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REX

REX (βασιλεύς), king.


Greek

Derivation possibly root βα, “make to go,” and λευ- = λαο, “people” (cf. λευτυχίδης). Government by a single king was perhaps the rule in the towns of pre-historic Greece (cf. Dionys. A. R. 5.74, κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς μὲν γὰρ ἅπασα πόλις Ἑλληνικὴ ἐβασιλεύετο, πλὴν οὐχ ὥσπερ τὰ βαρβαρικὰ ἔθνη δεσποτικῶς, λλὰ κατὰ νόμους τε καὶ ἐθισμοὺς [p. 2.547]πατρίους Where, as so often, state and town were almost synonymous terms, the “king” was probably no more than the senior member of the most distinguished family, and these petty βασιλῆες or chieftains must have been very numerous. Thus we find traces of kings, many of them more or less mythical, in Thebes, Athens, Argos and Mycenae; in Chalcis of Euboea (Hes. Op. 654 f.), Phlius (Paus. 2.13, 1), Corinth (Paus. 2.4, 3), the towns of Achaia (Paus. 7.6, 1; Plb. 2.41), possibly Tegea (Paus. 8.45, 1; Hdt. 9.26), Orchomenus (Theoph. in Müll. Frag. Hist. Gr. 4.515), the dodecapolis of Ionia (Hdt. 1.147; Paus. 7.3, 10), Samos (Hdt. 3.59), Chios (Paus. 7.4, 9, 10), Cyme (Heracl. in Mull. op. cit. 2.216), Tenedos (Aristot. in Müll. op. cit. 2.157, 213), Ialysus (Paus. 4.24, 2), towns of Cyprus (Diod. 16.42; Hdt. 5.109, 110; Aristot. in Müll. op. cat. 2.166, 203), and Cyrene (Hdt. 4.155), besides many others. In other cases we find kings of a district rather than of a town, e. g. Minos, king of Crete and the Cyclades (Thuc. 1.4); the Theban kings dominate Boeotia; the Athenian, Attica; the Spartan, Lacoma.

According to Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 1.12), the relation of a king to his subjects is precisely analogous to that of Zeus to the other gods, or to that of a father to his children. In the earliest times, when every action of life, private or public, had a religious significance, his sacerdotal functions were doubtless the most important part of the king's duties. As the house-father was priest in his own house, so the king, the state-father, was priest of the greater household--the state; he offered sacrifice for the city, his virgin daughters tended the city's ἑστία. The king appears to have been called indifferently ἄρχων, πρύτανις, or βασιλεύς. See Arist. Pol. vii. (vi.) 8, ἀπὸ τῆς κοινῆς ἑστίας ἔχουσι τὴν τιμήν: καλοῦσι δ᾽οἳ μὲν ἄρχοντας τούτους οἳ δὲ βασιλεῖς οἳ δὲ πρυτάνεις: Aesch. Supp. 371, πρύτανις ἄκριτος ὢν κρατύνεις βωμὸν ἑστίαν χθονός. Charon of Lampsacus gave to his treatise on the Spartan kings the title Ἄρχοντες καὶ πρυτὰνεις Λακεδαιμονίων.

Absolute monarchy, in the modern acceptation of the term, appears to have been unknown among the Greeks. The nearest approaches to it were the τυραννίς, which was, in origin at least, a weak imitation of Persian despotism, and the Macedonian military kingship. It is true that Aristotle in his classification of βασιλεῖαι (Pol. 3.14-17) discusses what he terms παμβασιλεία or βασιλεία κυρία, but he treats the question rather from the theoretical than the practical point of view; such a βασιλεία is only justified by the ἀρετὴ of the individual or family being far in excess of that of any other individual or family (Pol. 3.17).

Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 3.14) classifies βασιλεῖαι as follows: (1) the heroic ( κατὰ τοὺς ἡρωϊκοὺς χρόνους), (2) the barbaric ( βαρβαρική), (3) the αἰσυμνητεία, or elective tyranny (αἱρετὴ τυραννίς), (4) the Laconian, or hereditary life-general-ship (στρατηγία κατὰ γένος ἀΐδιος).

The Heroic king, the king as represented in Homeric poetry, is far from possessing absolute power. Every chieftain bears the title of βασιλεύς: in Phaeacia alone there are thirteen βασιλῆες (Od. 8.390). [In the Iliad, Agamemnon is βασιλεύτατος (9.69), suzerain of the rest, only as commander of the Trojan expedition, not in virtue of any territorial sovereignty.] The obedience of his people is voluntary; his rights are subject to definition (ἑκόντων μὲν ἐπὶ τισὶ δ᾽ὡρισμένοις, Ar. Pol. 2.14). Thucydides defines the heroic kingships as ἐπι ῥητοῖς γέρασι πατρικαὶ βασιλεῖαι (1.13), and Aristotle is expressing the same idea when he calls them ἑκούσιαι τε καὶ πάτριαι γινόμεναι κατὰ νόμον (ib. 3.14). Sometimes an oath was interchanged between king and subjects (τοῦτο δ᾽ἐποίουν οἳ μὲν ὀμνύοντες οἳ δ᾽ὀμνύοντες, ib. 3.14; see also below, remarks on the Macedonian kings). The same author regards the origin of the kingship as a gift of a grateful people for services conferred; cf. Id. ib. διὰ γὰρ τὸ τοὺς πρώτους γενέσθαι τοῦ πλήθους εὐεργέτας κατὰ τέχνας πόλεμον, διὰ τὸ συναγαγεῖν πορίσαι χώραν, ἐγένοντο βασιλεῖς ἑκόντων καὶ τοῖς παραλαμβάνουσι πάτριοι.

The heroic kingship was hereditary: see Thuc. and Aristot. above, and Il. 2.186, σκῆπτρον πατρώϊον, ἄφθιτον αἰεί. Each successor was hailed by the approving voice of the πλῆθος. The office was of divine institution, and the kings are, in a certain sense, children of Zeus, the king of the gods. Thus they are διοτρεφεῖς and διογενεῖς (cf. Hes. Th. 96, ἐκ δὲ Διὸς βασιλῆες), and even θεῖοι, as partaking of the divine nature (Od. 4.691). The genealogies of both the royal lines at Sparta are traced back to Heracles, son of Zeus (Hdt. 7.204; 8.131). Aeneas was son of Aphrodite, Nestor grandson of Poseidon, Ajax Telamonis and Odysseus were great-grandsons of Zeus. The king's office is derived from Zeus (τιμὴ δ᾽ἐκ Διός ἐστι, Il. 2.197); he is king to whom Zeus grants it (εἷς βασιλεύς, ἔδωκε Κρόνου παῒς ἀγκυλομήτεω, ib. 205); the sceptre of Agamemnon descends from Zeus in direct line (ib. 101). The kings in Homer are characterised by personal beauty; vigour of body and mind is a condition of the maintenance of the office (Od. 11.174, 184, 495). Manual employments are often part of a king's accomplishments. “Odysseus, in the island of Calypso, is a wood-cutter and shipbuilder (Od. 5.243, 261); Odysseus on his throne was the carpenter and artisan of his own bed (Od. 23.195-201); Odysseus in disguise challenges Eurymachos the suitor to try which of them would soonest mow a meadow, and which drive the straightest furrow down a four-acre field (Od. 18.366-375).” (Gladstone, Juvent. Mundi, p. 420.) Laertes has a passion for gardening (Od. 24.226 f.), Achilles and Paris for the lyre (Il. 3.54).

The king succeeds to certain royal possessions and goods, termed his τέμενος. These were granted for signal services in war or elsewhere, and passed from father to son. Cf. Il. 9.578 (of Meleager), 6.193 f. (of the Lycians and Bellerophon); Od. 11.184 (of Telemachus), 17.299 (of Odysseus), 24.205 (of Laertes); Il. 12.313; Od. 7.150; Hdt. 6.161, where a corresponding τεμενος is given to Battus, the founder of Cyrene. It is thought that this was the solitary instance of private property in land, which was otherwise managed on the commonfield system, held in temporary tenure (Ridge-way in Journ. Hell. Stud. 6.319).

The heroic king inherited the threefold functions of general, judge, and high-priest (στρατηγὸς [p. 2.548]γὰρ ἦρ ἦν καὶ δικαστὴς βασιλεὺς καὶ τῶν πρὸς τοὺς θεοὺς κύριος, Ar. Pol. 3.14).

As general, he had supreme control of matters in the field, and power of life and death during expeditions: ἐξελθόντων δὲ καὶ κτεῖναι κύριος ἦν: λέγει γοῦν ὃν δέ κ᾽ ἐγὼν ἀπάνευθε μάχης . . ., οὔ οἱ ἄρκιον ἐσσεῖται φυγέειν κύνας ἠδ᾽ οἰωνούς : πὰρ γὰρ ἐμοὶ θάνατος, Ar. Pol. 3.14, but the last sentence does not occur in the existing texts of Homer (£1. 2.391 f.); see, however, Il. 15.348. As high-priest he performed, on behalf of the state, all such functions as were not specially assigned to other priests: κύριοι δ᾽ἧσαν . . . καὶ τῶν θυσιῶν ὅσαι μὴ ἱερατικαί (Ar. Pol. 3.15); cf. also Il. 2.402 f. As judge, the king dispensed the θέμιστες or “dooms,” which were divinely suggested to him by Θέμις, the assessor of Zeus: thus it was in his judicial capacity that the king gave chief evidence of his divine connexion and origin; cf. Il. 9.97 f., οὕνεκα πολλῶν λαῶν ἐστὶ ἄναζ καί τοι Ζεὺς ἐγγυάλιξεν σκῆπτρόν τ᾽ ἠδὲ θέμιστας, ἵνα σφίσι βουλεύῃσθα: Il. 1.238, δικασπόλοι, οἵτε θέμιστας πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται: Hes. Th. 85, οἱ δέ νυ λαοὶ πάντες ἐς αὐτὸν ὁρῶσι διακρίνοντα θέμιστας ἰθείῃσι δίκῃσι. The regal symbol was the σκῆπτρον, which was transmitted from father to son (Il. 2.100 f.): Odysseus bears the (σκῆπτρον as Agamemnon's representative (Il. 2.186 f.). The crown is unknown in Homer as a distinctly regal symbol, and only becomes so in later times, because worn by the king in his character of priest; garlands always being associated with sacrifice and other joyful occasions.

The king convoked the Council of the Elders (βουλὴ γερόντων, Il. 2.53) to deliberate on all matters of policy, military as well as civil (Il. 9.89; 7.382 f.). There seems to have been no obligation upon the king to consult the βουλή, or to take its advice if consulted, but none the less was it his duty to do so (Il. 9.100-108). The decisions of the king, or of the king and council, were made known to the general assembly of adult male citizens (ἀγορά ἀγών). No debate was allowed; the multitude received the will of the king with silence or with applause; objections were summarily dealt with. It is not till the Odyssey that any special regard is paid to the δήμου φῆμις (cf. 6.273; 14.239); though promises like those of Agamemnon, to give seven cities as his daughter's portion (Il. 9.149), or of Menelaus, to sack one of his own cities in order to establish Odysseus therein, are either poetical exaggerations or proceed from those who are βασιλεύτεροι τῶν ἄλλων βασιλέων.

