A term which, throughout the time of the Roman Republic, signifies a person who has been
invested with the consulship; but under the Empire a mere title for the higher class of
officers, who thereby obtained permission to have the insignia of a consul, without ever
having actually been consuls. Hence the title was almost equivalent to that of an
“honorary consul” (consul honorarius;
Cod. Theod. vi.
tit. 19, s. 1). The title was given especially to generals, as formerly persons after their
consulship had usually undertaken the command of an army in the provinces.
gradually became the established name for those intrusted with the
administration of imperial provinces. During the second century A.D., the title consularis
always denotes a governor who had actually held the office of consul or had
received the title from the emperor; but by the fourth century it had become a mere title of a
particular class of provincial governors. The emperor Hadrian divided Italy
into four districts, and over each he placed an officer who likewise bore the title of consularis.
At Constantinople the title was given to the superintendents of
the aqueducts (consulares aquarum
), who seem to have been analogous to
the curatores aquarum