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The Political Role of the Consules Designati at Rome

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By the first century B. C. the consules designati had the right to speak first in senatorial debates from the moment they were elected. That privilege was probably long-held, and continued at least into the first century A. D. However, consules designati had a broader political role, and among their prerogatives they had the capacity to issue edicts. The prominent position of consules designati in the senate must be viewed in a context of gradual assumption of responsibilities and leadership in day-to-day politics by new magistrates. The granting of institutional visibility to consules designati secured continuity in the management of the res publica. Collaboration between magistrates in office and magistrates elect facilitated the transfer of power from year to year, and provided continuity in the senate's policies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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