What are the elected officials in Rome called?

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acorn13 | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Ancient Rome had numerous elected offices. Elected officials were called magistrates, but there are many levels and titles within the office of magistrate.

Positions of Roman Republic included (from highest rank to lowest):

  1. Dictator
  2. Consul
  3. Praetor
  4. Censor
  5. Aediles
  6. Quaestor
  7. Tribune of the People

The Dictator only ruled in times of crisis for a maximum of six months. However, within those six months he had supreme kingly power in place of the constitution (similar to our own Martial Law). The Dictator oversaw all magistrate offices and duties during the crisis and was expected to resign from the position at the end of the crisis.

Two Consuls were elected every year to oversee and act as the ultimate judgment in civil and military matters. To prevent a Consul from seizing all power completely, the two Consuls shared power, taking turns acting as the supreme Consul throughout the year. 

Praetors acted as judge and presided over the courts and civil law. 

Censors were elected every five years to complete the census of the republic. Their terms last 1.5 years. 

The Curule Aedile and Plebeian Aedile oversaw all public works. At least two had to be of the common class (Plebians) and the other two could be from any class. 

The Quaestor oversaw public finances and taxation. 

The Tribune of the People was an elected body of Plebians that could propose laws, veto acts by higher magistrates, and preside over councils. They were meant to protect the interests of the common people.

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