana. Embora muitas das mesmas expectativas culturais e políticas permanecessem, o aspecto civil do ideal augustano do princeps gradualmente deu lugar ao papel militar do imperador. [17] A regra não era mais uma posição (mesmo teoricamente) estendida com base no mérito, ou auctoritas, mas em uma base mais firme, permitindo que Vespasiano e os futuros imperadores designassem seu próprio herdeiro sem que esses herdeiros tivessem que ganhar a posição durante anos de sucesso e favorecimento público.

Sob a dinastia Antonina, era norma para o imperador nomear um indivíduo bem-sucedido e politicamente promissor como seu sucessor. Na análise histórica moderna, isso é tratado por muitos autores como uma situação "ideal": o indivíduo mais capaz era promovido à posição de príncipe. Sobre a dinastia Antonina, Edward Gibbon é famoso por escrever que este foi o período mais feliz e produtivo da história da humanidade, e atribuiu ao sistema de sucessão o fator chave.

Dominar Editar

Os elementos autocráticos do Principado tendem a aumentar ao longo do tempo, com o estilo de Dominus ("Senhor", "Mestre", sugerindo que os cidadãos se tornaram servi, servos ou escravos) gradualmente se tornando corrente para o imperador. [18] No entanto, não houve um ponto de viragem constitucional claro, com Septímio Severo e a dinastia Severa começando a usar a terminologia do Dominar em referência ao imperador, e os vários imperadores e seus usurpadores ao longo do século 3, apelando para o povo como ambos militares Dominus e político princeps.

Foi depois que a crise do século III quase resultou no colapso político do Império Romano que Diocleciano consolidou firmemente a tendência à autocracia. [19] Ele substituiu o de uma cabeça principado com a tetrarquia (c. 300 DC, dois Augusti classificação acima de dois Caesares), [20] em que a pretensão vestigial das antigas formas republicanas foi amplamente abandonada. O título de princeps desapareceu - como a unidade territorial do Império - em favor de Dominus e novas formas de pompa e admiração foram usadas deliberadamente na tentativa de isolar o imperador e a autoridade civil da soldadesca desenfreada e amotinada de meados do século. [21]

O papel político do Senado entrou em eclipse final, [22] não sendo mais ouvido falar da divisão pelo Principado Augusto das províncias entre províncias imperiais (militarizadas) e províncias senatoriais. [23] Os advogados desenvolveram uma teoria da delegação total de autoridade nas mãos do imperador, [24] e o dominar desenvolvido cada vez mais, especialmente no Império Romano Oriental, onde os súditos, e mesmo aliados diplomáticos, podiam ser denominados servus ou o termo grego correspondente doulos ("servo / escravo") de modo a expressar a posição exaltada do Imperador como segundo apenas para Deus, e na terra para ninguém. [ citação necessária ]


Cônsul

Após a expulsão mítica do último rei etrusco Lúcio Tarquínio Superbus e o fim do reino romano, todos os poderes e autoridade do rei foram supostamente dados ao recém-instituído Consulship. No entanto, é provável que primeiro os magistrados chefes fossem os Pretores. Acredita-se que o cargo de cônsul remonta ao estabelecimento tradicional da República em 509 aC, mas a sucessão de cônsules não foi contínua no século V. Os cônsules tinham amplas competências em tempos de paz, administrativos, legislativos e judiciais e, em tempos de guerra (frequentes), muitas vezes detinham o (s) mais alto comando (s) militar (es). Deveres religiosos adicionais incluíam certos ritos que, como um sinal de sua importância formal, só podiam ser realizados por oficiais de alto escalão do estado (compare Rex sacrorum), a leitura dos augúrios foi um passo essencial antes de liderar os exércitos em campo.

De acordo com as leis da República, a idade mínima para eleição a cônsul para os patrícios era de 40 anos, para os plebeus 42. Dois cônsules eram eleitos a cada ano, servindo juntos com poder de veto sobre os atos um do outro, princípio normal das magistraturas.

Em latim, cônsules significa "aqueles que caminham juntos". Se um cônsul morresse durante seu mandato (não incomum quando os cônsules estavam na linha de frente da batalha), outro seria eleito e conhecido como cônsul sufito (cos. Suf.).

Segundo a tradição, o cônsul era inicialmente reservado aos patrícios e somente em 367 aC os plebeus ganharam o direito de candidatar-se a este cargo supremo, quando a lex Licinia Sextia previa que pelo menos um cônsul por ano fosse plebeu o primeiro cônsul plebeu, Lúcio Sexto, foi assim eleito no ano seguinte. Historiadores modernos questionaram o relato tradicional da emancipação plebéia durante a Primeira República (ver Conflito das Ordens), observando, por exemplo, que cerca de trinta por cento dos cônsules anteriores a Sextius tinham nomes plebeus, não patrícios, provavelmente apenas a cronologia foi distorcida.

Em tempos de guerra, o principal critério para cônsul era habilidade militar e reputação, mas em todos os momentos a seleção era politicamente carregada. Com o passar do tempo, o consulado tornou-se o ponto final normal do cursus honorum, a sequência de ofícios perseguidos pelo ambicioso romano.

Começando no final da República, após terminar um ano consular, um ex-cônsul costumava servir um mandato lucrativo como Procônsul, o governador romano de uma das províncias (senatoriais).

Quando Augusto estabeleceu o Principado, ele mudou a natureza política do cargo, privando-o da maioria de seus poderes. Embora ainda seja uma grande honra - na verdade, invariavelmente o chefe de estado constitucional, portanto, de mesmo nome - e uma exigência para outros cargos, muitos cônsules renunciariam no meio do ano para permitir que outros homens terminassem seu mandato como sufetos. Os que ocuparam o cargo em 1º de janeiro, conhecidos como cônsules ordinarii, tiveram a honra de associar seus nomes àquele ano. Como resultado, cerca de metade dos homens que detinham o posto de pretor também puderam chegar ao consulado. Às vezes, esses cônsules sufetos renunciavam, por sua vez, e outro sufeto era nomeado. Isso atingiu o seu extremo no governo de Commodus, quando em 190 vinte e cinco homens ocupavam o cargo de consulado.

Freqüentemente, os imperadores se nomeavam, protegidos ou cônsules de parentes, mesmo sem levar em conta os requisitos de idade. Por exemplo, o imperador Honório recebeu o cargo de cônsul ao nascer.

