Scanned text contains errors.
the founder of the festival, was said to have dis covered an altar in the earth on that spot. (Com pare Niebuhr, Hist. Rom. vol. i. notes 629 and 630.) The solemnity took place on the 21st of August with horse and chariot races, and libations were poured into the flames which consumed the sacrifices. During these festive games, horses and mules were not allowed to do any work, and were adorned with garlands of flowers. It was at their first celebration that, according to the ancient legend, the Sabine maidens were carried off. (Varro, De Ling. Lat. vi. 20 ; Dionys. i. 2 ; Cic. De Rep. ii. 7.) Virgil (Aen. viii. 636), in speaking of the rape of the Sabines, describes it as having occurred during the celebration of the Circensian games, which can only be accounted for by sup posing that the great Circensian games, in subse quent times, superseded the ancient Consualia ; and that thus the poet substituted games of his own time for ancient ones — a favourite practice with Virgil; or that he only meant to say the rape took place at the well-known festival in the circus (the Consualia), without thinking of the ludi Circenses, properly so called. [L. S.]
CONSUL (vTraros), the highest republican magistrate at Rome. The name is probably composed of con and sul which contains the same root as salio; so that consules are those who " go together," just as exul is " one who goes out," and praesul, is " one who goes before."
There was a tradition that King Serving, after regulating the constitution of the state, intended to abolish the kingly power, and substitute for it the annual magistracy of the consulship ; and whatever we may think of the tradition, the person who devised it must have had a deep insight into the nature of the Roman state and its institutions ; and the fact that on the abolition of royalty, it was instituted forthwith, seems, at any rate, to show that it had been thought of before. Thus much is also certain, that the consulship was not a Latin institution, for in Latium the kingly power was succeeded by the dictatorship, a magistracy invested with the same power as that of a king, except that it lasted only for a time.
The consulship which was established as a republican magistracy at Rome immediately after the abolition of royalty, showed its republican character in the circumstance that its power was divided between two individuals (imperium duplex}., and that it was only of one year's duration (annuum}. This principle was, on the whole, observed throughout the republican period ; and the only exceptions are, that sometimes a dictator was appointed instead of two consuls, and that, in a few instances, when one of the consuls had died, the other remained in office alone, either because the remaining portion of the year was too short, or from religious scruples (Dionys. v. 57 ; Dion Cass. xxxv. 4), for otherwise the rule was, that if either of the consuls died in the year of his office, or abdicated before its expiration, the other was obliged to convene the comitia for the purpose of electing a successor (subrogare or sufficere collegam.) It is only during the disturbances in the last century of the republic, that a Cinna maintained himself as sole consul for nearly a whole year (Appian, De Bell. Civ. i. 78 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 24 ; Liv. Epit. 83); and that Pompey was appointed sole consul, in order to prevent his becoming dictator. (Ascon. ad Cic, p Mil. p. 37 j Liv. Epit. 107 j Appian, De
Bell. Civ. ii. 23, 25.) Nay, in those troubled times, it even came to pass that Cinna and Marius, without any election at all, usurped the power of the consulship.
In the earliest times, the title of the chief magistrates was not consules but praetores; characterising them as the commanders of the armies of the republic, or as the officers who stand at the head of the state. Traces of this title occur in ancient legal and ecclesiastical documents (Liv. vii. 3 ; Plin. H. N. viii. 3 ; Fest p. 161), and also in the names praetorium (the consul's tent), and porta praetoria in the Roman camp. (Paul. Diac. p. 123 ; Pseudo-Ascon. ad Cic. in Verr. i. 14.) Sometimes also they are designated by the title judices^ though it perhaps never was their official title, but was given them only in their capacity of judges. (Varro, De L. L. vi. 9 ; Liv. iii. 55.) The name consules was introduced for the highest magistrates in b. c. 305 (Zonar. vii. 19), and henceforth remained the established title until the final overthrow of the Roman empire. Upon the establishment of the republic, after the banishment of Tar-quin, all the powers which had belonged to the king, were transferred to the consuls, except that which had constituted the king high priest of the state; for this was kept distinct and transferred to a priestty dignitary, called the rex sctcrorum, or rex sacrificulus.
As regards the election of the consuls, it invariably took place in the comitia centuriata, under the presidency of a consul or a dictator; and in their absence, by an interrex. The consuls thus elected at the beginning of a year, were styled consules ordinarii^ to distinguish them from the sujfecti, or such as were elected in the place of those who had died or abdicated, though the privileges and powers of the latter were in no way inferior to those of the former. (Liv. xxiv. 7, &c.; comp. xli. 18.) At the time when the consulship was superseded by the institution of the tribuni militares consulari potestate, the latter, of course, presided at elections, as the consuls did before and after, and must in general be regarded as the representatives of the consuls in every respect. It was, however, a rule that the magistrate presiding at an election should not be elected himself, though a few exceptions to this rule are recorded. (Liv. iii. 35, vii. 24, xxiv. 9, xxvii. 6.) The day of the election which was made known by an edict, three nun dines beforehand (Liv. iii. 35, iv. 6, xlii. 28), naturally depended upon the day on which the magistrates entered upon their office. The latter, however, was not the same at all times, but was often changed. In general it was observed as a rule, that the magistrates should enter upon their office on the kalendae or idus, unless particular circumstances rendered it impossible ; but the months themselves varied at different times, and there are no less than eight or nine months in which the consuls are known to have entered upon their functions, and in many of these cases we know the reasons for which the change was made. The real cause appears to have been that the consuls, like other magistrates, were elected for a whole year ; and if before the close of that year the magistracy became vacant either by death or abdication, their successors, of course, undertook their office on an irregular da}7, which then remained the dies so-lenniS) until another event of a similar kind rendered another change necessary. The first consuls, as