The title ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, forty-four times applied to Agamemnon in the Iliad, and applied also to five other sovereigns--Aeneas (Il. 5.311), Euphetes (15.532), Anchises (5.268), Augeias (11.701), and Eumelus (23.288)--is regarded by Gladstone (Juv. Mundi, p. 151) as of foreign rather than Hellenic colour, patriarchal rather than Greek, savouring of serfdom and absolutism. Jebb, on the other hand (Homer, p. 47), denies this; and, regarding ἄναξ merely as a descriptive epithet, suggests a metrical reason for its use in the passages quoted. Grote (Greece, ch. xx.) seems to incline to the former view.

The αἰσυμνητεία or αἱρετὴ τυραννὶς is stated by Aristotle to have existed ἐν τοῖς ἀρχαίοις Ἔλλησιν. It differed from βαρβαρικὴ βασιλεία not in being constitutional (κατὰ νόμον), but simply in being not hereditary. The office lasted sometimes for life, sometimes for a specified time, or during the performance of a specified duty. As far as its power was concerned, the office was “tyrannical;” it is classified as a βασιλεία, as being αἱρετὴ καὶ ἐκόντων (Ar. Pol. 3.14). Solon was practically αἰσυμνήτης of Athens during his revision of the constitution, though the title is not applied to him by any Greek writer.

The Laconian kingship is defined by Aristotle (l.c.) as στρατηγία τις αὐτοκράτωρ καὶ ἀΐδιος, to which he afterwards adds the fact that it is hereditary (κατὰ γένος). The king's authority is by no means supreme (οὔκ ἐστι κυρία πάντων), although eminently constitutional (μάλιστα τῶν κατὰ νόμον); his power only begins when he is outside Laconian territory. This view of the Spartan kingship is clearly drawn from its position in times nearly approximating to Aristotle's own. Weakened by the encroachments of the γερουσία, the ἔφοροι, and the ναυαρχία, it preserved only the shadow of its ancient power. Thus the Spartan kingship is really the “exception which proves the rule,” that kings disappeared from Greece before historic times. For the duties, position, &c., of the Spartan kings, see GEROUSIA

Some of the kingdoms which lay outside the circle of Greek politics lasted much longer than those within it. The Molossian kingdom of the Pyrrhidae, which derived its origin from the son of Achilles, extended its sway over the whole of Epirus shortly after the Peloponnesian War: cf. Thuc. 1.136; 2.80. It was no doubt due to the strictly constitutional nature of its rule that the Molossian kingdom lasted until the latter half of the third century B.C. (Ar. Pol. viii. (v.) 11 init.). The kings every year, after sacrificing to Zeus Areius, swore to govern Epirus according to the laws, and the people for their part swore to protect the kings according to the laws. Transgression on the part of the king relieved the people from their oath, and thus we find that the king was sometimes removed and another appointed (Plut. Pyrr. v.; Diod. 15.13).

The Macedonian kings traced back their origin to the Heracleid race of Argos. Perdiccas I. was the founder of the monarchy (Hdt. 8.137, 138; 5.22). Originally established at Edessa, the dynasty extended the area of its sway by the conquest of the Briges, the Pierians, the Bottiaeans, and the inland tribes. The succession was hereditary. The Macedonian monarchy of Philip and Alexander approaches more nearly to the military imperialism of Rome than any other Greek institution. It is, true that Arrian (Exp. Alex. 4.11) asserts that Μακεδόνων ἄρχοντες οὐ βίᾳ ἀλλὰ νόμῳ διετέλεσαν: but this was probably more the result of a prudent policy than of any definite circumscription of. the royal power. The king and the army appear to be the sole instruments of government, the army even acting as a criminal court. (See Quint. Curt. 6.32, 25, “de capitalibus rebus vetusto Macedonum more inquirebat exercitus; in pace erat vulgi; et nihil potestas regum valebat nisi prius valuisset [p. 2.549]auctoritas.” ) This, however, probably bears reference only to military offences. We hear of a Macedonian assembly ( “ad contionem vocato populo,” Just. 14.6), but it “appears to have been summoned chiefly as a mere instrument to sanction some predetermined purpose of the king or military leader predominant at the time.” There is “no evidence of co-ordinate political bodies or standing apparatus, either aristocratical or popular, to check the power of the king” (Grote).

See G. Gilbert, Griechische Staatsalterthümer; Grote, Greece, part i. ch. 20; Thirlwall, Greece, chaps. 6, 8, and 10; Freeman, Comparative Politics, Lect. iv.; De Coulanges, La Cite Antique, p. 203 f., 283 f.; Jebb, Homer, p. 46 f.; Gladstone, Juventus Mundi, p. 413 f.; Auerbach, de Lacedaemoniorun regibus; Meier und Schömann, Attische Process, p. 6 f.; Busolt, Griechische Geschichte, vol. i. p. 376 f.; Schömann, Antiquities of Greece, tr. by Hardy and Mann, vol. i. p. 114 f.; Duncker, History of Greece, tr. by Alleyne and Abbott, vol. i. p. 469 f., ii. p. 3 f.; Id. Gesch. des Alterthums, v. (1881), p. 334 f.

[A.H.C]


