Diplomatic powers of generals in the field?

The people, conflicts, and daily life of the Roman army.

Moderator: Aldus Marius

Diplomatic powers of generals in the field?

Postby Curio Agelastus on Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:06 pm

Salvete omnes,

I've been reading Keaveney's "Sulla: the last Republican" recently, and he said something quite interesting; he said that, in the war against Jugurtha, Gaius Marius was given full diplomatic powers by the Senate to make a peace treaty with Bocchus of Mauretania. I've not heard of another example of this happening during the Republic. In fact, generals usually got rapped on the knuckles by the Senate if they presumed to negotiate a treaty themselves. Were there any other times that the Senate gave such far-reaching diplomatic powers to generals? If so, was it common occurrence, or a rare exception?

Many thanks!

Bene valete,
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus.
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus
Rector ColHis, Senator

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
User avatar
Curio Agelastus
Senator
Senator
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:38 pm

Mari's Permissions

Postby Aldus Marius on Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:36 am

Salve, mi Curio..

Umm...would this authorization have been granted before Gaius Marius became Consul, or afterwards? (Makes a difference, maybe a big one.)

On a little more general level, I think provincial Governors did most of that sort of thing; but Legionary commanders (called legati, for this reason) were more than a little involved; and even the praefectus castrorum or camp commandant, a senior Centurion, had the authority to negotiate contracts for services with the locals.

Not much, I know; but at least it puts the thing in perspective.

In fide,
Aldus Marius Peregrinus.
User avatar
Aldus Marius
Curialis
Curialis
 
Posts: 2173
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:16 am
Location: Within hailing distance

Postby Q Valerius on Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:31 pm

Didn't Caesar and Eutropius mention something about commanders and treaties? Taxes maybe? I can't remember off the top of my head...
Q Valerius
Eques
Eques
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:06 am

Postby Curio Agelastus on Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:16 am

Salvete,

The authorisation was granted after Marius became Consul. I realise that they had the power to negotiate small contracts and such, but long-standing diplomatic treaties? Surely that would be the work of a Senatorial commission?

Bene valete,
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus.
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus
Rector ColHis, Senator

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
User avatar
Curio Agelastus
Senator
Senator
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:38 pm

Postby Anonymous on Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:04 pm

Salvete!

Normally, a magistrate invested with the imperium had indeed the power to negociate a treaty, which was only valid after recognition by the senate or the senatorial commission (see the Flamininus affair). But one may never forget the flexibility of the Roman system in order to respond quickly.
By giving Marius the authority, he could quickly exploit the situation without having to wait for senatorial approval - and so denying hostile senators the right to reject it which in turn would have led to renewed hostility and a prolonged war. Bocchus was Iugurtha's only ally and by ending the war with him, it was only a matter of time before Iugurtha could be captured. So it could have been possible that Marius could act "for the benefit of the Republic as he saw fitting."

Valete,
Valeria Campagnana
Anonymous
 


Return to Collegium Militarium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron