evittExplain the basis for being an”emperor”: What were his titles and actual powers, and how did these grow outof the Republic or otherwise come into being and develop over time? During the Imperial period of the Roman Empire, theleader was the Roman Emperor. Thisperson typically wasn’t chosen by the people, rather the leader was usuallylucky with birthright. Being born intothe right family at the time helped bring economic, political, and military powerto a person. And if you did get borninto the correct family and were placed as the emperor, you had that job forlife. There wasn’t a way to retire, andthe only way to lose your emperorship was to be killed. There were always people looking to takepower for themselves so the current emperor had to be meticulous in his decisions.
That made the emperors fear for their lives,making them lead with paranoia rather than completely focusing on what theyshould be doing as a leader. An emperor could have a variety of titles to chose from. In the beginning the first emperors used thetitle of Princeps, meaning first citizen. That title was used in conjunction with other titles such as the taking ofthe title Augustus or Caesar. An emperorcan have many titles, other such titles can be Imperator (military honortitle), Consul, Princeps senatus, Pontifex Maximus. There are many other titles too that emperorscould have earned.
But on the other handan emperor had the option to not have titles at all. Anemperor’s powers are vast, But at first Augustus was offered supreme authority,and he turned that down to divide the power into various offices of power. The emperor as Princeps senatus declared the openingand closure of the senate session, declared the Senate’s agenda, imposed rulesand regulation for the Senate to follow, and met with foreign ambassadors inthe name of the Senate. At pontifexmaximus, the emperor was the chief administrator of religious affairs. This allowed him the power to conduct all religiousceremonies, consecrate temples, control the Roman calendar. These powers are the lesser of the emperor’s powers. The Emperor held the powers of Tribuniciapotestas, these powers gave the emperor the ability to pardon any civilian forany act, the emperor could also prosecute anyone who got between the emperorand his duties. The tribuneship gave theemperor the powers to convene the senate at his will and give proposals to the senate.
The emperor can also veto any act that wasbrought up by any magistrate. The emperorcan also call the Council of the people, and propose legislation to them aswell,he also served as the council’s president. Augustus also gave the emperorthe power of Imperium, which increased his power aswell.