2. Roman.

That Rome was once governed by kings, and that the later republican constitution was a development, traceable in its outlines, of an original regal rule, was the universal belief of Roman antiquity itself, and has never been doubted, even by those scholars who have expressed most disbelief in the details of such accounts of the kingship as have been handed down to us. Some consideration of the nature of the evidence on which the Roman monarchy rests is clearly necessary for an appreciation of its real nature and character. Of the evidence in this question there are two main lines. One is that of tradition; for the literary accounts we have of this period cannot be considered as other than traditional, since the earliest historical records from which our present sources were derived were not, so far as we know, composed until some 300 years after the expiration of this period, and there is little or no original documentary evidence of a credible nature on which we can suppose even the earliest of these accounts to have rested (Lewis, Credibility of Early Roman History, vol. i. ch. iii. p. 70; Seeley, Livy, Introd. p. 17). The other and surer line of evidence is to be found in the manifest survivals of an original kingly rule which meet us everywhere in the Roman republic, and which enable us partly to supplement the accounts of tradition, but more often to correct them where it seems likely that they have transferred to this early period the constitutional usages of the later republic. Some of these survivals, such as the rex sacrorum and the interrex, throw considerable light on some points of the regal constitution; while others are merely traces of the past monarchy indelibly imprinted on the later republican community. Such are the existence of the REGIA, or kingly palace, on the Sacra Via (Becker, Topogr. § 223), the festival of the Regifugium on Feb. 24th (Festus, s. v. p. 137 and p. 230; Orelli, Inscr. ii. p. 384; Ov. Fasti, 2, 685), and the days marked by the formula Q R C F [see REGIFUGIUM]. Finally, if we were to seek evidence, beyond tradition and such survivals, for the original existence of a Roman Rex, it would be found in the probabilities of a constitution such as that of Rome, so peculiar in the conception of its supreme magistracy, with its different personal representatives, each possessing in theory a single indivisible imperium, having been the development of a constitution in which the imperium was really indivisible because vested in a single person. That this form of constitution was in no degree peculiar to Rome, but that in this, as in other respects, Rome was merely a typical Italian community, there is every reason to believe. A distinct survival of an original kingly power is found in the standing dictatorship of certain Latin towns, such as Lanuvium (Cic. pro Mil. 10, 27).

The theory on which the Roman monarchy rested is not quite paralleled in any ancient or modern state. The Roman state has been aptly described by Mommsen as a “constitutional monarchy inverted” (Hist. of Rome, i. p. 84): that is, the ultimate sovereignty resided not with the king, but with the community he represented, and the constitutional limitation was not that of personal rule by the people, but of the people by personal rule. The Roman monarchy rested on authority delegated by the people; and this is true whatever we consider the immediate basis to have been on which the king's power rested, whether we regard it as elective, hereditary, or held by right divine. It is shown by the fact that the sovereign attribute of pardon rested with the people in the last resort (Liv. 1.26; Cic. de Rep. 2.31). Secondly, by the fact which is stated by tradition, and rendered probable by the later theory of republican legislation, that the Roman people was the sole source of law, which, though elicited by the king through his sole right of initiative, could only be rendered valid by the assent of the burgesses (Dionys. A. R. 2.14); and finally that tradition affirms it to have been the source of honour. We are told at least that the regal insignia of Etruria, which the Roman kings adopted, were only assumed after ratification by the senate and people (Dionys. A. R. 3.6, 2; Cic. ib.); and it is possible that the appointment of special officers of state, though in theory they were merely delegates nominated by the king, had to be ratified by similar leges curiatae. Such at least seems to be implied by the account given by Tacitus of the institution of the earliest quaestores (Ann. 11, 22; cf. Dig. 1, 13, “quaestores quos ipsi populi suffragio crearent” ).

To such a personal representative had the Roman people transferred the whole of the executive, and so much of the legislative power as is implied in the sole right of initiative, without, however, forfeiting certain ultimate rights of their own. The personal head thus constituted possessed a variety of titles which marked the various aspects of the collective authority he exercised; and which, when this administrative authority was differentiated in republican times, were applied to different individuals. As supreme judge he would be judex, as leader in war praetor (prae-itor: cf. Varro, L. L. 5.80); while the title dictator, which signified a temporary, though incomplete, resumption of the kingship in republican times, and the title magister populi which was applied to this office (Festus, p. 198), were probably [p. 2.550]originally mere appellatives of the king, applied according to the aspect in which his power was viewed. The title that marked him out as supreme head of the state, and summed up all his other powers, was that of Rex, the “orderer” of the state, the regulator of all things human and divine (Mommsen, Staatsr. ii.3 p. 5); and this title of Rex, when it had ceased to apply to civil duties, and had gained the connotation not of ordered administration but of absolutism, was still applied to the Rex sacrorum, the orderer of religion, who had inherited that branch of the kingly functions. Similarly the position of the Rex as supreme head of the state was denoted by the word regnum (Cic. de Rep. 2.27); but the powers with which the king was invested were summed up under the word imperium. While regnum denotes the position of the monarch, imperium denotes the powers on which this position was based (Mommsen, l.c.; Cic. de Rep. 1.26).

The unique position in the state which the Roman king thus held, and which has been compared to the position which the Roman paterfamilias held in the family (Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, i. p. 61), was expressed by certain special marks (insignia), which distinguished him from the rest of the burgesses. The question as to what were the special insignia of the Roman monarchy is rendered difficult by the fact, that while they must necessarily have borne a close relation to the insignia of the supreme magistrates of the Republic, they yet in all probability differed in some degree from the latter; but to what extent it is almost impossible to determine, for the tendency of tradition is, on the one hand to assimilate the two, on the other, while assuming the consular and praetorian insignia to be an inheritance from regal times, to attribute to the monarchy other special marks of royalty which it derives mainly from a foreign source. The chief marks of the regal as of the later consular imperium were the fasces and lictores. (As regards the number of the king's lictors, see LICTOR p. 65.) That the king could have the axe borne within the fasces, even while remaining within the walls, we must believe, if we admit that he was exempt from the necessity of admitting the provocatio, and could exercise the same full jurisdiction domi and militiae. Next, the wearing of the purple must have been wholly reserved for the king, but whether merely in the form of the later consular praetexta (Liv. 1.8) or of the full purple robe besides the praetexta attributed to him by Dionysius (3.61) is uncertain; the latter, however, is more probable: for in the later consulship we probably see throughout a limitation of the insignia which accompanied the limitation of the powers of the supreme magistracy. The purple robe which Dionysius assigns along with the toga praetexta to a foreign origin, must, however, be identical with one variety of the trabea, undoubtedly one of the insignia of the king, and said to have had a purely Latin origin. It is connected with the name of Romulus (Quirinalis trabea, Verg. A. 7.612), and is associated in the later Republic chiefly with the officers of religion. If the distinction between the three kinds of trabea (Servius in Aen. 7.612)--the purple one for the priestly office, that of purple and saffron for the augurs and of purple striped with white for the king--existed in this early period, they must have been all worn by the king for the performance of the several functions of his office. The trabea is probably an inheritance the Roman republic owed to the kingship: and it is difficult to see how the idea could have originated of differences in this dress being appropriate to difference of functions, had the distinction not originated in a period when all these functions were united in the king (cf. Serv. in Aen. 7.187. 11.334; Plin. H. V. 8.48, 9.39; Ov. Fast. 2.503). The eagle-headed sceptre and the golden crown tradition also attributes to the king, as well as the solium or throne (Cic. de Fin. 2.21, 69; Dionys. A. R. 3.61, θρόνον: ἐλεφάντινον) and the chariot within the walls, from which the sella curulis was derived (Festus, p. 49). Most of the regal insignia, the crown, the toga picta and the chariot especially, reappear in the Roman triumph, and render probable the statement that the triumphal insignia of the Roman magistrate were but the revival of those of the monarchy (Dionys. A. R. 4.74).

