cursus honorum

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The name given to the ladder of (annual) offices that would-be Roman politicians had to climb. After a prescribed period of military service (though this requirement lapsed in the very late republic), or the tenure of certain minor magistracies, the first major rung was the quaestorship, which before Sulla effectively, and after Sulla statutorily, gave membership of the Roman Senate. Thereafter came praetorship and consulship (though not all achieved these offices), and finally the quinquennial office of censor, the crown of a republican politician's career. Other magistracies, the aedileship and the tribunate of the plebs, might be held between quaestorship and praetorship, but were not obligatory. In the middle and late republic, specific minimum ages and intervals between offices were established by statute. Quaestors, praetors, and consuls were often employed after their year of office at Rome as “pro-magistrates” to administer the provinces of the Roman empire.

Subjects: World History — Classical Studies.

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