Julius Caesar, Roman dictator, who kept his power until his death.
Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.
Dictator was an extraordinary (extraordinarius) official in the Roman Republic who was given absolute power for a maximum of six months to prevent extraordinary crises (e.g. during a major war or internal revolts).
The choice of the dictator initially belonged to the centurial commissions. Later it was appointed by consuls on the orders of the senate (the so-called senatus consultum) and it was the only office in the Roman Republic to which it was appointed, not elected. The dictator appointed a cavalry commander (magister equitum), who commanded the cavalry during the war, while he was in charge of the infantry.
A sign of the unlimited power of the dictator was the 24 lictors accompanying him in the city and beyond.
Today, the term “dictatorship” has a very bad connotation, but in the Roman Republic, it was an extremely important institution of a very law-abiding nature. More than once, thanks to the appointment of a dictator, the Republic avoided heavy disasters or emerged from a political crisis. We can distinguish several types of dictatorship, ranging from the one most often invoked rei gerundae causa (in the event of an external threat), through sedicionis sedandae causa (internal crisis), to dictatorship established for religious purposes, for example clavi figendi causa.
In 1st century BCE the abuse of this office led to the great depression, Civil War, and the end of the Republic.
List of Roman dictators1
501 BCETitus Larcius
501 BCEManius Valerius – rei gerundae causa (possible magister equitum, not a dictator)
315 BCEQuintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus (one time)
314 BCEGaius Maenius (two times)
313 BCEGaius Poetelius Libo Visolus
313 BCEQuintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus (two times)
312 BCEGaius Sulpicius Longus
312 BCEGaius Junius Bubulcus Brutus
310 BCELucius Papirius Cursor (three times)
309 BCELucius Papirius Cursor (four times)
306 BCEPublius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus
302 BCEGaius Junius Bubulcus Brutus (two times)
302 BCEMarcus Valerius Corvus (two times)
301 BCEMarcus Valerius Corvus (three times)
291-285 BCEMarcus Aemilius Barbula
291-285 BCEAppius Claudius Caecus
291-285 BCEPublius Cornelius Rufinus
287 BCEQuintus Hortensius
280 BCEGnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
263 BCEGnaeus Fulvius Maximus Centumalus
257 BCEQuintus Ogulnius Gallus
249 BCEMarcus Claudius Glicia
249 BCEAulus Atilius Caiatinus
246 BCETiberius Coruncanius
231 BCEGaius Duilius
224 BCELucius Caecilius Metellus
221 BCEQuintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator (one time)
217 BCEQuintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator (two times)
217 BCEMarcus Minucius Rufus
216 BCEMarcus Junius Pera
216 BCEMarcus Fabius Buteo
213 BCEGaius Claudius Centho
210 BCEQuintus Fulvius Flaccus
208 BCETitus Manlius Torquatus
207 BCEMarcus Livius Salinator
205 BCEQuintus Caecilius Metellus
203 BCEPublius Sulpicius Galba Maximus
202 BCEGaius Servilius Geminus
82-81 BCELucius Cornelius Sulla
49-45 and 44 BCEGaius Julius Caesar
T.R.S. Broughton, Magistrates of the Roman Republic
Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!
IMPERIUM ROMANUM is in process of translation over 3300 Polish articles about history of ancient Rome. If you have the opportunity to financially support the further translations – even with smaller amount – I will be very grateful.