Amongst the privileges of the king must be counted that portion of the public domain ( “arvi et arbusti et pascui lati atque uberes,” Cic. de Rep. 5.2, 3; Liv. 2.5) set apart exclusively for the king's use. Though in a sense the owner of the whole state, and as such capable of commanding the munera of the burgesses (Liv. 1.56), he was peculiarly the owner of these royal domains, which he might employ for his own support; and in a peculiar degree also would he be master of the services of that large clientela, the body of half-free citizens that helped to make up the plebs, which were only connected with the community through him its personal representative, but which he might make more closely dependent, as clientes, on other leading families of the community, if it was his pleasure (Cic. de Rep. l.c.).

The mode in which the Roman kings entered on their position in the state is one of the most difficult questions connected with the monarchy. It is true that tradition is unanimous in representing it as elective-depending, that is, on free popular election, or on such election guided by the senate (Liv. 1.17; Cic. de Rep. 2.17, 31)--and in representing the procedure as being conducted in every case with the regular formalities of the comitia, the auctoritas patrum, and the interregnum: the last of which, though in the republican period an extraordinary office, is represented as having been a part of the invariable constitutional procedure in the transmission of the kingly power (Liv. 1.47). When, however, we consider the manner in which such a tradition may have grown up,--that the conception probably arose with the Roman jurists, who had before their eyes the mode in which the consuls and other curule magistrates were appointed to their office; when further we consider that what seems the alternative, the hereditary principle, was never represented by tradition as having been strictly recognised in the transmission of the Roman monarchy, we see how inevitable it was that they should have concluded it to be purely elective. But there [p. 2.551]are many considerations which throw doubt on such a theory. In the first place, the election was regarded as free in a far wider sense than the election of the higher magistrates at Rome; since, if we are to trust the traditional accounts, Roman citizenship was not a necessary qualification for the monarchy. Thus the non-burgess Numa, the foreigner Tarquin, the slave's son Servius, are all represented as having been elected kings of Rome (Liv. 1.18, 35, 42, 46): although Roman citizenship must have been a necessary qualification, even if patrician descent was not; and it is unlikely that while the interrex had, down to the latest republican times, to be a patrician, the king might have been not only a plebeian but a non-citizen (Mommsen, Staatsr. ii. p. 7, n. 2). The absence of any mention of a qualification for election throws suspicion on the circumstantial accounts given of the king's election, and the suspicion is increased by an examination of the legends of Rome's foundation so far as they refer to the institution of the monarchy. To bear out the juristic theory of election, we should expect to find the first king of Rome an elected monarch. But, on the contrary, we find the community organised through the king rather than the king through the community. There is no trace in the best tradition of a first election to the kingship; for the account of Dionysius, that Romulus was chosen to be the supreme head by a vote of the people, chiefly through his character of founder of a colony, belongs to Greek sentiment, not to Roman: and the salutatio mentioned by Livy (1.7) on his successful taking of the auspices, represents merely the recognition of his imperium as favoured by heaven. From the traditional accounts of the earliest kings, which represent Romulus as the son of a god, as awaiting the verdict of heaven before he assumes his rule, and Numa his successor as insisting that the same verdict should be appealed to (Liv. 1.7 and 19), a conclusion might be drawn that the Roman monarchy rested on divine right (cf. Rubino, Untersuchungen über römische Verfassung, p. 107); but, as will be shown in considering the question of the inauguration of the king, this theory raises into a material what was probably merely a formal element in the monarchy: and there is nothing in Roman history or sentiment that could give colour to the idea of such a pure theocracy. That the monarchy was hereditary is contradicted by the facts of the traditional history of the period, and expressly denied by other authors, as by Cicero (de Rep. 2.12, 24) and Appian (App. BC 1.98), who state that the early Romans in the choice of their kings had more regard to merit than to birth; and when the hereditary principle is first realised in the last king, the monarchy comes to an end. On the other hand there are considerable difficulties, besides those mentioned above, in the way of assuming, as the Roman constitutional thinkers did, that the king's position depended on free election by the people; for, in what must be regarded as definite survivals of the Roman monarchy, such election was not recognised. The Rex sacrorum was not elected, but nominated by the Pontifex Maximus (Dionys. A. R. 5.1; Liv. 40.42, 8); and it is probable that, at the close of the monarchy, when the religious functions of the priest were first separated from the secular functions of the magistrate, the older method of regal appointment would have been retained for the former, the new principle of election introduced for the latter. Again, the Dictatorship, which was practically a reestablishment of the kingship for a temporary purpose in republican Rome, also dispensed with election. Perhaps another piece of evidence against the theory that the kingship was purely elective is to be found in the fact that the king was not bound to allow the provocatio any more than the early dictator was (Liv. 2.18 and 30; Dionys. A. R. 5.75; Mommsen, Staatsr. ii.3 p. 163). Now it seems to have been a principle in republican Rome that when there was election, then the provocatio was demanded as a right; and if we consider this principle to be applicable to the earliest period of Roman constitutional history, the fact that the people had no standing right of provocatio against the king will be an argument against their having the free power of electing to this office. If we are led by these considerations to regard the monarchy as not purely an elective office, we must consider that it was the right, and perhaps the duty, of the king of Rome to nominate his successor; that this nominatio, which became only a form under the Republic, but which was again revived with some of its old material force in the election to office under the principate (D. C. 53.21, 7; 58.20, 3; Tac. Ann. 1.14, 81), was the chief mode