If these meet up, who is more senior than who, socially, politically and militarily?

The Legatus, Admiral, and Tribune are from legions and fleets in different provinces to the Promagistrate. They meet in the Promagistrates province

Tribune is an Tribuni angusticlavii.
Admiral is whatever the Roman equivalent was, some places I have looked says that they were also promagistrates/magistates, others say they were a separate rank altogether.

For year: about AD 200

If all 3 makes it too broad, who ranks higher militarily? Although they are basically meeting at a fancy dinner, militarily is more important.

  • 3
    There were no admirals in Ancient Rome. The name "tribune" belonged to different offices, you should specify which one you mean. For instance, cohort commander was called a tribune. But people's tribune was one of the highest offices in the state (held by emperor). I do not know what "promagistrate" is.
    – Anixx
    Aug 19 '16 at 14:41
  • 2
    Given that is not really relevant for the answer where they were walking into, I would have written the title as "... all walk into a bar, and..." :-p
    – SJuan76
    Aug 19 '16 at 16:28
  • 5
    More senior in what sense? Politically? Militarily? Socially? I think you need a specific question of seniority. Are they issuing conflicting military orders? Political orders? Are you seating them around a table at a fancy diner? Are you determining what order they're introduced? We also might need to know when. You tagged it Roman Empire so that narrows it down, and I assume you mean the united Roman Empire of 27 BCE - 395 CE, but that still leaves 400 years to play with.
    – Schwern
    Aug 19 '16 at 20:58
  • 2
    A tribune was any official or magistrate elected by the Tribal Assembly; as opposed to those elected by either the Curiate Assembly or the Centuriate Assembly. There were many such, including Tribune of the Plebs, and assorted military tribunes: "For most of Roman history, a college of ten tribunes of the plebs acted as a check on the authority of the senate and the annual magistrates, holding the power of ius intercessionis to intervene on behalf of the plebeians, and veto unfavourable legislation." link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribune Aug 20 '16 at 19:03
  • 5
    So I said to the Admiral "how about a little Car-pe-thian?" And he said "Eat Two Brutus... Aug 20 '16 at 19:27

The Romans rated their navy very low. Service was much longer, pay was a lot less. Even so, an admiral rated definitely higher than a mere tribunus angusticlavius. In modern terms he would be a junior captain or major, akin to a staff officer. So the order would be: The tribune rates lowest. The admiral comes next. The legatus is a Roman general, so he outranks them both. Top is the promagistrate, who has been (or is) a legatus, and outranks any other general within his province. He is the emperor's representative in the province and outranks anyone always. I assume that this promagistrate is the governor. It's not impossible that lower offices were given promagistrate status for some reason, but that was not common.

Theoretically the legate and the admiral could be equal in rank, but the army outranks the navy any time of the day (and year). A tribunus angusticlavius is a young man, probably of the equestrian class, assigned as an officer to a legion. A tribunus laticlavius would outrank him based on status (they were of the senatorial class), age (at least 10 years older) and position (they were second in command of a legion, with lots of military experience). Sometimes, in particular Egypt and Judea, a tribunus laticlavius was in command of a legion, as in Egypt senators were not allowed entry without explicit permission of the emperor, and in Judea because the governor there was a prefect, not a procurator.

But the tribune of the broad stripe is managing the legion as his boss is at the games in this question.

There is also the tribunus plebis, but this was not a military function. It was a purely civilian political function, held at that time by the emperors.

A tribunus angusticlavius wore a narrow stripe on his tunic, his superior the tribunus laticavius a broad stripe.

  • 1
    A broad stripe tribune would not be a senator, though probably off the senatorial class. It was the first step in the cursus honorum for such young men, as your link states.
    – TheHonRose
    Dec 24 '17 at 17:50
  • @TheHonRose: corrected.
    – Jos
    Dec 25 '17 at 1:59
  • 1
    "Thus the tribunus laticlavius would usually be a young man who might belong to one of the richest families in Rome or be a close friend to the legionary commander. After two or three years in the army he would go back to Rome and be given a government job, usually a quaestorship." Your Wikipedia reference contradicts your own assertions.(emphases mine)
    – TheHonRose
    Dec 25 '17 at 4:18
  • That's something I don't agree with Wiki about. In the year 200 AD the tribune of the broad stripe was an experienced officer who was second in command of a legion. Much earlier: yes. But after the reforms of Augustus, no longer.
    – Jos
    Dec 25 '17 at 4:46
  • 2
    But you quote whilst disagreeing with it! Bit confusing.
    – TheHonRose
    Dec 25 '17 at 13:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.