From my understanding, the Senate had no prerogative in naming a consul. At best they could appoint an interrex among themselves. What was the constitutional basis that enabled the Senate to appoint Pompey sole consul of the year 52 BC?

At the minimum, wouldn't a vote of Comitia Centuriata be required to ratify Pompey's legal status?

1 Answer 1


They did not appoint him sole consul. They offered him for election to the assembly. They appointed an interrex who then selected Pompey and put him forward as the sole candidate. The assembly therefore had the option of either rejecting him or electing just him.

  • 1
    Is there any source explaining the political machination behind this decision?
    – BeyondSora
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 2:28
  • @BeyondSora Probably. How would we know unless there were sources? Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 2:30
  • @BeyondSora The point is that it was 52 B.C. already, and the Romans had no consul at all. So the slogan could be "one is better than nothing" :-)
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 8:32
  • Either case, no consul or a sole consul was a violation of the Roman constitution. There was no precedent for consul without colleague, which shows the degradation of the Republic at this time, even with Caesar absent.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 23:54

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