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This article is about the term "Consul". For the office in Ancient Rome, see Roman consul. For other uses, including the office in medieval cities as well as during the French Revolution, see consul (disambiguation).

Consul (abbrev. cos.; Latin plural consules) was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic. The relating adjective is consular, from the Latin consularis.

Modern use of the term[edit]

In modern terminology, a Consul is a type of diplomat. The American Heritage Dictionary defines consul as "an official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country and represent its interests there."

In most governments, the Consul is the head of the Consular Section of an embassy, and is responsible for all consular services such as immigrant and non-immigrant visas, passports, and citizen services for expatriates living or traveling in the host country.

Medieval city states[edit]

The Dukes of Gaeta often used also the title of "Consul" in its Greek form "Hypatos" (see List of Hypati and Dukes of Gaeta).

The city-state of Genoa, unlike ancient Rome, bestowed the title of Consul on various state officials, not necessarily restricted to the highest. Among these were Genoese officials stationed in various Mediterranean ports, whose role included helping Genoese merchants and sailors in difficulties with the local authorities. This institution, with its name, was later emulated by other powers and is reflected in the modern usage of the word (see Consul (representative)).

French Revolution[edit]

French Republic[edit]

Main article: French Consulate
A portrait of the three Consuls,Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès, Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles-François Lebrun (left to right)

After Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup against the Directory government in November 1799, the French Republic adopted a constitution which conferred executive powers upon three Consuls, elected for a period of ten years. In reality, the First Consul, Bonaparte, dominated his two colleagues and held supreme power, soon making himself Consul for life (1802) and eventually, in 1804, Emperor.

The office was held by:

Roman Republic[edit]

The French-sponsored Roman Republic (15 February 1798 – 23 June 1800) was headed by multiple consuls:

  • Francesco Riganti, Carlo Luigi Costantini, Duke Bonelli-Crescenzi, Antonio Bassi, Gioacchino Pessuti, Angelo Stampa, Domenico Maggi, Provisional Consuls (15 February – 20 March 1798)
  • Liborio Angelucci, Giacomo De Mattheis, Panazzi, Reppi, Ennio Quirino Visconti, Consuls (20 March – September 1798)
  • Brigi, Calisti, Francesco Pierelli, Giuseppe Rey, Federico Maria Domenico Michele, Zaccaleoni, Consuls (September – 24 July 1799)

Consular rule was interrupted by the Neapolitan occupation (27 November – 12 December 1798), which installed a Provisional Government:

  • Prince Giambattista Borghese, Prince Paolo-Maria Aldobrandini, Prince Gibrielli, Marchese Camillo Massimo, Giovanni Ricci (29 November 1798 - 12 December 1798)

Rome was occupied by France (11 July – 28 September 1799) and again by Naples (30 September 1799 – 23 June 1800), bringing an end to the Roman Republic.

Bolognese Republic[edit]

The short-lived Bolognese Republic, proclaimed in 1796 as a French client republic in the Central Italian city of Bologna, had a government consisting of nine consuls and its head of state was the Presidente del Magistrato, i.e., chief magistrate, a presiding office held for four months by one of the consuls. As noted above, Bologna already had Consuls at some parts of its Medieval history.

Later modern republics[edit]

Paraguay[edit]

In between series of juntas (and various other short-lived regimes), the young republic was governed by "consuls of the republic" in power (2 consuls alternating in power every 4 months):

  • 12 October 1813 – 12 February 1814 José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco (1st time)
  • 12 February 1814 – 12 June 1814 Fulgencio Yegros y Franco de Torres
  • 12 June 1814 – 3 October 1814 José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco (2nd time); he stayed on as "supreme dictator" 3 October 1814 – 20 September 1840 (from 6 June 1816 styled "perpetual supreme dictator")

After a few presidents of the Provisional Junta, there were again consuls of the republic, 14 March 1841 – 13 March 1844 (ruling jointly, but occasionally styled "first consul", "second consul"): Carlos Antonio López Ynsfrán (b. 1792 – d. 1862) + Mariano Roque Alonzo Romero (d. 1853) (the lasts of the aforementioned juntistas, Commandant-General of the Army) Thereafter all republican rulers were styled "president".

