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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 "Consul"[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, and 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]

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 "ypatos" (ὕπατος), which translates as "supreme one", and hence does not necessarily imply a joint office.

See also[edit]

Sources and references[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consul — Please support Wikipedia.
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19369 news items

 
Inquirer.net
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:41:15 -0700

Ambassador Knut Solem of Norway was in Cebu recently to decorate Sabino Dapat with the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. Dapat, Ben to family and close friends, is the former honorary consul of Norway in Cebu. He retired last year and was replaced by ...

Times of Oman

Times of Oman
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:29:17 -0700

John Baird, who is visiting Muscat to promote relations between Canada and Oman, joined by Thomas MacDonald, the non-resident ambassador to Oman, introduced local businessman Ali Daud as the new consul. This will be welcome news for Canadians ...
 
Auburn Reporter
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:33:45 -0700

From left, King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer; Auburn City Councilmember Claude DaCorsi; Moon Duk-ho, Consul General of the Republic of Korea; and Auburn City Councilmember Bill Peloza. — image credit: Courtesy photo. Tweet.

Gulf Times

Gulf Times
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:16:54 -0700

The Korean consul was at the Museum of Islamic Art Park yesterday to facilitate the staging of the “Magnificent Korean Kite-flying Event,” which concludes today at the Katara-Esplanade. What Park missed out as a child in Korea, he is making up in Qatar ...

Bahrain News Agency

Bahrain News Agency
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:33:45 -0700

Shaikha Mai welcomed the Swiss Consul-General positive initiative aiming to strengthen Bahraini-Swiss cultural and intellectual relations, highlighting the importance of cultural exchange in consolidating the values shared by the two countries and ...

Newsweek

Newsweek
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:03:02 -0700

If demanding eggs from roosters were the only odd thing Moore did while serving as U.S. consul general in Naples from 2010 to 2013, his tenure would be only an amusing memory. But according to a whistle-blower suit and several other former subordinates ...

Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun
Sat, 12 Apr 2014 09:36:39 -0700

During a meeting with the Toronto Sun editorial board last Thursday, Consul General Fang Li said China-Canada relations are improving because China is “changing” as a country. This has created massive increase in trade — from $7 billion to $55 billion ...
 
GlobalAtlanta
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:04:49 -0700

Japan's consul general based in Atlanta, Kazuo Sunaga, is to throw the first pitch at the Braves versus Cincinnati Reds baseball game at Turner Field on Asian Heritage Night Friday, April 25. He also is to receive a personalized Atlanta Braves jersey ...
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