of transmission of office in the regal period. The survival of the interrex into historic times as a factor in an elective process is no proof that the Roman monarchy was purely elective (cf. Seeley, Livy, Introd. p. 56). Had there been no due nominatio, and consequently no distinctly markedout successor to the monarchy, the duty of providing such a successor would naturally have lapsed to the senate, from which body the interrex was appointed (Liv. 1.17: see INTERREX and SENATUS); and it is probable that the Interregnum, in the time of the monarchy, as in that of the Republic, was an extraordinary measure, only resorted to when the regular line of succession had been broken and the regular procedure interrupted, through some unforeseen cause. But although the monarchy cannot be regarded as depending on free election on the part of the people, there are certain quasielective processes connected by tradition with the appointment of the king, both on the part of senate and people, which there is no reason to discredit. That the authority of the senate (auctoritas patrum) was constitutionally necessary for the appointment of a successor to the monarchy is stated by Livy in connexion with all the transmissions of the supreme power (Liv. 1.17, 22, 32, 41, 47); and, even if we do not hold the theory of a definite election, will still be a natural outcome of the constitutional necessity the king was under of consulting the senate in all important measures that affected the popular welfare, one of the most important of which would be the nomination of a successor. Such a procedure would not spring from any theory of the senate's possessing elective power, but simply from the principle that underlay the whole Roman community, both in its public and [p. 2.552]private relations, that no man in authority should act without taking advice of his concilium. The other principle is that of the formal ratification of the king's power by the people, which continued into the Republic under the title of the Lex Curiata; and was the formal sanction always required for the ratification of an imperium already assumed (Cic. de leg. Agr. 2.1. 0, 26; 2.11, 28; ad Farm. 1.9, 25: see LEX CURIATA and PROCONSUL). That it was a merely formal ratification in the time of the monarchy is stated by Cicero as being shown by the fact that the king himself proposed the Lex Curiata which was to sanction his own power (Cic. de Rep. 2.13, 25: “Numam--qui quamquam populus curiatis eum comitiis regem esse jusserat, tamen ipse de suo imperio legem curiatam tulit” ), as was indeed necessary, since no other power but the king had the right of putting the question to the people; and it might undoubtedly be legally, though not perhaps constitutionally, withheld by the king, as we are told it was withheld by king Servius during the early part of his reign (Liv. 1.42). It is thus carefully distinguished from the election to the monarchy, and the people were supposed by the Roman jurists to have performed two distinct acts in the creation of a king first in the way of election, and next in the way of formal ratification of such an election (Cic. de Rep. 2.17, 31, “Tullum Hostilium populus regem, interrege rogante, comitiis curiatis creavit, isque de imperio suo--populum consuluit curiatim” ). That such a formal sanction, however, should have been required where free popular election had preceded, seems unlikely; and the Lex Curiata is a far more explicable procedure if we suppose the king to have first been nominated independently of the people, and then to have challenged their allegiance in this manner: and although in the Republic this Lex was taken by magistrates already elected, as a necessary preliminary to the exercise of the full imperium, yet there it was a mere constitutional survival, with its meaning partly lost, and far more a matter of form apparently than it had been in its origin. That an exercise of the regal imperium, which was not sanctioned by these two acts of senate and people, the expressed will of the one and the declared allegiance of the other, was regarded by the later authorities as unconstitutional, is shown by the language of Cicero. where he says (de Rep. 2.24, 44) that the last injustus dominus of Rome ruled “neque populi jussu neque auctoribus patribus.”

But the king's assumption of his power was regarded as incomplete until a religious act had been performed which showed that the gods sanctioned the rule which he had assumed. The ceremony of taking the auspices which had this meaning was observed by magistrates of the Republic before entering on the exercise of their office [AUSPICIA; AUGUR]; but the religious act performed by the king is represented by our authorities as having been, not merely this taking of the auspices, but a special inauguration. There is a difference between these two acts. In the ordinary form of the auspicia the official entering on office had himself the right of spectio which belonged to Roman magistrates as such, was never regarded as a merely priestly function, and still continued to be possessed by magistrates under the Republic, even when their office had been completely divorced from that of the priesthood. In the special inauguration, on the contrary, the spectio is taken by some other than the person inaugurated; as in the case of Numa, the first who is represented as being thus inaugurated, a specially appointed augur is employed to watch for signs (Liv. 1.18, “de se deos consuli jussit” ); unlike Romulus. who is represented as taking his own auspices on the Palatine (Liv. 1.6). This ceremony of inauguration by one of the priesthood other than the person so inaugurated is represented as having been from the time of Numa the standing procedure in the act of entering on the regal office (Liv. 1.18). If we can argue in this case from survivals, some support is given to the assertion by the fact that the Rex Sacrificulus had, as we know, a special inauguration (Labeo, ap. Gel. 15.27, 1; Liv. 40.42, 8). But this resulted from the fact of his purely priestly character; and if we suppose that the inauguration as well as the taking of the auspices existed for the early kings, we must suppose that already at this period there was a separation, in idea at least, between the functions of the king as priest and his functions as magistrate: the special inauguration through the spectio of another attaching to him in his first character, the taking of the auspices through his own spectio belonging to him in his other character as magistrate (Mommsen, Staatsr. 2.1, p. 8); but that so marked a separation of functions existed in the regal period is unlikely, and it seems more probable that the inauguration of the Rex Sacrorum, who represented the priestly side of the king's functions, was but a continuation of the first act of taking the auspices performed by the king.

