The consulate was the focal point of Roman politics. Both the ruling class and the ordinary citizens fixed their gaze on the republic's highest office - to be sure, from different perspectives and with differing expectations. While the former aspired to the consulate as the defining magistracy of their social status, the latter perceived it as the embodiment of the Roman state. Holding high office was thus not merely a political exercise. The consulate prefigured all aspects of public life, with consuls taking care of almost every aspect of the administration of the Roman state. This multifaceted character of the consulate invites a holistic investigation. The scope of this book is therefore not limited to political or constitutional questions. Instead, it investigates the predominant role of the consulate in and its impact on, the political culture of the Roman republic.

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