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Word Count: 879
In tracing the history of Roman government one would find that the first form of established rule was by that of the monarchy This meant that one king held imperium over the mass of the people However by 510 BC with the elimination of the monarchy this imperium was granted to two consuls who shared it equally thus allowing for a new process of governing with division of power The consuls held highly authoritative positions dealing regularly with military and legal matters and with general public affairs As stated by Polybius History of the World 6121-9 it is the duty of the consuls to consider these public affairs their concern and to summon assemblies to introduce resolutions and to execute the decrees of the people Obviously the consuls were faced with many major responsibilities thus the government was soon divided further to include magistracies Only certain magistracies held imperium besides the consuls those being the praetors and the dictators Praetors described by the Historian Messalla as colleagues of the consuls functioned in handling matters in the law specifically that of civil law Dictators were assigned to deal with affairs in times of urgency such as war and were entitled to power above all the other magistrates This is emphasized in the following passage by Pomponius The Digest of Laws 12 16-28 occasionally when the situation required it was decided to establish a magistrate with power greater then any other magistrate And thus dictators were appointed to whom had been granted the power to inflict capital punishment Since this magistrate had absolute power it was unconstitutional for him to be kept in office for more then six months Though they did not hold imperium other divisions of the government were also established namely the Quaestors Tribunes of the plebs Aediles and Censors Varro in A Book about the Latin Language 5 14 80-82 describes the derivation of these titles and subsequently
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