There was no separation in fact, and probably none in idea, between the position of the king as priest and his position as magistrate. The Roman state was by no means a theocracy. It united the civil and religious powers as closely as possible, but employed the latter not as an infallible guide to, but as a test of the effectiveness of, the former. Thus in the personal head of the state the two were indissolubly combined. The king was first priest as he was first magistrate (Dionys. A. R. 2.14, 4.74; Plut. TG 15); and as he possessed the nomination of all subordinate magistrates, so he possessed that of all subordinate priests. Thus tradition tells us that the three great Flamines, the Salii, and the Pontifex were instituted by Numa, although most of the important ceremonies of religion were performed by himself personally (Liv. 1.20), as the augurs had been appointed by that “best of augurs” Romulus (Cic. de Rep. 2.9, 16; de Div. 1.2, 3); and the appointment of special individuals to fill these priesthoods must have been likewise a part of his office; as, for instance, the nomination of the flamines that belonged to the Latin dictator must have been likewise in the hands of the king (Ascon. in Mil. p. 32); and all the powers that, with the secularisation of the Roman civil magistracy passed to the Pontifex Maximus as the head of the Roman priesthood may without hesitation be attributed to the king. In republican times the Rex Sacrorum himself was [p. 2.553]nominated by the Pontifex Maximus, the reason being that, since the theory of nomination was carried on in his person, he could only be nominated by the greatest member of the priesthood; but the nature of his duties gave him precedence even over the Pontifex Maximus as well as over the three great Flamines in the ordo sacerdotum (Festus, s. v. p. 185; Labeo, ap. Gel. 15.27, 1; Ov. Fasti, 2.21), and points to the position of the king as priest, while his regularly recurring sacred duties, his sacrifices on the day of the that the new month and at the festival of the Agonalia (Varro, L. L. 5.3, 54; Festus, s. v. Agonium, p. 9), point to the fact that the king's sacred functions were a regular cultus, not the occasional religious duties of a Roman magistrate. [REX SACRORUM]

