The Ancient Library

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nominate a dictator. (Liv. iv. 26.) So long as the consuls had to hold the census, they, undoubtedly, drew lots, which of them conderet lustrum, and even when they went out on a common expedition, they seem to have determined by lot in what di­rection each should exert his activity. (Liv. xli. .18.)

The entering of a consul upon his office was connected with great solemnities : before daybreak each consulted the auspices for himself, which in the early times was, undoubtedly, a matter of great importance, though, at a later period, we know it to have been a mere formality. (Dionys. ii. 4, 6.) It must, however, be observed, that whatever the nature of the auspices were, the entering upon the office was never either rendered impossible or delayed thereby, whence we must suppose that the object merely was to obtain fa­vourable signs from the gods, and as it were to place under the protection of the gods the office ;. on which the magistrate entered. After the auspices were consulted, the consul returned home, put on the toga praetexta (Liv. xxi. 63 ; Ov. ex Pont. iv. 4. 25, Fast. i. 81), and received the salutatio of his friends and the senators. (Bion Cass. Iviii, 5 ; Ov. ex Pont. iv. 4. 27, &c.) Ac­companied by these and a host of curious spectators, the consul clad in his official robes, proceeded to the temple of Jupiter in the Capitol, where a solemn sacrifice of white bulls was oifered to the god. 'It seems that in this procession, the sella curulis, as an emblem of his office, was carried before the consul. (Ov. L-o. iv. 4. 29, &c., 9, 17, &c. ; Liv. xxi. 63 ; Cic. De Leg. Agr. ii. 34.) After this, a meeting of the senate took place, at which the elder of the two consuls made his report concern­ing the republic, beginning with matters referring to religion, and then passing on to other affairs (rcferre ad senatum de rebus divinis et humanis, Liv. vi. 1, ix. 8, xxxvii. 1 ; Cic. ad Quir. post Red. 5.) One of the first among the religious things which the consuls had to attend to, was the fixing of the feriae Latinae, and it was not till they had performed the solemn sacrifice on the Alban mount, that they could go into their provinces. (Liv. xxi. 63, xxii. 1, xxv. 12, xl'ii. 10.) The other affairs upon which the consul's had to report; to the senate had reference to the distribution of the provinces, and many other matters connected with the administration, wnich often were of the highest importance. After these reports, the meeting of the senate broke up, and the members -accompanied the consuls to th'eir homes (Ov. ex Pont. iv. 4. 41), and this being done, the consuls : were installed in their office, ir! which they had to exert themselves for the good of their country.

Respecting the various offices which at different times were temporary substitutes for the consul­ship, such as the dictatorship, the decemvirate, and the office of the tribuni militares consular! potesta'te, the reader is referred to the separate articles. Towards the end of the republic, the consulship lost its power and importance. Caesar, in his dictatorship, gave it the first severe blow, for he himself took the 'office of consul along with that of dictator, or he arbitrarily caused persons to be elected, who in their actions were entirely de­pendent upon his will. He himself was elected at first for five years, then for ten, and at length for life. (Sueton. Goes. 76, 80 ; Dion Cass. xlii. 20, xliii. 1, 46, 49 ; Appian, De Bell. Civ. ii. 106.)


I/i the reign of Augustus, the consular power was a mere shadow of what it had been before, and the consuls who were elected, did not retain their office for a full year, but had usually to abdi­cate after a few months. (Dion Cass. xlviii. 35, xliii. 46 ; Lucan, v. 399.) These irregularities increased to such an extent, that in the reign of Commodus there were no less than twenty-five consuls in one year. (Lamprid. Oommod. 6 ; Dion Cass. Ixxii. 12.) In the republican time, the year had received its name from the consuls, and in all public documents their names were entered to mark the year ; but from the time that there were more than two in one year, only those that entered upon their office at the beginning of the year were re­garded as consoles ordinarii^ and gave their names to the year, though the suffecti were likewise entered in the Fasti. (Sueton. Domit. 2, Gall). 6, Vitell. 2 ; Senec. De Tra. iii. 31 ; H?\\n.Panegr. 38 ; Lamprid. Al. Sev. 28.) The consules ordinarii ranked higher than those who were elected after­wards. The election from the time of Tiberius was in the hands of the senate, who, of course, elected only those that were recommended by. the em­peror ; those who were elected were then announced (renunfiare) to the people assembled in what was called comitia. (Dion Cass. Iviii. 20 ; Plin. Paneg. 77 ; Tac. Ann. iv. 68.) In the last centuries of the empire, it was customary to create honorary consuls (consumes lionorarii) who were chosen by the senate and sanctioned by the emperor (Cassiod. i. 10 ; Justin. Nov. Ixx. 80. c. 1), and consules suffecti were then scarcely heard of at all, for Constantine restored the old custom of appoint­ing only two consuls, one for Constantinople, and the other for Rome, wh'o were to act as supreme judges (under the emperor) for a whole year, and besides these two there were no others except honorary consuls and consulares. Although the dignity of these honorary consuls as well as of the consules ordinarii and suffeeti was merelv nominal.

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still it was regarded as the highest in the empire, and was ''sought after by noble and wealthy persons with the greatest eagerness, notwithstanding the great expenses connected with the Office on ac­count of the public entertainments which a newly appointed consul had to give to his friends and the people. (Lydus, De Magistr. ii. 8 ; Liban. Orat. 8 ; Symmach. ii. 64, iv. 8, x. 44 ; Sidon. Apollin. Epist. ii. 3 ; Cassiod. ii. 2, vi. 1 ; Procop. De Bell. Pers. i. 25.) Sometimes the emperors themselves assumed the consulship or conferred it upon im­perial princes. The last consul of Rome was Deci-mus Theodorus Paulinus, A. B. 536, and at Con­stantinople Flaviiis BasiliYfe Junior, in a. d. 541. After that time, the emperors of the East took the title of consul for themselves, until in the end it fell quite into oblivion.

The official functions of the consuls under the empire were as follows : — 1. They presided in the senate, though, of course, never without the sanction of the emperor; 2. They administered justice, partly escira 'oi'dinem (Tac. Ann. iv. l9i, xiii. 4 ; Gell. xiii. 24), and partly in ordinary cases, such as manumissions of the appointment of guardians (Am-mian. Marcell. xxii. 7 ; Cassiod. vi. 1 ; Sueton. Claud. 23 ; Plin. H. N. ix. 13) ; 3. The letting of the public revenues, a duty which had formerly been performed by the censors (Ov. ex Pont. iv. 5. 19) ; 4. The conducting of the games in the Circus and of public solemnities in honour of the emperors,

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