Ter o cargo de cônsul era uma grande honra e o cargo era o maior símbolo da constituição ainda republicana. Provavelmente como parte da busca de legitimidade formal, o dissidente Império Gálico teve seus próprios pares de cônsules durante sua existência (260-274). A lista de cônsules para este estado está incompleta, extraída de inscrições e moedas,

Uma das reformas de Constantino I foi atribuir um dos cônsules à cidade de Roma e o outro a Constantinopla. Portanto, quando o Império Romano foi dividido em duas metades com a morte de Teodósio I, o imperador de cada metade adquiriu o direito de nomear um dos cônsules - embora um imperador tenha permitido que seu colega nomeasse os dois cônsules por várias razões. Como resultado, após o fim formal do Império Romano no Ocidente, muitos anos seriam nomeados para apenas um único cônsul. Essa patente foi finalmente permitida no reinado de Justiniano I: primeiro com o cônsul de Roma em 534, Décio Paulino, depois o cônsul de Constantinopla em 541, Flávio Basílio Júnior.

Os maiores magistrados eram homônimos, ou seja, cada ano era oficialmente identificado (como um ano de reinado em uma monarquia) pelos nomes dos dois cônsules, embora houvesse uma data numérica mais prática ab urbe condita (ou seja, pela era começando com o ano de fundação mítico de Roma). Por exemplo, o ano 59 aC no calendário moderno era chamado pelos romanos de "o consulado de César e Bibulus", uma vez que os dois colegas no consulado eram (Caio) Júlio César e Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus - embora César dominasse o consulado então completamente naquele ano que foi jocosamente referido como "o consulado de Caio e Júlio".

Em latim, a construção ablativa absoluta é freqüentemente usada para expressar a data, como "M. Messalla et M. Pupio Pisone consulibus", traduzido literalmente como "Marcus Messalla e Marcus Pupio Piso sendo Cônsules", que aparece no De Bello Gallico de César .

As eleições consulares eram normalmente realizadas durante o mês de julho, mas ocasionalmente adiadas ou realizadas mais cedo em circunstâncias especiais. Os cônsules designados se preparariam para tomar posse durante o restante do ano e finalmente assumiriam seus cargos no início de janeiro. Assim, sua ascensão ao cargo marcou o início de cada ano homônimo.


Cônsules seniores e juniores na Roma Antiga

Eu estive lendo o livro de Colleen McCullough & # x27s O cavalo de outubro, onde ela faz referências frequentes aos cônsules & quotjuniores & quot e & quotsenior & quot. Qual é a diferença entre eles? Sempre pensei que havia apenas um título - cônsul.

Não havia realmente uma diferença entre eles, eles tinham os mesmos poderes. O cônsul sênior foi o eleito primeiro, de acordo com Cícero, o que também significa que ele obteve mais votos por causa da forma como as eleições dentro da comitia centuriata encerraram a votação quando a maioria foi alcançada. A única diferença real entre eles era decidir quem presidia o Senado em cada mês (o cônsul sênior tomava janeiro, pelo que me lembro, e a cada dois meses) e, pelo que me lembro, Cícero menciona algumas práticas relativas à ordem dos oradores consulares no senado, mas eu teria que voltar atrás em seus discursos para encontrá-lo. Na prática, o cônsul sênior era usualmente, embora nem sempre, o candidato com mais influência (o que não é surpreendente, se ele for o cara que obtém mais votos). A única outra diferença em que consigo pensar é que durante o consulado de Marius & # x27, seu cônsul sênior liderou o primeiro exército consular e Marius só levantou uma força como cônsul júnior quando o exército consular sênior se mostrou inadequado às ameaças que Roma enfrentava em outros lugares


Poderes e responsabilidades

Deveres republicanos

Após a expulsão dos reis e o estabelecimento da República, todos os poderes que pertenciam aos reis foram transferidos para dois cargos: o dos cônsules e a Rex Sacrorum. Enquanto o Rex Sacrorum herdou a posição dos reis como sumo sacerdote do estado, os cônsules receberam as responsabilidades civis e militares (imperium). No entanto, para evitar o abuso do poder real, o império era compartilhado por dois cônsules, cada um dos quais podendo vetar as ações do outro.

Os cônsules foram investidos no poder executivo do estado e chefiaram o governo da República. Inicialmente, os cônsules detinham um vasto poder executivo e judicial. No desenvolvimento gradual do sistema jurídico romano, no entanto, algumas funções importantes foram destacadas do consulado e atribuídas a novos oficiais. Assim, em 443 aC, a responsabilidade de conduzir o censo foi tirada dos cônsules e entregue aos censores. A segunda função retirada do consulado foi o poder judiciário. Sua posição como juízes principais foi transferida para os pretores em 366 aC. Após esse período, o cônsul só atuaria como juiz em casos criminais extraordinários e somente quando convocado por decreto do Senado.

Esfera civil

Na maior parte, o poder foi dividido entre as esferas civil e militar. Enquanto os cônsules estavam no pomerium (a cidade de Roma), eles estavam à frente do governo, e todos os outros magistrados, com exceção dos tribunos dos plebeus, estavam subordinados a eles, mas mantiveram a independência de cargo . A máquina interna da república estava sob a superintendência dos cônsules. A fim de permitir aos cônsules maior autoridade na execução das leis, os cônsules tinham o direito de citação e prisão, o que era limitado apenas pelo direito de apelação de sua sentença. Esse poder de punição se estendia até mesmo aos magistrados inferiores.

No âmbito das suas funções executivas, os cônsules eram responsáveis ​​pela execução dos decretos do Senado e das leis das assembleias. Às vezes, em grandes emergências, eles podem até agir de acordo com sua própria autoridade e responsabilidade. Os cônsules também serviram como os principais diplomatas do estado romano. Antes de qualquer embaixador estrangeiro chegar ao Senado, eles se reuniram com os cônsules. O cônsul apresentaria embaixadores ao Senado, e somente eles conduziam as negociações entre o Senado e os estados estrangeiros.

Os cônsules podiam convocar o Senado e presidir suas reuniões. Cada cônsul serviu como presidente do Senado por um mês. Eles também podiam convocar qualquer uma das três assembléias romanas (Cúria, Centuriata e Tribal) e presidi-las. Assim, os cônsules conduziam as eleições e colocavam as medidas legislativas em votação. Quando nenhum dos cônsules estava na cidade, seus deveres cívicos eram assumidos pelo pretor urbano.

Cada cônsul era acompanhado em todas as aparições públicas por doze lictores, que exibiam a magnificência do cargo e serviam como seus guarda-costas. Cada lictor segurava um fasces, um feixe de varas que continha um machado. As varas simbolizavam o poder da flagelação, e o machado, o poder da pena capital. Já dentro do pomerium, os lictores retiravam os machados dos fasces para mostrar que um cidadão não podia ser executado sem julgamento. Ao entrar na Comitia Centuriata, os lictores baixariam os fasces para mostrar que os poderes dos cônsules derivam do povo (populus romanus).

