The Cursus Honorum was the more-or-less inflexible sequence of positions in the senatorial career of a Roman magistrate. The basic pattern was: military service, quaestor, praetor, consul, and censor. Each office had a minimum age for election. There were minimum intervals between holding successive offices and laws forbade repeating an office. These rules were altered and flagrantly ignored in the course of the last century of the Republic
2 consuls—chief magistrates who convened and presided over the Senate and assemblies, initiated and administered legislation, served as generals in military campaigns, and represented Rome in foreign affairs. Consuls could appoint and serve as dictator for up to 6 months in times of emergency when the constitution was suspended. 8 praetors—served primarily as judges in law courts, but could convene the Senate and assemblies; they assumed administrative duties of consuls when these were absent from Rome. When their term of office was completed, praetors might govern a province as propraetor. 2 censors—elected every 5 years for terms of 1½ years; revised lists of senators and equestrians; conducted census of citizens and property assessments for tax purposes; granted state contracts. 4 aediles—supervised public places, public games, and the grain supply in the city of Rome; 2 were required to be plebeians, and the other two (who had more status) could come from either order. 10 tribunes—had to be plebeian, because the office was established to protect the plebeians from arbitrary actions of magistrates. Hence the primary power of tribunes was negative; they could veto the act of any magistrate and stop any official act of administration. They were by law sacrosanct, meaning that anyone who attacked them physically could be immediately and summarily killed; they could convene the Senate and assemblies and initiate legislation. 20 quaestors—administered finances of state treasury and served in various capacities...
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