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 The Cursus Honorum

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Join date : 2012-02-04

PostSubject: The Cursus Honorum   Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:48 am

The Cursus Honorum
When Sulla reigned in Rome, he instituted a series of reforms intended to heal the fractured divisions in the Roman political system, most importantly the Cursus Honorum, the Course of Offices, a united system of limitations, restrictions, and requirements placed upon those seeking the highest Senatorial offices in the Republic. They are designed to restrict those that would seek power beyond their time or in disregard to the law, as Sulla himself did - but, like anything else in this age, the ladder of the Honorum can be greased with silver and gold - as well as blood.

Each office has term and age requirements. To attain each office at the earliest moment made possible by the Honorum is a great accomplishment. To attain the Consulship suo anno, in his year, is the highest honor.

Unless otherwise stated, all offices stand for one year in term, and cannot be repeated.

Imperium is a special authority granted to certain members of the Senate. It is the specific, unilateral authority within the field of the official. If a judge holds imperium, all decisions within its jurisdiction are absolute.

The Lictors are public bodyguards in service to a senator of according rank. Wielding a bound trunk of sticks with an axe imbedded within known as the fasces, their duty is to both protect the body of their charge and to clear way through crowds, with force if necessary.

Military service as an Equite or Military Tribune
In theory, the first step of the Cursus Honorum is ten years as a cavalryman, or Equite, or as a Military Tribune, an assistant Commander in a Legion under a Legate, of which there are six under each Legate. In practice, however, this requisite is often ignored or lessened.

The first office of the Cursus Honorum is the Quaestor, who supervised the finances of the state and the armies in both Rome and the provinces. According to the Honorum, Patricians must be 30 and Plebeians must be 32 in order to hold the role of Quaestor. Under the reforms of Sulla, this role grants automatic senatorial membership, though it holds no imperium, and no lictors to guard it. Quaestors may wear the toga praetexta, a symbol of the senate. This is an elected position. There are 20 Quaestors.

The Aedile is an optional office following the Quaestor for men the age of 36 and over, responsible for the maintenence of public buildings and the regulation of public festivals. As an optional role, one may skip straight to the Praetorship from the Quaestorship, but the Aedilis permits one the advantageous role of appearing diligent to their public duties - as well as being able to hold festivals to increase their status with the public. This is an elected position. The Aedile does not hold imperium, nor are they protected by lictors. There are two Aedilis.

At the age of 39, one can become eligible for the Praetorship, an office roughly equivalent to the role of judge. Of the 8 Praetors, two were more prestigious than the others - the Praetor Peregrinus, whom judged foreigners, and the Praetor Urbanus, the chief Judicial officer of Rome. The Praetor Urbanus cannot leave Rome for more than ten days.  The Praetor is the first office to hold imperium, and is guarded by six lictors each. In a secondary role, the Praetor can act in the stead of the Consul where necessary. This is an elected office. Immediately after the Praetorship, the senator must serve in one of the provinces as a pro-praetor, acting as the Praetor for the entire province.

At the apex stands the Consul, one of two executive officials for the entirety of the Roman Republic. Guarded by 12 lictors each, the Consul both guides the political direction of Rome and commands the armies in the field. Holding imperium over all save their companion, the Consulship is the most prestigious office most can even hope to achieve. Only the Consuls can appoint a Dictator in a time of crisis. This is an elected office. Following the Consulship, senators must serve as a pro-consul, the governor of an entire Roman province. A senator must be 40 in the case of Patricians and 42 in the case of Plebeians to serve as Consul.

In times of crisis, the Consuls may choose to appoint a Dictator, one who holds complete and unlimited mastery over the entirety of Rome, even beyond the Consuls. Guarded by 24 lictors and holding total imperium, the Dictators in theory are called to act as the temporary guardians of Rome itself, to exercise every power available to the Roman people to save it from annihilation. In this office, no Roman can be held responsible, legally, for any action done as a Dictator, and the appointment of a Dictator cannot be terminated by the Tribune of the Plebeians. Under the Dictator's power, any man can be executed for any reason without trial, and completely disregard the Senate with no legal reprisal. Joining the Dictator was the role of the Magister Equitium, the Master of the Horse, who himself was guarded by six lictors and possessed total imperium, only outranked by the Dictator himself. The Magister Equitium assisted the Dictator in running the state, and ruled Rome while the Dictator was away.

Tribune of the Plebeians
As a role roughly equal to the Dictator, the Tribune of the Plebs is a role specifically afforded only to Plebeians, designed in the days past to protect the rights of the Plebs. The six Tribunes are given the power to veto any and all legislation passed by the senate, intervene in any judicial proceeding, and save any pleb from the hands of a Patrician magistrate. He also holds the unique power of sacrosanctity, meaning that no living soul is permitted to lay hands or harm his person. The Tribune can execute any individual who impedes his power, and can even force the Senate into congress, lay legislation before it, and arrest magistrates who oppose him. The Tribune has no age limit, but it is an elected post. The Tribune possesses no lictors, as any who would harm the Tribune is an immediate public enemy.
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