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consul, Latin Consul, plural Consules, in old Rome, either of the two highest possible of the plain magistracies in the ancient Roman Republic. After the loss of the kings (c.
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509 bc) the consulship maintained regal strength in a standard form. Pure authority was expressed in the consul’s imperium (q.v.), but its arbitrary exercise was limited: the consuls, nominated by the Senate and also elected by the people in the Comitia Centuriata (a renowned assembly), held office for just a year, and also each consul had power the veto over the other’s decisions. ~ the establishment of various other magistracies, particularly the censorship and also tribuneship, consular government was further limited. Consuls, however, to be in a an extremely real feeling the top of state. They commanded the army, convened and presided over the Senate and the well-known assemblies and also executed their decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. They retained crucial prerogatives in administration and in criminal law, and their office to be invested through the sella curulis (a unique chair that office) and an escort the 12 lictors. ~ 367 bc at least one the the consuls had actually to be a plebeian, though in practice the consulship to be usually minimal to wealthy and also noble households with differentiated records of public service. As soon as their terms expired, consuls normally were appointed to serve as governors the provinces. These might be and often were lucrative sinecures; in the so late years that the republic, provincial governors offered their endless powers come enrich themselves at every turn. Although the office the consulship continued to be after the fallen of the republic (27 bc), it had lost many of its previous power. The appointment of consuls passed native the hands of the people to the state; later on yet it fell to the emperor to name consuls. See also censor; tribune.