Consul (Nova Roma)
The consulship is the highest executive magistracy of Nova Roma. The two consules, elected by the comitia centuriata are the presidents of the republic which means that they are the presidents of the corporation of Nova Roma, Inc. As the most powerful chief magistracy of Nova Roma, the consules can convene the comitia to pass legislation, call the senate to enact senatus consulta, issue edicts with administrative instructions and regulation of minor issues. They are the ceremonial commanders-in-chief of the Nova Roman Reenactment Army, and the representatives of the Nova Roman people within the sacra publica of the Roman religion. Each year is named after the two consuls of the year.
The eligibility requirements for the consulship are set by the lex Tullia annalis: only those assidui can be candidates who are at least 40 years old, and have previously held either the office of praetor, or both aedilis and quaestor, or both tribunus plebis and quaestor. The consuls enter office on Kal. Ian. ‡ (1 January) each year.
C. Cornelius Barosus
Q. Arrius Nauta (IV)
Duties and powers of the consules
The lex Cornelia Domitia de re publica constituenda defines the duties and powers of consules according to the following:
- 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 the regia potestas et imperium and the auspicia maiora, and to exercise, even when the use of imperium is restricted, full iurisdictio, the ius coercitionis, the ius intercessionis, the ius edicendi, the ius agendi cum populo (the right to call the Comitia of the whole people), the ius agendi cum Senatu (also known as “ius agendi cum patribus”, the right to call the Senate) and to have the honor of being preceded by twelve lictors; the consuls are responsible in general for the government of Nova Roma;
- b. To issue those edicta necessary to advance the mission and function of Nova Roma and to administer the law;
- 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 by unanimous collegial decision, the praefectus rei publicae (administrandae), modelled on the ancient praefectus urbi, as a general deputy, representative and prime assistant to coordinate the executive offices and the administration of Nova Roma, and individually or collegially, apparitors and other officers 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. Some sources seem to indicate that the maior consul was the elder one; others that he was the one elected first; others that he was the one who ranked higher in prestige or status. 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. The most common view in Nova Roma is that the consul maior is the one elected first.
- Consul overview: a comparison of ancient Roman and Nova Roman consules
List of Nova Roman consuls
- 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 **)
- Flavius Vedius Germanicus (I) CEN.
- Suffectus: Quintus Caecilius Metellus
- Marcus Cassius Iulianus (I) CEN.
- Lucius Equitius Cincinnatus (removed) PR. CEN.
- Suffectus: Lucius Cornelius Sulla PR. CEN.
- Decius Iunius Palladius PR. CEN.
Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. ‡ MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.
P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.
- Lucius Cornelius Sulla (III) PR. CEN.
St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXVII a.u.c.
M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c.
Q. Arrio P. Annaeo cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXII a.u.c.
Q. Arrio (II) T. Domitio (III) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXIII a.u.c.
Q. Arrio (III) A. Tullia cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXIV a.u.c.
C. Cethego Q. Arrio (IV) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXVI a.u.c.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "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
- ↑ This interpretation appears to be supported by Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 2.15.8, quoted in the note above.