Dictator (Nova Roma)

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Classification of magistracies

Magistracy overview

The dictatorship is the highest extraordinary magistracy of Nova Roma. The dictator is an extraordinary supreme president of the republic with full executive powers. While the title suggests an absolutist and tyrannical power to the modern reader, in fact the honorable Roman position of dictator in Nova Roma is nothing else than an extraordinary sole president in charge instead of the usual co-presidents, with only a few special rights.



In times of emergency or to complete special extraordinary tasks, the consuls may appoint a dictator to serve a term not to exceed six months. The appointment may only be made upon the mandate of the Nova Roman senate. At the time of such appointment, the senate may prescribe a given task or boundaries within which the dictator is obliged to remain. The edicts of the dictator are subject to neither intercessio or provocatio, but must remain within the constraints of the constitution. The dictator holds the highest degree of imperium and has the honor of being preceded by twenty-four lictores.

Fl. Vedius Germanicus was the first and sole dictator of Nova Roma so far who exercised his office, and he served in July, MMDCCLII (1999). His assigned task was to solve the internal conflict which was referred to as the First "Civil War" of Nova Roma. The second dictator of Nova Roma was Cn. Equitius Marinus, appointed to solve the internal crisis that was called the Second "Civil War" of Nova Roma, but he hasn't exercised his office, and stepped down before taking the oath, citing legal reasons.

Change of the powers of the dictator in Nova Roma

The powers of a Nova Roman dictator were unhistorically extensive under the previous constitution of Nova Roma: the earlier version of dictator in Nova Roma could rescind or issue laws on his own and suspend even the constitution, and in effect was more powerful than an absolute monarch. This was changed by the lex Lucilia de re publica restituenda, after Cn. Iulius Caesar illegally proclaimed himself dictator of Nova Roma on a.d. XVI Kal. Dec. M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c. as part of his coup d'état, which caused the Third "Civil War" of Nova Roma. Although his dictatorship was not a lawful office, therefore it isn't listed in the Fasti, this event gave birth to the consensus that the excessive and unhistorical powers of the Nova Roman dictator had to be corrected. The lex Cornelia Domitia, as modified by the lex Lucilia, which serves as the constitution of Nova Roma, gives the same powers to a the dictator as those of a normal executive president. The only difference between the consuls and a dictator of Nova Roma is that the dictator may not be vetoed by the tribunes of the plebs, and that citizens cannot initiate the process of provocatio against the decision of a dictator.

Fasti dictatorii

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

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

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