Other uses in antiquity[edit]

Other city states[edit]

While many cities (as in Gaul) had a double-headed chief magistracy, often another title was used, such as Duumvir or native styles such as Meddix, but Consul was used in some.

Private sphere[edit]

It was not uncommon for an organization under Roman private law to copy the terminology of state and city institutions for its own statutory agents. The founding statute, or contract, of such an organisation was called lex, 'law'. The people elected each year were patricians, members of the upper class.

Revolutionary Greece[edit]

Among the many petty local republics that were formed during the first year of the Greek Revolution, prior to the creation of a unified Provisional Government at the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, were:

  • The Consulate of Argos (from 26 May 1821, under the Senate of the Peloponnese) had a single head of state, styled consul, 28 March 1821 – 26 May 1821: Stamatellos Antonopoulos
  • The Consulate of East Greece (Livadeia) (from 15 November 1821, under the Areopagus of East Greece) was headed 1 April 1821 – 15 November 1821 by three Consuls: Lambros Nakos, Ioannis Logothetis & Ioannis Filon

Note: in Greek, the term for "consul" is "hypatos" (ὕπατος), which translates as "supreme one", and hence does not necessarily imply a joint office.

See also[edit]

Differently named, but same function

Modern UN System

Roman Empire

Sources and references[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consul — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

469113 news items

Jewish Exponent

Jewish Exponent
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:03:45 -0700

Consul General Yaron Sideman is happy to have him by his side. “Moran is a smart, knowledgeable diplomat with an impressive skill set and very well suited for the job,” said Sideman. “I feel extremely fortunate to have Moran as a partner and colleague.”.

Troy Messenger

Troy Messenger
Thu, 03 Sep 2015 02:00:00 -0700

Consul General of Canada Louise Blais visited Troy and CGI Wednesday for the purpose of reinforcing key links with Alabama's largest international trading partner. Blais serves as Canada's senior diplomat for the Southeastern United States including ...
 
The Capital Journal
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:26:15 -0700

Never mind that we've had our differences and even got into a war once over tea and taxes – what Her Majesty's Consul General Stephen Bridges notices time and again is how similar the United Kingdom and the United States are in wrestling with the same ...

Jweekly.com

Jweekly.com
Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:26:15 -0700

Marking the end of his second year as consul general for Mexico in San Francisco, Roemer is a playwright, social scientist, TV host, conference organizer and diplomat whose seemingly eclectic résumé points in one direction — discovering what he calls ...

Yuma Sun

Yuma Sun
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:18:45 -0700

31, but also hot issues as the Mexican Consulate hosted a breakfast with local non-profits and media to open up Workers Rights Week in Yuma. "Our purpose is to inform the Mexican and Latino communities of their rights," said Eusebio Romero, Consul for ...

The Sofia Globe

The Sofia Globe
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 02:56:15 -0700

The former head of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security, Vladimir Pisanchev, has been nominated to become consul-general in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. The nomination is subject to approval by head of state President Rossen Plevneliev.

Novinite.com

Novinite.com
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:26:02 -0700

Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ex-Security Chief 'to Be Next Thessaloniki Consul' Vladimir Pisanchev. Photo by BGNES. Former counter-intelligence head Vladimir Pisanchev is due to head the Bulgarian Consulate in Thessaloniki, Greece, several media outlets have ...
 
Bulatlat (blog)
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:41:58 -0700

“We are not celebrating the recommendation to recall Consul General Roberto Manalo. But we have to do our duty as it affects people like Mary Jane, and to send a message that they are public servants who must serve the lowly because they need it the ...
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