Legatus (Nova Roma)

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A legatus is an appointed representative of the senate, usually with a military-related mission, but sometimes with purely civilian tasks. Even when there are no reenactment military tasks involved, the legatus is always considered a military general political officer.

Only the senate can appoint a legatus, however, the senate may authorize appointments by certain magistrates or governors in advance, in justified cases.

There are two main types of legati within the Nova Roman Republic:


Legatus pro praetore

The legatus pro praetore (commissioner in place of praetor) is a kind of provincial governor appointed by the senate. This is the lowest rank among the governors and it is given to a person who hasn't served as praetor or consul. See also other types of governors.

Legatus of the provincial governor

The senate may appoint legates as assistant governors to aid the work of a governor. The legatus appointed by the senate as an assistant to the provincial governor is simply referred as legatus or "legate". This legatus is an officer within the provincial administration, but under the supervision of the senate. Generally, a legate is the senate's and the governor's representative in a reenactment unit within the province, and the title of a legate in charge of a legion is legatus legionis. Sometimes, but not regularly, a legate can be given the task to supervise a subdivision of a province called regio, especially if the regio contains Nova Roman reenactment units. A legate responsible for a region may be termed as legatus regionis. Special tasks may be assigned to provincial subordinate legates, and the title of such legates may vary, for example such as "legatus iuridicus" (legate in charge of legal issues).

The exact title of a legate subordinate to a governor depends on the title of the governor who appointed him. We can see the following five variants:

  • legatus legati pro praetore (commissioner of the commissioner in place of praetor)
  • legatus propraetoris (commissioner of the vice-praetor)
  • legatus proconsulis (commissioner of vice-consul)
  • legatus praetoris (commissioner of the praetor)
  • legatus consulis (commissioner of the consul)

Past practice in Nova Roma

In the past, legates were appointed by the governors of Nova Roma on whim, without regulation. In this period, governors appointed legates with titles like legatus militaris or legatus militiae (entrusted with supervising the military reenactment in the province), or legatus rebus internis to deal with provincial business and legatus rebus externis to handle interprovincial business and affairs outside Nova Roma.

See also:

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