Consuls and Res Publica: Holding High Office in the Roman Republic
The consulate was the focal point of Roman politics. Both theruling class and the ordinary citizens fixed their gaze on therepublic's highest office to be sure, from different perspectivesand with differing expectations. While the former aspired to theconsulate as the defining magistracy of their social status, thelatter perceived it as the embodiment of the Roman state. Holdinghigh office was thus not merely a political exercise. The consulateprefigured all aspects of public life, with consuls taking care ofalmost every aspect of the administration of the Roman state. Thismultifaceted character of the consulate invites a holisticinvestigation. The scope of this book is therefore not limited topolitical or constitutional questions. Instead, it investigates thepredominant role of the consulate in and its impact on, thepolitical culture of the Roman republic.