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There was a tradition that King Servius after regulating the constitution of the state intended to abolish the kingly power and substitute for it the annual magistracy of the consulship and whatever we may think of the tradition the person who devised it must have had a deep insight into the nature of the Roman state and its institutions and the fact that on the abolition of royalty it was instituted forthwith seems at any rate to show that it had been thought of before Thus much is also certain that the consulship was not a Latin institution for in Latium the kingly power was succeeded by the dictatorship a magistracy invested with the same power as that of a king except that it lasted only for a time The consulship which was established as a republican magistracy at Rome immediately after the abolition of royalty showed its republican character in the circumstance that its power was divided between two individuals imperium duplex and that it was only of one years duration annuum This principle was on the whole observed throughout the republican period and the only exceptions are that sometimes a dictator was appointed instead of two consuls and that in a few instances when one of the consuls had died the other remained in office alone either because the remaining portion of the year was too short or from religious scruples Dionys v57 Dion Cass xxxvi4 for otherwise the rule was that if either of the consuls died in the year of his office or abdicated before its expiration the other was obliged to convene the comitia for the purpose of electing a successor subrogare or sufficere collegam It is only during the disturbances in the last century of the republic that a Cinna maintained himself as sole consul for nearly a whole year Appian De Bell Civ i78 Vell Pat ii24 Liv Epit 83 and that Pompey was appointed sole consul
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