Consul (Nova Roma)

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Our magistracies

Consul
Praetor
Censor
Aedilis curulis
Aedilis plebis
Quaestor
Tribunus plebis
Curator aerarii
Curator rei informaticae
Magister aranearius
Editor commentariorum
Rogator
Diribitor
Custos


Classification of magistracies


Magistracy overview



The consulship is the highest executive magistracy of Nova Roma. The two consules are co-presidents of the republic.

To stand for election as consul, a potential candidate is required to be at least 30 years old as of the effective date of office, must be assiduus, must have been a citizen of Nova Roma for at least four years, and must have previously held the position of praetor or Tribune of the Plebs for at least six months, or served as Provincial Governor for at least three years, or held the position of Senator for a year.[1]


Current consules

M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c.
CIV-Marcus Pompeius Caninus.jpg Marcus Pompeius Caninus Album Civium
Consul
CIV-Gaius Popillius Laenas.jpg Gaius Popillius Laenas Album Civium
Consul

Contents

Duties and powers of the consules

The Constitution of Nova Roma says about the consules:

2. Consul. Two consuls shall be elected annually by the comitia centuriata to serve a term lasting one year. They shall have the following honors, powers, and obligations:
a. To hold Imperium and have the honor of being preceded by twelve lictors;
b. To issue those edicta (edicts) necessary to engage in those tasks which advance the mission and function of Nova Roma (such edicts being binding upon themselves as well as others);
c. To call the Senate, the comitia centuriata , and the comitia populi tributa to order;
d. To pronounce intercessio (intercession; a veto) against another consul or magistrate of lesser authority;
e. To appoint accensi (personal assistants) to assist with administrative and other tasks, as they shall see fit.

Collegiality and precedence

The consules are colleagues and their legal powers are equal.

In the ancient republic when both consules were at Rome they would hold the fasces (i.e. exercise power) in alternate months. This practice is sometimes adopted in Nova Roma, for example in the year Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. MMDCCLIII a.u.c..

The consul who held the fasces first was referred to as consul maior or consul prior. When it was necessary for one consul to take precedence on ceremonial occasions, for instance in religious processions, the consul maior took precedence; and it is probably the consul maior whose name was placed first in official documents and in the name of the year.

It is not entirely clear how it was decided which consul was maior, and there may even have been disagreement about this antiquity.[2] Some sources seem to indicate that the maior consul was the elder one;[3] others that he was the one elected first;[4] others that he was the one who ranked higher in prestige or status.[5] The solution is perhaps that in strict point of law the consul maior was the first elected, but that he customarily yielded precedence to his colleague if that colleague was significantly older or higher-ranking.[6] The most common view in Nova Roma is that the consul maior is the one elected first.

Offices and Edicta

Edicta of the Consules are posted in their respective officinae.

Historical overview

List of Nova Roman consuls

As of M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c., 30 individuals have been Consul of Nova Roma.

  • One has held the office three times.
  • Three have held the office twice.
  • Seventeen (57%) served as Praetor before becoming Consul. (indicated with PR.)
  • Twelve (40%) have also served as Censor. (indicated with CEN.)
  • Five (17%) were not members of the Senate before being elected Consul. (indicated with **)

Fl. Vedio M. Cassio cos. MMDCCLI a.u.c.

L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. MMDCCLII a.u.c.

Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. MMDCCLIII a.u.c.

Fl. Vedio (II) M. Cassio (II) cos. MMDCCLIV a.u.c.

M. Octavio L. Sulla (II) cos. MMDCCLV a.u.c.

K. Fabio T. Labieno cos. MMDCCLVI a.u.c.

Cn. Salice Cn. Equitio cos. MMDCCLVII a.u.c.

Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.

C. Buteone Po. Minucia cos. MMDCCLIX a.u.c.

L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos. MMDCCLX a.u.c.

M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c.

M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c.

P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.

P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c.

Cn. Caesare C. Tullio cos. MMDCCLXV a.u.c.

L. Sulla (III) cos. sine collega MMDCCLXVI a.u.c.

St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. MMDCCLXVII a.u.c.

M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c.


References

  1. Lex Cornelia de cursu honorum - http://www.novaroma.org/nr/Lex_Cornelia_de_cursu_honorum_(Nova_Roma)
  2. Discussion summarized in Lintott, The Constitution Of The Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 100. The issue sometimes gets confused with the question of whether consules are maiores than praetores, also discussed by ancient sources, on which see Stewart, Public Office In Early Rome: Ritual Procedure & Political Practice (University of Michigan Press, 1998), pp. 212-213.
  3. "postridieque [P. Valerius Publicola] sibi collegam Sp. Lucretium subrogavit, suosque ad eum quod erat maior natu lictores transire iussit, instituitque primus ut singulis consulibus alternis mensibus lictores praeirent" ("and the next day he [P. Valerius Publicola] had Sp. Lucretius elected as his colleage, and ordered his [Publicola's] lictors to go over to him [Lucretius] because he [Lucretius] was the elder, and he [Publicola] was the first to lay it down that the lictors should accompany each consul in alternate months") - Cicero, de re publica, 2.55 (the same story is told in Valerius Maximus, 4.1.1, and Plutarch, Publicola, 12.5); "Solitos tamen audio, qui lege potiores essent fasces primi menses collegis concedere aut longe aetate prioribus aut nobilioribus multo aut secundum consulatum ineuntibus" ("I have heard, however, that those who by statute had priority used to yield the first month's fasces to colleagues who were many years older, or much more noble, or who were beginning a second consulate") - Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 2.15.8.
  4. "Maiorem consulem L. Caesar putat dici vel eum penes quem fasces sint vel eum qui prior factus sit" ("L. Caesar thought the consul was called maior who held the fasces or who was elected first") - Festus, p. 154 Lindsay; a republican inscription also gives a special role to the consul first elected, but it is not certain that this is the same as the consul maior - see Lintott, The Constitution Of The Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 100 n. 29.
  5. "Solitos tamen audio, qui lege potiores essent fasces primi menses collegis concedere aut longe aetate prioribus aut nobilioribus multo aut secundum consulatum ineuntibus" ("I have heard, however, that those who by statute had priority used to yield the first month's fasces to colleagues who were many years older, or much more noble, or who were beginning a second consulate") - Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 2.15.8
  6. This interpretation appears to be supported by Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 2.15.8, quoted in the note above.

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