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The Dictator

Евсеенков А.С.

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Dictator (Latin dictator) in Ancient Rome — a specially authorized official (magistrate) during the republic, appointed by the consuls by decision of the Senate for a maximum of 6 months in emergency situations and danger to the Roman state, when it was considered necessary to concentrate power in one hand.

The dictator's appointment went like this: the Senate passed a resolution: "Let the consuls take measures so that the state does not suffer damage." After that, the consuls called the dictator's name and immediately dismissed their lictors, who all passed to the dictator (the dictator was supposed to have 24 lictors, while the consuls went with 12). In this case, they became ordinary Roman citizens before the dictator, and the dictator had the right of life and death over them, as well as over all citizens except the tribunes of the people. After the appointment, the dictator chose an assistant-the chief of cavalry (Latin magister equitum).

The dictator had full state power. When appointing a dictator, the reason for his election was always added to his title (for example, dictator who was elected because of military danger-Dictator rei gerundae causa, that is, "dictator for the conduct of war"). The dictator could not be held accountable after the end of his term of office for any actions he had committed.

Dictator's edicts before the 4th century BC could not be appealed to the People's Assembly. Normally, the dictator was obeyed by all officials, including the consuls. Initially, only patricians could be appointed to the post of dictator, but from 356 BC they could also become Plebeians. In rare cases, the dictator was chosen to perform only one specific task, for example, " dictator to hammer a nail "(a religious ritual during a holiday). During the Late Republic, when According to Sulla and Caesar, dictators could be appointed dictators without term limits (Lat. dictator perpetuus), while the position of dictator acquired a monarchical character.

Official legal grounds for appointing a dictator:

Related topics

Roman Republic