Princeps senatus

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The Princeps senatus ( lat. , Dt. About first of the Senate , plural principes senatus ) was a particularly respected member of the Senate during the Roman Republic .

The princeps senatus was not the chairman of the Roman Senate , presided over by the highest-ranking magistrate present , mostly a consul , but the opinion leader of the committee. As a rule, the princeps senatus was a former consul, often a former censor , who had particularly high prestige and was therefore the first to be asked for his opinion. He was selected from among the patrician senators with consular rank. The most important official function was first place in the formal voting of the senators. With his vote ( sententia ), the princeps senatus was able to influence that of the lower-ranking senators. In other respects, too, he is likely to have had a major, but not formally tangible, influence in the Senate.

Although it was not an office in the cursus honorum and did not have an imperium , this function brought the holder a high reputation and was an expression of auctoritas . The position was at the beginning of the term of office of the censors of them interim adopted, they could either previous princeps confirm appoint the senior oldest censor or another censor.

The typical tasks of a modern parliamentary speaker , such as the opening and closing sessions of the Senate, setting the agenda and the meeting place, adhering to the rules of procedure, etc., was responsible for officially the officer who convened the Senate, but also could be the princeps senatus by his auctoritas had a say. The position of princeps senatus is from the 3rd century BC. Until the time of Sulla occupied. Emperor Pertinax wore the republican title demonstratively in contrast to the absolutist regime of his predecessor Commodus . Even in late antiquity the title was bestowed on senators such as Quintus Aurelius Symmachus ; at this time one spoke alternatively of the caput senatus ("head of the senate"). Under this designation, the position is still occupied under Theodoric the Great .

Incomplete list of principes senatus of the republic

Individual evidence

  1. Livy 40:51. On the question of naming Livy 27:11.
  2. Hall. Iug. 25, 4