The task of determining what were the civil powers possessed by the Roman kings is easier than that of deciding what were the precise modes of their exercise. That they possessed the sole executive power of the state, without any of the limitations with which the magistrates of the Republic were hampered, appears in the traditional accounts of the kingship, and in the more general notices of ancient writers. That the Roman kings possessed πᾶσα ἀρχή (Plut. TG 15), and exercised the imperium at their own discretion (Tac. Ann. 3.26), follows naturally from the fact that we can in no way imagine them bound by the definite restraints which shackled the Roman consul or praetor in the exercise of his imperium. These restraints were the limitation of office by time, and the collegiate principle which carried with it the right of intercession. The king held office for life; he had no colleague, and could therefore be trammelled by no veto. Again, he was freed from the necessity of allowing the appeal, and from the necessity of delegating his power to other officials or appointing special standing offices for special purposes. As the dictatorship could suspend for a time the free action of offices at Rome, so the monarchy, which was a standing dictatorship, was not bound to permit such offices to exist. The regal imperium being thus unshackled, there was no room for the distinction, recognised in republican times, between its exercise domi and militiae; and the fact that the full power exercised over the lives and persons of the citizens, which the Roman magistrate possessed until a late period of the Republic without the walls, was possessed by the king within them, was the most characteristic aspect of the king's position in the state. But, legally free from restraint as the king's power undoubtedly was, it could not have been free from the limitations imposed by custom and constitutional usage. The acts of one king must have bound the acts of his successor, and the assertion of Tacitus that Servius Tullius was the author of laws “meant to bind even the kings themselves” (Ann. 3.26), may be taken in its least sense to mean that it was hardly possible for a king to overstep the constitutional usages of his predecessor. Such usages are said to have been those embodied in the leges regiae collected by Papirius (Dig. 1, 2, 2), the earliest customary public law of Rome. Amongst such constitutional obligations was that of consulting the senate in any important matter. The formula Dionys. of the Fetiales, which is said to have dated from their institution, either by Tullus Hostilius (Cic. de Rep. 2.17) or by Ancus Martius (Liv. 1.32), contains the clause, “but on these matters we will consult the elders at home, how we may obtain our rights” (Livy, l.c.); and, as the king was expected to consult the senate in matters affecting the international relations of the state, so no doubt in the most important of these--in declarations of war--it was the custom people should be consulted (Dionys. A. R. 2.14). But there were other manifestations of his power as general over which the people would have no control. Such was the disposal of the booty taken in war and of the conquered lands (Dionys. A. R. 2.28 and 62; Cic. de Rep. 2.9, 14), a right which belonged subsequently to the Roman imperator in the field, limited only by the constitutional necessity of consulting his consilium, and of subsequent ratification by the senate; the first of which may also have been requisite in the regal period. Such also was the right of making treaties with conquered states (foedus), which would have been a part of his administrative duties in the field, over which the community could have no control. Not only was the senate consulted as a body on matters of state, but the special consilia, we are told, which the king chose to advise him in special matters, as in the exercise of his jurisdiction, were taken from this body (Dionys. A. R. 2.14); again, we are told that regular delegates were appointed by the king for the exercise of special functions, and that some of the names of offices we meet with in republican or imperial times go back to the regal period. Of these the praefectus urbis was the most important; he was an alter ego left behind by the king for the control of the capital, when himself absent on foreign service; he is defined by Tacitus as one “qui jus redderet ac subitis mederetur” (Ann. 6.11; Liv. 1.59; Dionys. A. R. 2.12), and must have had delegated to him the whole of the executive power of the king, except perhaps the right of questioning the people. This office was, from its nature, merely occasional; but there were others to which portions of the king's power were more regularly delegated. The collective imperium of the king may be described by its three sides--of command in war, jurisdiction, and the jus rogandi. That assessors or delegates were chosen for the first two there is reason to believe; but that the last power was or could be delegated is improbable, although both Livy and Dionysius represent the tribunus celerum as summoning the assembly (Liv. 1.59; Dionys. A. R. 4.71). For military command the king possessed delegates such as the tribuni celerum (Liv. 1.59). In the matter of jurisdiction there are abundant statements to the effect that such power was delegated, but whether to standing or to specially appointed officials is uncertain. We are told that a distinction was made between cases brought before the king, the more important being tried by himself in person, the less important transmitted judges chosen from the senate (Dionys. A. R. 2.12); and again of Servius Tullius, that, while public suits were tried by him, private suits were entrusted to special judges, the king giving the formula (νόμουσ--ὅρους καὶ κανόνας, Dionys. A. R. 4.25) under which the case was to be [p. 2.554]tried. In the only detailed instance we have of a public suit, that of Horatius for perduellio (Liv. 1.26), delegates were appointed in the shape of duumviri perduellionis, the king giving the formula within which the case is to be decided. The duumviri mentioned in this passage are probably to be identified with the quaestores ( “examiners” or “inquirers” ), the institution of whom is ascribed to the regal period and especially to the reign of Tullus Hostilius (Tac. Ann. 11.22; Dig. 1, 13, “ita Tullo Hostilio rege quaestores fuisse certum est” ), and who are said originally to have performed the duties afterwards exercised by the triumviri capitales (Varro, L. L. 5.11). That it became the duty of the king in the more important cases--those especially involving the caput of a Roman citizen--to employ a consilium of some sort is stated in the charge brought by Livy against Tarquinius Superbus (Liv. 1.49, “cognitiones capitalium rerum sine consiliis per se sol]us exercebat” ); but whether such a consilium is to be identified with the judices, such as the duumviri, to whom the king relegated a case, or whether they were a board summoned to advise him when he exercised his own personal jurisdiction, cannot be determined. We are told further that all civil jurisdiction was performed in the king's courts (judiciis regiis, Cic. de Rep. 5.2, 3), and that these were generally relegated to judices along with a formula such as that given in criminal jurisdiction we may well believe (Dionys. A. R. 4.25). From the trial of Horatius given by Livy (1.26) two further facts appear which have been noticed already, and are important as showing both the limits and the powers the Roman jurists assigned to the king's jurisdiction, both of which are amply borne out by such revivals of the kingly power as meet us in later Roman history. One is the fact that the king has no power to pardon; pardon resides with the people, the ultimate sovereign. The other is the fact that, though the provocatio existed in the regal period (Livy, l.c.; Id. 8.33;--Cic. pro Mil. 3, 7; de Rep. 2.31; Festus, s. v. sororium tigillum, p. 297), yet the citizens have no standing right of appeal against the king like that secured by the Lex Valeria. The king Tullus Hostilius allows the appeal (Liv. 1.26, “Si a duumviris provocavit provocatione certato;” Id. § 8, “auctore Tullo ‘provoco’ inquit” ); and the fact that the appeal might not have been so allowed, and was a matter not of law but of constitutional usage, is shown by the similar freedom of the early dictatorship from the necessity of allowing the appeal (Liv. 2.18, 3.55; Dionys. A. R. 5.75. In Liv. 8.33, where the dictator is appealed against, the instance of Horatius is taken to show that the king had allowed, and therefore the dictator should allow, the appeal). The limitations of the king's power came here, as elsewhere, not from the force of law, but from the necessity of observing formalities once established. The existence of the senate and the custom of the provocatio formed the two permanent checks on the capricious exercise of his power. His rights, too, were everywhere balanced by duties which precedent had established, and which are especially apparent in matters of religion, of which we know most from the survival of these duties in the person of the REX SACRORUM (see that article). Although in the civil organisation of republican Rome a continuity is traceable with that of the monarchy (and indeed, if it were not, we could not hope in any degree to reconstruct the latter), yet it is none the less true that the abolition of the monarchy was an act of revolution not justified by the theory of the constitution. The justification is usually found by Roman writers in the character of the last king, who had broken through the constitutional usages of the monarchy (Liv. 1.49, 4), and above all had never challenged the allegiance of the people (Cic. de Rep. 2.2.4, 44). That there was some fearful abuse of the kingly power by one of its representatives is shown not merely by the fact of the revolution, but by the associations which immediately gathered round the words rex and regnum, and remained connected with them to the close of the Republic (Cic. de Rep. 2.30), these names becoming still more hateful as contact with the outer world made the Romans realise in single rule only the evils of Oriental despotism (cf. Liv. 2.8; Plut. Poplic. 12; Dionys. A. R. 5.19). The mere charge of regnum adfectatum often proved the ruin of eminent men in Rome, such as Sp. Maelius and Tib. Gracchus (Cic. ib. 27), and lastly of the dictator Caesar (Cic. Fam. 11.2. 7, 8: cf. ad Qu. Fr. 1.2, 16; ad Att. 8.11, 3).

(Mommsen, Staatsrecht, ii. pp. 1-17; Id. Hist. of Rome, bk. i. ch. iv. pp. 66-70; Walter, Gesch. d. röm. Rechts, § 17, 2nd edit.; Becker, Handbuch der röm. Alterthümer; A. Schwegler, Römische Geschichte, vol. i. pp. 1-127; Sir G. C. Lewis, op. cit. vol. i. ch. iii.; and Seeley, Livy, bk. i. Introd.)

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