Esfera militar

Fora dos muros de Roma, os poderes dos cônsules eram muito mais amplos em seu papel como comandantes-chefes de todas as legiões romanas. Era nessa função que os cônsules eram investidos de todo o imperium. Quando as legiões eram ordenadas por um decreto do Senado, os cônsules conduziam a coleta no Campus Martius. Ao entrar no exército, todos os soldados deveriam prestar juramento de lealdade aos cônsules. Os cônsules também supervisionaram a reunião de tropas fornecidas pelos aliados de Roma. [8]

Dentro da cidade, um cônsul podia punir e prender um cidadão, mas não tinha o poder de infligir a pena de morte. Quando em campanha, no entanto, um cônsul poderia infligir qualquer punição que considerasse adequada a qualquer soldado, oficial, cidadão ou aliado.

Cada cônsul comandava um exército, geralmente duas legiões fortes, com a ajuda de tribunos militares e um questor que tinha obrigações financeiras. No raro caso de os dois cônsules marcharem juntos, cada um detém o comando por um dia, respectivamente. Um exército consular típico tinha cerca de 20.000 homens e consistia em dois cidadãos e duas legiões aliadas. Nos primeiros anos da república, os inimigos de Roma estavam localizados no centro da Itália, então as campanhas duraram alguns meses. À medida que as fronteiras de Roma se expandiram, no século 2 aC, as campanhas se tornaram mais longas. Roma era uma sociedade guerreira e muito raramente não fazia guerra. [9] Portanto, o cônsul ao entrar no cargo era esperado pelo Senado e pelo povo para marchar seu exército contra os inimigos de Roma e expandir as fronteiras romanas. Seus soldados esperavam retornar para suas casas após a campanha com despojos. Se o cônsul obtivesse uma vitória esmagadora, ele seria saudado como imperator por suas tropas e poderia solicitar o triunfo.

O cônsul poderia conduzir a campanha como bem entendesse e tinha poderes ilimitados. No entanto, após a campanha, ele poderia ser processado por seus crimes (por exemplo, por abusar das províncias, ou desperdiçar dinheiro público, como Cipião Africano foi acusado por Catão em 205 aC).

Prevenção de abusos

O abuso do poder consular foi evitado com cada cônsul dado o poder de vetar seu colega. Portanto, exceto nas províncias como comandantes-em-chefe onde o poder de cada cônsul era supremo, os cônsules só podiam agir em uníssono, ou, pelo menos, não contra a vontade determinada um do outro. Contra a sentença de um cônsul, poderia ser interposto recurso perante seu colega, o qual, se bem-sucedido, veria a sentença anulada. A fim de evitar conflitos desnecessários, apenas um cônsul realmente desempenharia as funções do escritório a cada mês. Isso não quer dizer que o outro cônsul não tivesse nenhum poder, mas apenas permitia que o primeiro cônsul agisse sem interferência direta. Então, no próximo mês, os cônsules trocariam de papéis uns com os outros. Isso continuaria até o final do mandato consular.

Outro ponto que funcionou como freio aos cônsules foi a certeza de que, após o término de seu mandato, seriam chamados a prestar contas de seus atos durante o mandato.

Havia também três outras restrições ao poder consular. O mandato foi curto (um ano), as funções foram pré-decididas pelo Senado e não puderam se candidatar imediatamente após o término do mandato. Normalmente, esperava-se um período de dez anos entre cada consulado.

Governador

Depois de deixar o cargo, os cônsules foram designados pelo Senado a uma província para administrar como governador. As províncias a que cada cônsul foi designado foram sorteadas e determinadas antes do término de seu consulado. Transferindo seu império consular para o Império proconsular, o cônsul se tornaria um procônsul e governador de uma (ou várias) das muitas províncias de Roma. Como procônsul, seu imperium limitava-se a uma província específica e não a toda a República. Qualquer exercício do imperium proconsular em qualquer outra província era ilegal. Além disso, um procônsul não tinha permissão para deixar sua província antes do término de seu mandato ou antes da chegada de seu sucessor. As exceções foram dadas apenas com permissão especial do Senado. A maioria dos mandatos como governador durou entre um e cinco anos.

Nomeação do ditador

Em tempos de crise, geralmente quando o território de Roma corria perigo imediato, um ditador era nomeado pelos cônsules por um período não superior a seis meses, após proposição do Senado. [10] Durante o mandato do ditador, o império dos cônsules foi suspenso.

Deveres imperiais

Depois que Augusto se tornou o primeiro imperador romano em 27 aC com o estabelecimento do principado, os cônsules perderam a maior parte de seus poderes e responsabilidades sob o Império Romano. Embora ainda seja oficialmente o cargo mais alto do estado, com o imperium superior do imperador eles eram apenas um símbolo da herança republicana de Roma. A posição consular era frequentemente ocupada pelos próprios imperadores e acabou sendo reservada exclusivamente para o imperador. No entanto, os cônsules imperiais ainda mantinham o direito de presidir as reuniões do Senado, exercendo esse direito por vontade do imperador [citação necessária] Eles administravam parcialmente a justiça em casos extraordinários e apresentavam jogos no Circo Máximo e todas as solenidades públicas em homenagem ao imperador às suas próprias custas. Após o término de seus cargos, os ex-cônsules (procônsules) [citação necessária] passou a governar uma das províncias administradas pelo Senado. Eles geralmente cumpriam mandatos de três a cinco anos.


O que aconteceria se um cônsul romano morresse no meio do mandato?

This seems like a really dumb question, but I can’t find an answer for it. Would the other consul take over? Would they have a re-election? O que aconteceria?

Until the 80s the consuls were military commanders first and foremost, and spent almost all of their time outside the city. This can be seen in lots of the circumstances surrounding the office. For example, the revision of the calendar by shifting the beginning of consular office by adding two extra months before March may be in part a political gesture, to extend the brief time that consuls spent in the city between taking office (originally March 15, then January 1) and going off on campaign. Consular office did not have an age limit until the lex Villia in 180, and extraordinarily young consuls were occasionally elected (e.g. Scipio). But the norm was for consuls to be, shall we say, mature leaders. This, combined with the military aspect of the consulship, made it virtually certain that some consuls--and other magistrates, naturally--were likely to die in office eventually.

