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p357 Consularis

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p357 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CONSULARIS, throughout the time of the Roman republic signifies a person who has been invested with the consulship; but under the empire it became a mere title for the higher class of officers, who thereby obtained permission to have the insignia of a consul, without ever having been consuls. Hence the title was almost equivalent to that of an "honorary consul" (consul honorarius; Cod. Theod. V tit. 19 s1, VI tit. 2 s2). The title was given especially to generals, as formerly persons after their consulship had usually undertaken the command of an army in the provinces, and in many instances they were the same as the legati principis or the magistri militum (Veget. II.9; Dig. 3 tit. 2 s2). It was further a common custom established even by the first emperors to give to governors of imperial provinces the title of consularis, irrespective of their ever having been consuls (Suet. Aug. 33, Tib. 32,º Domit. 6; Tac. Agric. 8, 14, 40). Consularis thus gradually became the established title for those entrusted with the administration of imperial provinces. The emperor Hadrian divided Italy into four regions, and over each he placed an officer who likewise bore the title of consularis, and was entrusted with the administration of justice in his district, whence he is frequently called Juridicus (Spartian. Hadr. 22, with the note of Salmas.). At Constantinople the title was given to the superintendents of the aquaeducts (consulares aquarum), who had to see that all public and private places were properly supplied with water, and who seem to have been analogous to the curatores aquarum of Rome. They are frequently mentioned in inscriptions, and also in the Codex of Justinian and Theodosius.


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