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‘interposition’, was the right of one Roman magistrate (see magistracy, roman) to veto the activity of another magistrate of equal or lesser authority. The possibility arose because magistrates were conceived as exercising collegiate power; only a magistrate with no peer, as the dictator was, could act free of this possible interference. The tribunes of the people (tribuni plebis) shared with the regular magistrates the normal right of interposition against each other's acts, but in addition, at some point in the republic, they obtained a veto over all other, superior, magistrates and enactments of bodies presided over by magistrates, such as the comitial assemblies and the senate. They were able to exercise this extraordinary power, more revolutionary than constitutional in tendency, by virtue of their personal inviolability, which was ultimately guaranteed by the people.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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