In consulship was a particularly knotty problem in that the consuls were the possessors of the auspices, and by religious custom these had to be passed on in an unbroken sequence. Consuls presided over the elections of their successors, and at the end of the year the former consuls laid down the auspices, which were taken up by their successors. Moreover, the auspices were required for the holding of consular elections to begin with. The death of a sitting consul therefore raised not only political and procedural problems, but religious ones as well. In ordinary cases, with the death of a single consul, the surviving consul assumed his auspices and presided over the special election (for which the consul's own auspices would suffice) of a suffect consul, who would take the deceased's position for the remainder of the year. This could cause some issues, such as the need for the surviving consul to return from campaign to elect a suffect, but usually it wasn't too big a deal. In the unfortunate event that both consuls were either killed or incapacitated, which did happen sometimes, the auspices were assumed by an interrex. o interrex, one of the handful of magistracies still exclusive to patricians by the historical period, had no colleague and was, almost uniquely, chosen by the senate from is own ranks, to which he returned after the completion of his duties. o interrex had five days to take the auspices and hold consular elections. If the auspices were bad and forbade the elections, or for some other reason he was unable to complete the elections, after five days the interrex named a successor, who likewise held the position for five days, and so on until the consular elections were held. Normally this action was carried out in an orderly fashion, and only when neither consul could preside over the elections. Towards the end of the Republic this could be an issue, however, as elections frequently became postponed to mere days before the assumption of office and turmoil disrupted normal political procedure. Interreges presided over the elections of Crassus and Pompey for the consulship of 54, and interreges presided over the elections in 53 and 52 as well. Prior to Sulla (elected to the dictatorship with an interrex presiding) interreges had not been appointed since the late third century, after which point consular elections that could not be carried out by either consul were usually handled by briefly-serving dictators who handled the auspices. The last interregnum, in 52, was caused by the rioting that occurred after Clodius' murder by Milo, which prevented the elections from occurring. After fifteen interreges eventually Pompey was made sole consul without election.

This last case is not unimportant, because the conditions under which suffect consuls were supposed to be elected were not always entirely clear. The death of a consul was obvious enough. The death of both consuls clearly necessitated some sort of special action to preserve the auspices, whether interregnum or the appointment of a dictator to preside over the elections--of course, in the most famous example of such a calamity, Octavian assumed an extraordinary magistracy immediately after the deaths of both consuls, Hirtius and Pansa, at Mutina, without resorting to either measure (the dictatorship had been outlawed by Antony recently anyway). But what if a consul was simply no longer a consul? This problem arose in 87, when Cinna was driven from the city and deprived of his consulship by senatorial decree. Under normal circumstances consular office could be revoked, but only by a vote of the people in the centuriate assembly, which was to elect a new consul to replace him. Cinna, Appian tells us, went to the army at Nola (which was not his army, but App. Claudius's, which sort of seems to sink any argument for "client armies" as the cause for civil warfare in the first century) and appealed to them, stating that they, as citizens, had granted him consular office (a common oratorical formula) and that only they had the right to take it away. The senate's actions were therefore, Appian's Cinna says, not only an insult to him but a direct assault on the power of the people to elect the magistrates. The appeal to an army particularly was more than practical, it was symbolic: the consul, as a traditionally military leader, was elected by the centuriate assembly, symbolically the Roman people in their guise as a citizen militia electing its own leaders. Cinna's further argument, that the senate by this move would (if it was allowed to stand as a precedent) legitimize the ignoring of the voting assemblies and take the state for themselves, was clearly effective, and probably was quite a real fear. The language of the texts is somewhat unclear. Appian says the senate (singular, βουλή) outlawed Cinna and that they (ἐχειροτόνησαν, plural) elected Merula as suffect consul. The switch from singular to plural might be Plutarch's expansion of the senate to the body of individual senators (particularly appropriate in an electoral context) or it might be Plutarch switching the subject to the Roman people, who are not explicitly mentioned. Likewise, the verb might mean that the senate itself elected him or that an election (presumably a normal one) was held. It's hard to say--depending on what we think, the election of the suffect consul might have suffered a serious misuse.

In the Principate the suffect consulship gained a new character. The end of free elections (originally still held as a formality, but ultimately abolished entirely) and the primacy of the emperor made the consulship more a mark of formal prestige and imperial favor than anything else. Two consuls were still created (in many years, and often in succession, including the emperor himself), but in addition to these several sets of suffect consuls were created. Initially these pairs took up consular duties for four months each, but eventually this time narrowed to only one month: in some years honorary suffect consuls, who had no actual duties, were also named. Consuls might still die, of course--but in such circumstances not only did it not matter, but they could be replaced easily anyway!


The Roman Principate (27 BC - 284 AD)

The first period of the Roman Empire is called the Roman Principate. During this period, emperors tried to give the illusion of a functioning republic when in fact they had full powers. Rome remained in theory a republic but emperors gradually destroyed all republican values. The Roman Principate was a happy period though. It was actually happier than the Roman Republic, more stable and safer, and. more glorious.

Click on any of the boxes below pertaining to each dynasty:

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The first Roman Principate dynasty: the Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 BC- 14 AD)

Emperor Augustus statue in Rome

Despite this, the Roman Principate period under Augustus' rule was more peaceful than the Second Triumvirate and the economy was thriving. Augustus brought what we call the Pax Augusta. Because a lot of people were becoming richer, most of the upper class in Rome supported the emperor. Augustus was also conquering new lands: Cantabria Aquitania, Raetia, Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia. Some of his generals became very popular including Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Nero Claudius Drusus and Germanicus.

Augustus' reign was also rich in literature with authors that are known to this day including poets such Vergil, Ovid and Horace and historians such as Livy. Furthermore, August changed the Roman calendar and introduced the month of August.

Tiberius (reign: 14 AD - 37 AD)
Augustus had a wife called Livia Drusilla. Livia had a son from a previous marriage called Tiberius. She pressured Augustus to have her son named as his heir. The Senate agreed and Tiberius received all the honors and held the title of princeps.

Tiberius had no interest in politics though. He retired to the island of Capri as soon as 26 AD (after getting the approval of the Senate). The city of Rome was now under the control of Sejanus and later Macro (both praetorian prefects) from 26 to 31 A.D. and from 31 A.D. to 37 A.D. respectively. Many Romans considered Tiberius as an evil emperor. They suspected him of killing his own relatives, General Germanicus (who, as we previously pointed out, was one of the very popular generals) and even his own son Drusus Julius Caesar!

Tiberius died of old age in 37 AD even though historian Tacitus gives us another account: Romans first rejoiced when news spread of Tiberius' death (from natural causes) but they became quiet upon hearing that he had recovered from his illness. Caligula and Macro then choked him to death and Romans rejoiced again.

