World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Consortium imperii

Article Id: WHEBN0001976656
Reproduction Date:

Title: Consortium imperii  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Latin political phrases, Heads of state, Dominate, Caesar (title), List of masculine Latin nouns of the 1st declension
Collection: Government of the Roman Empire, Heads of State, Latin Political Phrases
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Consortium imperii

Consortium imperii is a Latin term dating from the Roman Dominate, denoting the sharing of imperial authority between two or more emperors, each hence designated as consors imperii, i.e. "partner in (exercising) imperium", either as formal equals or in subordination; the junior is then often the senior's designated heir—not necessarily the natural one—and successor. The purpose can be either to share the burden of government and/or to ensure smooth succession, as rivalry at these moments was a major threat to the stability of the Empire, but the net result was often more civil war.

Although in political reality adoption was an alternative technique to aim for the same result in terms of succession (succeeding to produce one genealogically "false" but politically satisfactory dynasty of so-called "Adoptive Emperors"), constitutionally, this was a horror as the republic had never been abandoned in law, so monarchical succession in the Principate, however realistic, was officially out of the question, regardless of the trappings during the Dominate; designation could at least be justified by qualitative criteria.

Roman consortia imperii

  • An early case of one emperor, remaining "sole sovereign" in charge but designating one junior and successor, was Marcus Aurelius (reigned 161–180 AD), who designated Lucius Verus.
  • Emperor Diocletian attempted an elaborate system with four emperors (two seniors styled Augustus, each with a junior styled Caesar), called the Tetrarchy. Revolutionary was the notion that each was to be simultaneously in permanent charge of one quarter of the empire, not just sharing in central government. The experiment did not live up to its promise, as succession was not smoothened but contention multiplied, so the quadruple emperorship was abandoned—not the quarters, which remained as administrative and military divisions called praetorian prefecture, as did the lower level, called diocese, and the smaller size (and larger number) of Roman provinces.
  • In 395 the Roman Empire was split for good, but in two halves: West and East, each under a sovereign emperor, in charge of two praetorian prefectures, each with or without a partner in government.
  • Both the notion of "partnership" in the form of a senior emperor and several junior co-emperors (usually, but not necessarily, his sons), and Diocletian's titulature, but mainly versed in Greek (e.g. Sebastos for Augustus, a literal translation), became quite common is the Eastern Roman Empire, i.e. Byzantium, which lasted a further millennium after the fall of the Western Empire.

Sources and references

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.