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DICTATOR.

catio as an infringement of the rights of his office. We may therefore suppose that the Lex Valeria Horatia only applied to the regular magistracies, and that the dictatorship was regarded as exempt from it. Whether however the right of provocatio was afterwards given, or the statement in Festus is an error, cannot be determined. In connection with the provocatio there arises another question respecting the relation of the dictatorship to the tribunes of the plebs. We know that the tribunes continued in office during a dictatorship ; but we ^tve no reason to believe that they had any con­trol over a dictator, or could hamper his pro­ceedings by their intercessio or auccilium^ as they could in the case of the consuls. The few in­stances, which appear to prove the contrary, are to be explained in a different manner, as Becker has shown. That the tribunes continued in office as independent magistrates during a dictatorship, while all the other magistrates became simply the officers of the dictator, is to be explained by the fact, that the lex de dictatore creando was passed before the institution of the tribuneship of the plebs, and consequently made no mention of it, and that as a dictator was appointed in virtue of a senatus con-sultum, the senate had no power over the tribunes of the plebs, though they could suspend the other magistrates.

It has been already stated that the dictator was Irresponsible, that is, he was not liable after his abdication to be called to account for any of his official acts. This is expressly stated by ancient writers (Zonar. vii. 13, Dionys. v. 70, vii. 56; Pint. Fab. 3 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 23), and, even if it had not been stated, it would follow from the very nature of the dictatorship. We find moreover no instance recorded in which a dictator after his re­signation was made answerable for the misuse of his power, with the exception of Camillus, whose case however was a very peculiar one. (Compare Becker, Romiscli. Altertli. vol. ii. part ii. p. 172.)

It was in consequence of the great and irre­sponsible power possessed by the dictatorship, that we find it frequently compared with the regal dignity, from which it only differed in being held for a limited time. (Cic. de Rep. ii. 32 ; Zonar. vii. 13 ; Dionys. v. 70, 73 ; Appian, B. C. i. 99 ; Tac. Ann. i. 1.) There were however a few limits to the power of the dictator. 1. The most important was that which we have often men­tioned, that the period of his office was only six months. 2. He had not power over the treasury, but could only make use of the money which was granted him by the senate. (Zonar. vii. 13.) 3. He was not allowed to leave Italy, since he might in that case easily become dangerous to the republic (Dion Cass. xxxvi. 17) ; though the case of Ati-lius Calatinus in the first Punic war forms an exception to this rule. (Liv. Epit. 19.) 4. He was not allowed to ride on horseback at Rome, without previously obtaining the permission of the people (Liv. xxiii. 14 ; Zonar. vii. 13) ; a re­gulation apparently capricious, but perhaps adopted that he might not bear too great a resem­blance to the kings, who were accustomed to ride.

The insignia of the consuls were nearly the same as those of the kings in earlier times ; and of the consuls subsequently. Instead however of having only twelve lictors, as was the case with the con­suls, he was preceded by twenty-four bearing the secures as well as the fasces. The sella curulis

DICTATOR.

and toga praetexta also belonged to the dictator. (Polyb. iii. 87 ; Dionys. x. 24 ; Plut. Fab. 4 ; Appian, B. C. i. 100 ; Dion Cass. liv- 1.).

The preceding account of the dictatorship ap­plies more particularly to the dictator rei gerundae causa; but dictators were also frequently appointed, especially when the consuls were absent from the city, to perform certain acts, which could not be done by any inferior magistrate. These dictators had little more than the name ; and as they were only appointed to discharge a particular duty, they had to resign immediately that duty was performed, and they were not entitled to exercise the power of their office in reference to any other matter than the one for which they were nominated. The oc­casions on which such dictators were appointed, were principally: — 1. For the purpose of holding the comitia for the elections (cotnitiorum haben-dorum causa}. 2. For fixing the clavus annalis in the temple of Jupiter (clavi Jigendi causa} in times of pestilence or civil discord, because the law said that this ceremony was to be performed by the praetor m&ximus, and after the institution of the dictatorship the latter was regarded as the highest magistracy in the state (Liv. vii. 3). 3. For appointing holidays (feriarum constituendarum causa} on the appearance of prodigies (Liv. vii. 28), and for officiating at the public games (lu-dorum faciendorum causa}, the presidency of which belonged to the consuls or praetors (viii. 40, ix. 34). 4. For holding trials (quaestionibiis exercen-dis, ix. 36). 5. And on one occasion, for filling up vacancies in the senate (legendo senatui, xxiii. 22).

Along with the dictator there was always a magister equitum., the nomination of whom was left to the choice of the dictator, unless the senatus con­sul turn specified, as was sometimes the case, the name of the person who was to be appointed (Liv. viii. 17, xxii. 57). The magister equitum had, like the dictator, to receive the imperium by a lex curiata (Liv. ix. 38). The dictator could not*be without a magister equitum, and, consequently, if the latter died during the six months of the dictatorship, another had to be nominated in his stead. The magister equitum was subject to the imperium of the dictator, but in the absence of his superior he became his representative, and exercised the same powers as the dictator. On one occasion, shortly be­fore legal dictators ceased to be appointed, we find an instance of a magister equitum being invested with an imperium equal to that of the dictator, so that there were then virtually two dictators, but this is expressly mentioned as an anomaly, which had never occurred before (Polyb. iii. 103, 106). The rank which the magister equitum held among the other Roman magistrates is doubtful. Nie-buhr asserts (vol. ii. p. 390) " no one ever sup­posed that his office was a curule one ;" and if he is right in supposing that the consular tribunate was not a curule office, his view is supported by the account in Livy, that the imperium of the magister equitum was not regarded as superior to that of a consular tribune (vi. 39). Cicero on the contrary places the magister equitum on a par with the praetor (de Leg, iii. 3) ; and after tho establishment of the praetorship, it seems to have been considered necessary that the person who was to be nominated magister equitum should previously have been praetor, just as the dictator^ according to the old law, had to be chosen from the consulars (Dion Cass. xlii, 21).. Accordingly, we

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