Caligula (reign: 37 AD - 41 AD)
Caligula was Tiberius' grand nephew. There was no male in Tiberius' bloodline old enough to rule the Empire, therefore Caligula was chosen. Even today the name Caligula brings to mind the image of a mad and cruel emperor. But Caligula was actually quite popular at the beginning of his reign. It is only two years into his reign that he became mad. Historians of the time state that he organized orgies, had sexual relationships with his sisters, killed men for fun and even named a horse consul. Caligula didn't last long though. 4 years into his reign he was killed by the Praetorian Guard.

Claudius (reign: 41 AD - 54 AD)
The Praetorian Guard proclaimed Claudius as the new emperor with the full approval of the Senate. Claudius was Tiberius' nephew. Nobody could have ever imagined that he would one day become emperor. He didn't have the charisma, he was limping and was even slightly deaf. But he was the only man belonging to the Claudian family alive following Caligula's assassination.

Claudius turned out to be a decent emperor in the Roman Principate. His reign lasted 13 years. He wasn't as cruel as his predecessors. He managed the empire efficiently. He built many new roads, canals and aqueducts. He also conquered Thrace, Lycia and Judaea, and even started the conquest of Britain.

Nero (reign: 54 AD - 68 AD)
Claudius's reign ended when his wife Agrippina the younger poisoned him in 54 AD. Agrippina had a son from a previous marriage called Nero whom she wanted to become emperor and Nero was proclaimed emperor upon Claudius' death.

Nero is remembered to this day as a cruel and brutal emperor of the Roman Principate. Many Romans suspected him of being behind the Great Fire of Rome during the Roman Principate(according to legend, Nero was fiddling as Rome was burning). He is also known for executing many Christians. Nero faced many revolts that he squashed including the Jewish revolt also known as the First Jewish-Roman War. Eventually many in the Roman aristocracy turned against him including the entire Senate and Nero committed suicide.

Flavian dynasty (69 - 96 AD)

Year of the Four Emperors
Nero's death in 68 A.D. was followed by a brief civil war and what we call the Year of the Four Emperors during the Roman Principate. The year between 68 and 69 A.D. saw four emperors: Galba, then Otho, then Vitellius, and then Vespasian.

Vespasian (reign: 69 AD - 79 AD)
In July 69 A.D. Vespasian was the first emperor of the Flavian Dynasty in the Roman Principate. Vespasian was a general under Claudius and Nero and during the First Jewish-Roman war. Vespasian was overall a good emperor, known for rebuilding many buildings in Rome following the Great Fire of Rome, and building many new ones including the Flavian Amphitheater known today as the Colosseum which was built with the wealth acquired during the First Jewish-Roman War!

Titus (reign: 79 AD - 81 AD)
Titus was Vespasian's son and he had fought with his father during the First Jewish-Roman War. His reign was pretty short as he died from an illness (a severe fever) in 81 A.D.. Titus completed the construction of the Colosseum and organized games that lasted for one hundred days. These games actually celebrated the victory over the Jews and re-enacted battles, including naval battles inside the giant Colosseum. Gladiators fought to death and there were also impressive chariot races. Titus built many roads throughout the empire and fortifications in what is today Germany and Northern England.

Domitian (81 - 96 AD)
Dominitian was a totalitarian emperor during the Roman Principate who wanted to become the new Augustus. He wanted to establish the cult of himself, by comparing him to the Gods. He wanted to be called Dominus et Deus which means Master and God in latin. The Roman aristocracy didn't like him and he eventually was murdered by a conspiracy.

Nerva–Antonine dynasty (96-192 AD)

Visão geral
The Nerva-Antonine dynasty was a good period for Rome during the Roman Principate. It was a stable period with no civil wars and no military defeats abroad. During this period, the Roman Empire reached its apex in terms of territory and its economy was thriving. The provinces in the Empire were more united. Emperors were selected based on their qualities and not their bloodline which is remarkable for that time. Also the constitution was respected and reverred and the Senate had more authority.

Nerva (reign: 96- 98 AD)
Nerva was selected and appointed by the Senate. Nerva was of noble ancestry. He had previously been an advisor during Nero's reign and the Flavian dynasty. Nerva restored many of the freedoms that were supressed by Dominitian and Rome's economy was thriving under his rule.

Trajan (reign: 98 - 117 AD)
Nerva had named general Trajan as his heir. Trajan was a popular general in the Roman Principate. He became the first emperor of non-Italian descent. His family was from Hispania and was not patrician. Romans were very enthusiastic about Trajan in part because of his victories as a general.

Trajan turned out to be a good emperor. He followed on Nerva's policy by reinstoring many of the freedoms lost under Domitian. Many people were freed, private property that had been confiscated during Domitian's reign was returned. Trajan is also remembered for all the construction works under his reign, for example: the Trajan Market, the Trajan Forum and Trajan's column, noting that all these buildings dating from the Roman Principate can be seen today. He also built a large bridge over the Danube in Dacia.

Trajan Market in Rome

Trajan managed to conquer Dacia, a kingdom which had humiliated Domitian in the past. There were two Dacian wars: in the First Dacian War (101-102 AD) Dacia became a client state in the Second Dacian War (105-106 AD) the Dacian army was completely destroyed and Dacia became part of the Roman Empire. Trajan also integrated another client state to the Empire: the state of Nabatea (located in today's southern Syria and northern Jordan). He also conquered Parthia (located in today's north-eastern Iran). Trajan went to war with Parthia over Armenia. Rome and Parthia shared control of Armenia. Parthia appointed a king that Rome did not like and as a result Trajan declared war. In 113, Roman troops entered Armenia and removed the king. In 115, Trajan entered Mesopotamia and conquered the cities of Nisibis ad Batnae. In 116, he conquered Seleucia and then Ctesiphon which was the capital of Parthia. In 117, Trajan died of an illness.

Hadrian (reign: 117 - 138 AD)
Trajan named Hadrian as his heir. One of the first initiatives that Hadrian took was to remove the Roman troops from Parthia and Mesopotamia and therefore loose these conquests.

The Roman economy continued to thrive under Hadrian during the Roman Principate. But Hadrian did not conquer new lands. He was a rather peaceful emperor and a humanitarian. He is known for his defensive strategies including Hadrian's Wall in northern England. He would travel to every province in the Empire to check on the military and its defenses.

He also introduced laws against torture which is quite remarkable for his day. Hadrian loved Greek culture. The Hadrian's Arch in Athens can still be admired today. He built libraries, theaters and a lot of infrastructure including many public baths and aqueducts.

