During The Late Republic



TOPICS



Elected Officials

Elected Offices(# Elected) Term Duties & Privileges Prerequisites
Minimum Age Class Other
Censor (2) Every 5 years, elected for 18 months
  • Elected the Princeps Senatus
  • Kept the senate roster updated
  • Controlled public morals and could expel senators for violation of same
  • Supervised the water supply
  • Took censuses of property
  • Kept a register of all citizens and assigned them to centuries for voting
  • Supervised leasing of public land
  • Decided on new construction
  • Awarded state contracts
43 Patrician
  • Must be an ex-Consul
  • Elected by the Comitia Centuriata
Consul(2) 1 Year
  • Responsible for enforcing order in Rome
  • Presided over the Senate And the assemblies of the people
  • All other officials–except the Tribunes Of The People–answered to them
  • Implemented Senate decisions
  • Introduced legislation before the people
  • Performed various religious functions.
  • Nominated a Dictator when necessary
  • Outside of Rome served as commanders-in-chief in case of war
  • Once out of office, considered lifetime member of the Senate
42 Prior to 367 BCE patrician only; after 367 either patrician or plebian
  • Must be an Ex-Praetor
  • Elected by Comitia Centuriata
Proconsul As needed Acted as Provincial Governors 43 Prior TO 367 BCE patrician only; after 367 either patrician or plebian Had to have served as Consul the year before
Praetor(16)

Two Types:

Praetor Peregrinus–Dealt with disputes where one or both parties were foreigners.

Praetor Urbanus–Handled civil/criminal law cases

1 Year
  • Served as the supreme civil judges for legal cases
  • Issued annual edicts re Roman Law
39 Prior to 337 BCE probably patrician only; after 337 either patrician or plebian
  • If plebeian, must be an Ex-Aedile or an Ex-Tribune of the Plebs 
  • Elected by the Comitia Centuriata
Propraetor 1 Year Acted as Provincial Governors 40 Patrician Had to have served as Praetor the previous year
Aediles

Two Types:

Plebeian (2)

Curule (2)

1 Year
  • In charge of maintaining public buildings, aqueducts, and roads
  • Managed the grain supply
  • Handled inspection of weights and measures
  • Supervised the games
Plebeian

Patrician

  • Curule Aediles could be patrician or plebeian
  • Elected by the Comitia Tributa
Tribune Of The People(10) 1 Year
  • Safeguarded the interests of the people
  • Could veto the action of any elected official
  • Could punish–even with death–a disobedient official.
  • Immune from arrest or punishment themselves
  • Responsible directly to the Concilium Plebis
Plebeian Possibly elected by the Concilium Plebis
Quaestor(40)

Four Types: Urban, Military, Provincial, And Italian.

1 Year
  • Handled receipt and disbursement of state money
  • Maintained public records
  • Oversaw state contract details
  • Acted as quartermasters and paymasters for generals in the field
  • Acted as financial secretaries to provincial governors
27-30 Plebeian
  • Must have been an Ex-Board Of 26 official
  • Elected by the Comitia Tributa
Board Of The 26

(Vigintisexviri)

1 Year
  • Police commission of three to oversee arrest, trial, and punishment of criminals
  • Commission of 10 for the judgment of certain legal cases
  • Commission of 4 in charge of the courts of Capua, Cumae, and other towns
  • Commission of 3 In Charge Of The Mint
  • Commission of 4 for inside city street cleaning
  • Commission of 2 for outside city street cleaning


Appointed Officials

Appointed Offices(# Elected) Term Duties & Privileges Prerequisites How Appointed
Dictator(1)

[(Magister Populi]

6 Months Had absolute power over rome; was supreme military and judicial authority By the senate and approved by the people
  • State of emergency declared
  • Usually was a capable military commander
Master Of The Horse (1)

 

[Magister Equitum]

6 Months Second in command to the Dictator By Dictator State of emergency declared.
Interrex 5 Days
  • Take over the duties of the Consuls
  • Hold election for Consuls
By The Senate
  • Must be a senator
  • Appointed when the state is without Consuls due to death or other cause
Military Tribune (6 for each standing legion)

 

[Tribuni Militum]

Varied
  • Served as officers in the legions
  • Commanded a century and/or served on the command staff
By A Consul
  • 10 years service in the field or 10 years readiness to answer the call.
  • Typically 26-29 years of age at the earliest

Notes:

  • Patricians were the privileged class of rome–the large landowners; they dominated political affairs
  • Plebeians were the roman citizens who weren't patricians
  • During this period, every roman citizen had the privilege of voting on legislation and in the election of government officials
  • The normal progression (The Cursus Honorum–The Course Of Honors) through the various offices was: quaestor, curule aedile, praetor, consul, and censor.
  • Not everyone followed the normal progression (e.g., Marius and Pompey)
  • Tribune Of The People, Censor, Dictator, And Master Of The Horse weren't regarded as true magistracies
  • The minimum interval between holding various magistracies was 2 years
  • To win a magistracy suo anno (in one's year) meant to win the magistracy at the earliest possible age
  • The Comitia Centuriata met in the Campus Martius. It consisted of citizens divided according to property value and age into 373 voting units called Centuries. This assembly decided between war and peace and it elected the higher officials (Censors, Consuls, Praetors). Presided over by a Consul, Praetor, or Interrex.
  • The Comitia Tributa met in the Roman Forum for legislation and judgments, and in the Campus Martius for elections. It consisted of citizens divided into 35 "tribes". It elected the lower ranking officials (Quaestor, Aedile, Etc.) And acted as a court of appeal in legal cases not involving capital punishment. it also was a legislative body which votes on legal measures submitted to it by the presiding magistrate. Presided over by a Consul Or Praetor; and, sometimes by a Curule Aedile.
  • Every Roman citizen belonged to both the Comitia Centuriata and the Comitia Tributa
  • The Concilium Plebis met in the roman forum for legislation and judgments, and in the Campus Martius for elections. It consisted entirely of plebeians divided into their 35 tribes. It may have elected the Plebeian Tribunes and the Plebeian Aediles, But evidence so far is inconclusive presided over by a Tribune Of The Plebs or an Aedile of the Plebs.