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Questions about Consuls

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Mommsen believed that a law passed around 342-330 BC required a 10 year interval between re-election of a consul, but this is highly questionable. There is no specific mention of such a law in the sources, and the number of exceptions between 366 and 217 BC is awfully high to be explained simply by military necessity.

 

After 200 BC a 10 year interval between iterations does seem to have become the norm.  Again there were exceptions (M Claudius Marcellus cos 166,155,152).  But these were rare and seem to have actually been cases of military necessity.

 

According to Livy periocha 56, a lex of 135 BC did legally preclude any iteration of the consulship, but the centuriate assembly could and did overrule their own law by re-electing Marius to face a military crisis in 104 BC. 

Edited by Pompieus

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There were a few instances of a consul succeeding himself viz: M Valerius Poplicola (509-508-507), L Parpirius Cursor (320-319), M" Curius Dentatus (275-274), Q Fabius Maximus (215-214), but these were rare instances usually due to military requirements (the consul being allowed to finish a campaign). 

 

There was also a law passed after the battle of Lake Trasimene (217) which specifically allowed the election of any ex-consul to the consulship regardless of any other restrictions during the military emergency of Hannibal's invasion.

 

.The prevailing attitude (whether or not there was an actual law) seems to have been that unless there were special circumstances there should be a ten year hiatus between successive consulships. The repeated consulships of Marius, Cinna et al were revolutionary.

Edited by Pompieus

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Marius was made consul seven times (the last one somewhat controversial). Augustus would later boast of thirteen consulships in his reign. Mommsen might have been right but Roman law had a slightly temporary feel to it - the Romans were always prone to ignoring rulings or conventions when it suited them.

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Is your mod during the Republic, or after Augustus? Augustus was a tyrant and made a mockery of the offices, toying with this office in particular.

 

Ten years was expected but not always the case in the republic. Under the empire, it varied Dynasty by Dynasty, becoming in the end a worthless imperial rank in Byzantine Courts.

 

You'll have to be pretty specific for which era you want for more info. Or check out the wikipedia page.

 

I wonder if any consul ever tried to Veto a emperor..... it was after all, a "republic".... isn't that right Caldrail.

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Strictly speaking. Some people have argued that the imperial period was a period of competitive politics between two governments, the old Republican Senate and Caesar with his Imperial Household. I have in fact stated many times that the Principate was a tog of war between Senate and Caesar. Eventually the Roman court won out and things strayed into the realm of monarchial forms in the later peiod we call the 'Dominate', which was still nonetheless referred to as SPQR, but then, the Romans never did set out exactly how a Caesar should be chosen.

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