Antoninus Pius (reign: 138 - 161 AD)
Antonius continued Hadrian's policies. He maintained his humanitarian laws and promoted culture and knowledge. For example, he built theaters, set up financial rewards for teachers of philosophy. He also expanded the empire in England by conquering southern Scotland and building the Antonine Wall.

Marcus Aurelius (reign: 161 - 180 AD)
Marcus Aurelius was known as the Philosopher and even wrote a philosophy book called Meditations. He ruled the Empire during this period of the Roman Principate with a co-Emperor called Lucius Verus. He fought the Marcomannic wars against the Parthian Empire. During his reign, the Empire was affected by the Antonine Plague a pandemic which killed close to 5 million people.

Commodus (reign: 180 - 192 AD)
Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius thereby breaking with the tradition of having a new emperor chosen based on his qualities. All the previous emperors of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty were known as the Five Good Emperors. However, Commodus was not one of them. He was very different from his predecessors. For example, he executed many Roman citizens, he participated in gladiatorial combats. He was also a decadent in his personal life.

The Severan dynasty (192-235 AD)

Commodus was eventually killed by a conspiracy organized by Quintus Aemilius Laetus and his wife. The next year was a year of turmoil with Roman generals fighting for power. Eventually after many battles (including one in Gaul) General Septimius Severus became the new emperor.

Septimius Severus (reign: 192 - 211 AD)
Severus is not remembered as good emperor either. He actually wanted to restore a totalitarian state and he admired Marius and Sulla (both also known for their cruelty). In a speech in the Senate, he praised Sulla which had many senators worried.

Septimius Severus had the support of the legions. But he also paid the legions comfortably for this support. Eventually military expenditures became very high and a financial crisis emerged at the beginning of the 3rd century.

Severus was known for his fierceness and brutality on the battlefield. When Parthia entered Roman territory, Severus attacked and looted many Parthian cities including Babylon, Seleucia, Nisibis and the Parthian capital Ctesiphon. Many people were captured and executed. However the invasion of Parthia didn't end well. Many of his legions starved to death and eventually Severus had to withdraw.

Severus also intended to complete the conquest of Britain. He went to war with the Caledonians. However his army suffered a lot of casualties: the terrain was difficult and the barbarians there used the equivalent of guerilla warfare. The ferocious Severus fought himself on the battlefield but was struck down by illness and died in 211 AD.

Caracalla (reign: 211 - 217 AD)
Severus had two sons: Caracalla and Geta. Both became emperors upon his death but Caracalla quickly removed his brother. Caracalla resembled his father: he was a man of war and he was cruel. He executed many people including people close to him like his tutor or a close friend of his father. However he had the respect of the legions.

The best example of Caracalla's cruelty is the killing of most inhabitants of Alexandria. Caracalla knew that most people in Alexandria didn't like him. So he travelled to Alexandria. He had a banquet and invited Alexandria's high society. In the middle of the banquet his soldiers killed all the guests. Then Caracalla marched in Alexandria with his army and killed almost the entire city's population.

Caracalla is known for the Edict of Caracalla which gave Roman citizenship to all free men living in the Empire. He is also known for the baths of Caracalla in Rome which can still be seen today. Caracalla was killed by one of his soldiers during a campaign in Parthia in 217 A.D.. Actually the soldier just carried out an order from the Praetorian prefect Macrinus.

Elagabalus (reign: 218 - 222 AD)
Macrinus was in power for less than one year. Elagabalus who was a member of the Severi and fought against Macrinus with the support of the legions. Elagabalus was however incompetent as a ruler. He is also remembered for his extravagant lifestyle.

Alexander Severus (reign: 222 - 235 AD)
Alexander Severus was Elagabalus' cousin. Alexander had to face many conflicts during his reign. He had to fight a war with Persia and then another with invaders from Germania in Gaul. Alexander suffered great losses and many soldiers were displeased with him. Eventually he was killed by his very own soldiers during his campaign in Germania.

Crisis of the 3rd century

A period of political chaos ensued the death of Alexander Severus. There were in total 26 emperors in the ensuing 49 years of the last period of the Roman Principate. Most of these emperors became emperors through war and most did not belong to old noble Roman families.

A combination of very negative factors made things even worse towards the end of the Roman Principate: civil wars breaking out throughout the Empire, foreign invasions, a deep economic depression combined with hyperinflation and even pandemics spreading like fire (including the Plague of Cyprian in 250 AD). Actually the emperors were not concerned about the economy or defending the borders of the Empire but only about staying in power. Roman people gradually started loosing faith in their old religions and values and increasing turned to Christianity and the cult of Mithra.

In 260 AD the provinces of Egypt, Palaestina, Syria and Asia Minor separated from the Empire and formed the Palmyrene Empire ruled by Queen Zenobia from Palmyra in Syria. In that very same year, Britain and Gaul broke out too and formed the Gallic Empire. Rome lost its importance in the Empire. It is only during the reign of Aurelian (reign: 271 - 275 AD) that the Gallic and Palmyrene Empire were reconquered. The crisis totally ended during the reign of Diocletian at the end of the Roman Principate.


What exactly did consuls do during the Roman Empire?

I have a few questions all rolled into one, so I'm going to bullet them for ease of reading:

Did consuls (particularly those that weren't also part of the imperial family) continue to have substantive responsibilities during the Empire, and if so, what were they? And did a consulship under Augustus look different than, say, a consulship under Aurelian or Diocletian?

As the Republic transitioned to the Principate, was it more or less immediately apparent that the consulate was now effectively a figurehead position doled out by the emperor, or was it still seen as a prestigious and influential role?

Did Romans continue to use consular dating during the Empire ("in the year of the consulship of X and Y"), or was that replaced by dating events by the year of an emperor's reign?

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Consuls had very little real power in the principate, although they did fulfill certain ceremonial and religious functions. During the empire, most consuls did not actually serve for very long: the ordinary consuls, who still technically gave their names to the year (although dating by emperors tribunician powers quickly became the most common form of year dating), took office and then usually stepped down after 2-6 months. This allowed for new suffect consuls to be elected these in turn might only serve a few months. It was therefore not uncommon in any given year for more than six men to be consul, thus spreading the honor around. Obviously, being an ordinary consul was more prestigious than being a suffect, although often an ordinary consul had previously served as suffect.

The consulship in the empire was therefore less a practical office than an honor and a status. But while consuls were basically ceremonial, consular men were very important people in the empire and its administration, and were eligible for the most important provincial governorships, either as legati Augusti (the emperor's lieutenants commanding provinces with military forces) in key provinces or the few proconsular governorships, with the proconsular positions in either Africa or Asia generally seen as the pinnacle of a senatorial career.

