Brill’s New Pauly

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(280 words)

[German version]

Abstract term for the official powers of the Roman magistrates ( magistratus ). In contrast to auspicium, which provided the oldest designation of magisterial power at Rome, and the more restricted imperium , potestas did not only indicate the content of official power (cf. R. Gest. div. Aug. 34), but also, and esp., served as a reference parameter in the official hierarchy: it regulated the relationships among the Roman magistrates in the interests of the aristocratic society by means of the qualifying terms maior ('greater'), par ('equal') and minor ('lesser'). P ar p…

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de Libero, Loretana (Hamburg), “Potestas”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 28 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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