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which it approached to absolute power (7ra,u£a(n-A.€ta). Even the voice of the commonalty carried a moral weight with it that ensured some degree of respect for it (%a^€7r^ stj/aou f^yy-is, Od. xiv. 239, vi. 273).
Besides such private property as the king might possess, he had the use of a domain attached to the regal office. (Od, xi. 185.) The re^vt] here spoken of are different from the KTTj^ara, or private property of the family, which Telemachus would retain, even if excluded from the throne, and so deprived of the use of the royal domain. (Od. i. 402.) There were also stated dues (&e-uicrres), which formed an important item in the king's emoluments (hence termed \nrapai, II. ix. 156,298). But besides these a large part of his revenues was derived from presents (Swrivai or Soopa), which appear to have been given on most occasions on which his aid or protection was invoked (11. ix. 155, xvii. 225). The characteristic emblem of the kingly office was the (T/c^Trrpoj/ (//. ii. 101, 206). [sceptrum.]
It was doubtless seldom that the rule of hereditary succession was infringed upon, though the case of Telemachus (Od. i. 386, &c.) indicates that under peculiar circumstances the idea of departing from it might be entertained. But even here the presumptive right of Telemachus is admitted. Such a departure from the ordinary rule, however, marks a considerable decline in the kingly power, and advance on the part of the nobles. At a later period we find kings deprived of their throne for misconduct, as in the case of Thymoetes in Attica. At a later period than the Homeric age the fact of responsibility was regarded as constituting the difference between a king and a tyrant (Arist. Pol. iv. 8). Hence at Argos Pheidon is called a tyrant, though he was a legitimate successor to the throne, because he acquired for himself despotic authority.
Our information respecting the Grecian kings in the more historical age is not ample or minute enough to enable us to draw out a detailed scheme of their functions. The rising influence of the nobles gradually reduced these to narrower and narrower limits till at last the establishment of aristocratical or oligarchical governments became almost universal. Respecting the kings of Sparta the reader is referred to the article ephori. As an illustration of the gradual limitation of the pre rogatives of the king or chief magistrate,, the reader may consult the article archon. The title Ba- sileus was sometimes applied to an officer who dis charged the priestly functions of the more ancient kings, as in Athens [archon], Delphi (Plut. Quaest. Gr. 7. p- 177), Siphnos (Isocr. ad Callim. p. 685), Megara (Chandler, Marm. Oscon. 2, 82), Chalcedon (Caylus, Recueil, &c. ii. 55), Cyzicus (id. ii. 71, 72), and Samothrace (Liv. xlv. 5). (K. F. Hermann, LelirlmcJi der griech. Staatsalter- thiimer, §§ 53—55 ; Wachsmuth^ PFellenisclie Al~ tertJmmskunde, §§ 38, 43 ; Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece, cc. vi. x, ; Grotc. Hut. of Greece, c. xx. vol. ii. p. 79, &c.) ' ^ _ [C.P.M.]
2. roman, Rome was originally governed by kings. All the ancient writers agree in representing the king as elected by the people for life, and as voluntarily entrusted by them with the supreme power in the state. No reference is made to the hereditary principle in the election of the first four kings ; and it is not until the fifth king juimiis' Prisons obtained the sovereignty, that
anything is said about the children of the deceased king. Consequently the ancient writers state that the king was chosen on account of his virtues and not his descent (Cic. de Rep. ii. 12 ; Appian, B. C. i. 98). It is true that in the case of Romulus the genuine legend makes no mention of his election to the royalty ; and one of the acutest modern writers on the history of the Roman constitution has availed himself of this circumstance to support his theory, that the Roman king was not elected by the people, but derived his power immediately from the gods, and that this power devolved upon the senate at his death, and was transmitted in all its integrity to the next king by means of the inter-reges (Rubino, Untersuclmngen uber Romische Ver-fassung, p. 107, &c.). Our limits will not permit us to enter into an examination of this theory. It rests to a great extent upon the assumption that the Patres in the early Roman constitution were the senate ; and it falls if it can be proved that the Patres in the earliest times were the same as the whole body of the patricians. We think that W. A. Becker (Handbucli der Romischen Alterthumer) has established beyond all doubt that the latter is the true meaning of the Patres, and that the common view is correct, which represents the king as voluntarily entrusted by the people with the supreme power.
Since the people had conferred the regal power, it returned to them upon the death of the king. As in modern states it is held that the king never dies, in like manner in Rome the vacant place was instantly filled up. But as a new king could not be immediately appointed, an Interrex forthwith stepped into his place. The necessity for an immediate successor to the king arose from the circumstance that he alone had had the power of taking the auspicia on behalf of the state ; and as the auspicia devolved upon the people at his death,, it was imperative upon them to create a magistrate, to whom they could delegate the auspicia and who would thus possess the power of mediating between the gods and the state. Originally the people consisted only of the patres or patricii ; and accordingly, on the death of the king, we read res ad patres redit (Liv. i. 32), or, what is nearly the same thing, auspicia ad patres redeunt. [augur, p. 177-] The interrex was elected by the whole body of the patricians, and he appointed (prodebat) his successor, as it was a rule that the first interrex could not hold the comitia for the election ; but it frequently happened that the second interrex appointed a third, the third a fourth, and so on, till the election took place. This was the custom under the republic ; and there would have been no reason to suppose that the practice was different during the kingly period,, if it had not been for the account of the appointment of interreges after the death of Romulus, ac-cording to which the senate was divided into de-curies for the purpose of sharing the interregnum between them. [interrex.]
The Interrex presided over the comitia curiata, which was assembled for the election of the king. He had previously agreed with the senate upon the person who was to be proposed to the comitia as king ; for it is inconceivable that he had the absolute power of selecting whatever person he chose, as Dionysius states in some passages. The person whom the senate had selected was proposed by the interrex to the people in a regular