So Imperial consuls in their *very* short term in office didn't do much. But generally they had done quite a bit to warrant the honor, which marked them out for even more important assignments afterwards.


Augustus & The Founding Of The Principate

Governors in senatorial provinces would be recalled and tried before the senate
Augustus improved the road network throughout the empire to aid communications - news of unacceptable behaviour in the provinces would reach him more quickly

Augustus also extended the imperial post to the provinces, again to aid communication
Provincial Councils were established to promote the imperial cult (i.e. worship of the emperor) these were made up of men representing the different areas in a province they helped unify the empire behind Augustus they could voice complaints against a governor and were a useful check on his power.

Augustus established numerous military colonies throughout the empire these were settlements of veteran soldiers military colonies encouraged the spread of Romanization and the stability of the empire.

Local communities within the empire often had a high degree of self-government - the local elite were allowed to rule as they had done in the past, so long as this didn't damage Roman interests.


Sulla's Reforms as Dictator

Lucius Cornelius Sulla (l. 138 - 78 BCE) enacted his constitutional reforms (81 BCE) as dictator to strengthen the Roman Senate's power. Sulla was born in a very turbulent era of Rome's history, which has often been described as the beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic. The political climate was marked by civil discord and rampant political violence where voting in the Assembly was sometimes settled by armed gangs. There were two primary opposing factions in Roman politics: the Optimates who emphasized the leadership and prominent role of the Senate, and the Populares who generally advocated for the rights of the people.

During this era, senatorial power was curbed and significant progress was made for the rights of the common folk, particularly the magistracy of tribune of the plebs, which was specifically created to be a guardian of the people. Sulla was an Optimate and after his rise to power, he declared himself dictator and passed several reforms to the constitution to revitalize and restore senatorial power to what it once was. Although his reforms did not last very long, his legacy greatly influenced Roman politics in the final years of the Republic until it fell in 27 BCE.

Propaganda

Sulla & the Late Roman Republic

Sulla was born into an ancient patrician family and so could trace his ancestry back to the original senators appointed by Romulus, the founder of Rome. Part of the cursus honorum, the unspoken but accepted career ladder of public office, was to first serve as a military officer before being able to run for public office. Sulla, by way of his patrician rank, skipped military service and was elected to the junior magistracy of quaestor in 108 BCE. He quickly made a name for himself as an excellent commander and negotiator serving under consul Gaius Marius (l. 157 - 86 BCE) - a Populare who served an extraordinary five consecutive consulships from 104 - 100 BCE - in the Jugurthine War (112 - 106 BCE). A disagreement between Marius and Sulla over who was truly responsible for Jugurtha's capture was the first seed of hatred between the two which would lead to Rome's first major civil war.

Sulla was elected praetor urbanus in 97 BCE and was governor of the province of Cilicia in Asia Minor the following year. The Senate ordered Sulla to reinstate King Ariobarzanes - a friend of Rome - back on the Cappadocian throne because he had been ousted by King Mithridates VI of Pontus (r. 120-63 BCE) who wanted to insert his son as the Cappadocian king. Sulla proved successful and was even hailed by his soldiers as imperador, or victorious commander.

Propaganda

In the Late Republic, Italians had long desired Roman citizenship and equal say in politics and power. The Romans had a knack for teasing the Italians with citizenship but never going the full distance in actually passing a law granting the Italians what they wanted. This civil discord reached a critical point in 91 BCE, the start of the Social War, between Rome and Italians who were eventually granted citizenship in 89 BCE after massive casualties on both sides. During the Social War, Sulla had independent command over legions in Southern Italy where he laid siege to the Italian city of Pompeii and successfully fended off armies attempting to aid Pompeii. He fought valiantly and his soldiers awarded him with the Grass Crown (corona graminea), the highest military honor. This military success made him immensely popular back in Rome and won him the consulship of 88 BCE.

Marius vs. Sulla

During his consulship, he was given eastern command of the legions to face King Mithridates VI of Pontus, one of Rome's most formidable enemies, who was wreaking havoc in the east. Mithridates VI had amassed an empire and surrounded himself with allies, and during Sulla's consulship, he ordered all cities in his Asian territories to murder all Romans and Italians. Not even women and children were spared. But before Sulla could embark on his trip to the east and defeat Mithridates VI, Marius and his ally, Sulpicius, using armed gangs and 600 equestrians as a bodyguard had 'convinced' the Assembly to remove Sulla's eastern command and had it transferred it to Marius. Marius then deployed two military tribunes to assume command of Sulla's army.

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In one of the crucial turning points in Rome's history, Sulla then gave not a military speech to his soldiers, but a political one, in which he roused his 35,000 legionaries and riled them up about the wrongs done to him and them. The east was known for its endless riches and Marius was now robbing them of the bountiful eastern plunder that would have been theirs. Sulla's stirring speech was successful, and his legions were now loyal to Sulla alone. When Marius' tribunes finally arrived, Sulla's soldiers murdered them. They then commenced their march on Rome to take back what was rightfully theirs. When asked why he would march soldiers against his own country, he replied, “to deliver her from tyrants”. Sulla, the first person to conquer Rome, then overturned Marius and Sulpicius' actions and reinstated himself as consul. Sulla and his legions had the coveted eastern command once again and Marius was forced to flee Rome.

While Sulla was in the East, his strategy was to remove Mithridates VI's control over Greece so he laid siege to Athens in the winter of 87-86 BCE. It was during this time he heard the news that Marius and his faction had returned and captured Rome, passing a decree which declared Sulla an enemy of the state. Marius then cut off money from Sulla's campaign, so he was forced to tax the local Greeks to fund his campaign. Suddenly, back in Rome, Marius died from pneumonia in 86 BCE. Sulla continued his business in the east, finally capturing Athens, successfully winning the Battle of Chaeronea (86 BCE) and the Battle of Orchomenus (85 BCE), convincingly ousting Mithridates' presence, and reinstating Roman authority in Greece. He then spent his time settling and organizing the province of Asia until he finally returned to Italy in 83 BCE to confront Marius' faction in Rome's first civil war.

Propaganda

Sulla and his veteran legions swept through Italy, persuading enemy legions to defect to his side and defeating in battle those who did not. He demonstrated great clemency in forgiving people and cities who decided to change sides. However, once he arrived victorious in Rome, he shed the merciful persona and proscribed (proscriptio) his enemies. The proscriptions were tablets with the names of people who were to be killed for bounty and their land confiscated. In the end, about a hundred senators and over a thousand equestrians perished.

Now that Sulla was wholly unopposed, the remaining Senate annulled the decree which made him an enemy of the state and ordered a statue of Sulla to be put up in front of the Forum Romanum. In order to legitimize his authority, Sulla then suggested that they revive the ancient office of ditador. It had been 120 years since Rome last had a dictator. The Senate, devoid of opposition, was forced to comply with his suggestion, appointing him as dictator to create laws and settle the constitution. Dictators were only appointed in times of great emergency when there was no other option but to entrust all authority and power to one person to save Rome. In the past, a dictator's term was for six months and their powers were essentially limitless. They had power over life and death and could declare war and peace, appoint and remove senators, as well as the power to found and demolish cities. Sulla, however, had no time limit imposed on his dictatorship and therefore could take as long as he needed to settle the constitution.

Reforms to the Constitution

Sulla, now dictator, appeared before the Senate with the powers of a king. 24 fasces were held in front of him as dictator, the same amount that was held before the ancient kings. As perhaps Sulla's most important reform as dictator, he severely diminished the power and prestige of the tribunes of the plebs. Tribunes were originally created to be guardians of the people. Their legal power (potestas) was vast, and because of the progress and precedents made by Populare tribunes, such as Tiberius Gracchus in 131 BCE, when he bypassed the Senate and presented his land reform laws directly to the Assembly, their power grew even stronger.

Propaganda

Sulla sought to undo these advancements, so he required that a tribune must seek permission from the Senate before introducing a law. Furthermore, he got rid of the tribune's all-important veto power. Sulla also stripped the office of its lure and prestige. He decreed that anyone who held the magistracy of tribune should never hold any other magistracy afterward. Understandably, the position was shunned by anyone who wanted to make a name for themselves in politics. The once-great office of tribune with its storied background as protector of the people was now just a shadow of what it once was.

Sulla also formalized the cursus honorum. He forbade anyone to hold the magistracy of praetor until after he had first been a quaestor or to be elected consul before he had been a praetor. He also prohibited any man from holding the same magistracy consecutively. Instead, he would have to wait ten years until he could hold the same office again. Furthermore, he decreed that two years must pass in between magistracies. He also expanded the number of quaestors to twenty and praetors to eight. This growing number of magistrates were needed to govern and administrate an ever-expanding empire.

Another Sullan reform saw that provincial governors would not overstay their welcome in their provinces, greatly reducing their chance to build a personal army to lead against political rivals or Rome itself, as Sulla had done. Because there were a greater number of magistrates under Sulla's reforms, this led to governors not needing to stay in their province long because there were now ample magistrates to fill a vacancy in a province after his one-year term ended. Furthermore, if a governor were to abuse or exceed his powers, they would be tried in the Treason Court (maiestas).

Propaganda

Because the Senate had been significantly thinned out by war, not to mention by Sulla's own proscriptions, he doubled the roll of the Senate from 300 to 600. The Senate had whittled down to a couple of hundred members after his proscriptions, so there were 400 empty spots to fill. As dictator, Sulla himself appointed many of the new Senators from a group of equestrians that he deemed worthy to be promoted to the rank of senator. For the remaining spots, he took recommendations from different people and created a large group of grateful senators thankful for their promotion in rank. The Senate was gaining power as well as strength in numbers.

In one of his most important reforms, Sulla reinstated senatorial power into the courts. Court juries were wielded as an extremely powerful tool at the time. UMA Populare wanted the jury to be made up of equestrians and an Optimate wanted a jury of senators. If a jury was filled with senators, then as one could expect, they rarely found their senatorial colleagues guilty, but a jury comprised of equestrians would lose very little sleep over convicting a senator accused of corruption. Populares e Optimates constantly fought each other on this. Sulla's reform reversed the tribune Gaius Gracchus' reform to the Extortion Court when he barred senators from being jurors. Sulla then set up seven new permanent courts for murder, counterfeiting and forgery, electoral fraud, embezzlement, treason, personal injury, and provincial extortion.

Sulla cast a long shadow over the Republic in these years. The Senate was very much his creation, purged of all his opponents who had failed to defect to him in time, and packed with his partisans. As a body he had strengthened the Senate's position, restoring the senatorial monopoly over juries in the courts and severely limiting the power of the tribunate. Other legislation, for instance a law restricting the behavior of provincial governors, was intended to prevent any other general from following the dictator's own example and turning the legions against the State. (Goldsworthy, Caesar, 92)

In addition to his reforms, Sulla used his powers as dictator to enact vengeance not just in Rome, but across the Italian regions that opposed him. Among the forms of punishment were massacre, exile, and confiscation for those who obeyed his enemies during the civil war. Their crime could be as little as housing his enemy, lending them money, or doing them any kind of kindness. When charges against individuals were not successful, Sulla took revenge on entire towns. He punished some by destroying their citadels or tearing down their walls, or by imposing fines and suffocating them with heavy taxes and tributes. Sulla set up his troops in colonies in the land and houses of the cities that he took revenge on.

Legacy

Once he settled the constitution, he laid down the dictatorship. The following year in 80 BCE he was elected consul. In 79 BCE he retired from Roman politics altogether and went to live in his country house in Campania where he could try to finish writing his memoirs. According to Plutarch, Sulla foresaw his death in a dream and he stopped writing his memoirs two days before he died in 78 BCE.

Although Sulla's constitution was obediently followed by other Optimates such as Pompey (l. 106 - 48 BCE) and Crassus (l. 115/112 - 53 BCE) - Sulla's reforms would ultimately not endure. He sought to remedy the problems that plagued the Republic, but his solution to the problem was one-sided and only strengthened senatorial power while severely curbing the power of the tribune of the plebs and non-senatorial ranks.

Julius Caesar (l. 100 - 44 BCE) during his time as military tribune spoke out in favor of restoring the powers of tribune which Sulla had thoroughly dismantled. In 75 BCE, Caesar had his uncle, Caius Aurelius Cotta who was consul that year, to pass a bill that allowed former tribunes to seek other magistracies. This was a very important undoing of one of Sulla's key reforms because now the tribunate was no longer a dead-end magistracy, paving the way for ambitious politicians to seek the office once again.

Caesar also reformed and improved another Sullan reform. He had long held interest in the administration of the provinces and his most renowned court appearances were prosecutions of corrupt and oppressive governors. His reforms on the role and behavior of Roman provincial governors would be the standard for centuries to come. Cicero later described Caesar's reform as an “excellent law”. Lastly, Sulla's law of permitting only senators on juries was overturned when praetor Lucius Aurelius Cotta allowed juries to be comprised of both senators and equestrians, leveling the power balance.


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