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A legatus (often anglicized as legate) was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes. In order to command an army independently of the dux or provincial governor, legates were required to be of praetorian rank or higher; a legate could be invested with propraetorian imperium (legatus propraetore) in his own right. Legates received large shares of the army's booty at the end of a campaign, which made the position a lucrative one, so it could often attract even distinguished consuls (e.g., the consul Lucius Julius Caesar volunteered late in the Gallic War as a legate under his first cousin once removed, Gaius Julius Caesar).

The men who filled the office of Legate were drawn from among the senatorial class of Rome. There were two main positions; the legatus legionis was an ex-praetor given command of one of Rome's elite legions[1], while the legatus propraetor was an ex-consul, who was given the governorship of a Roman province with the magisterial powers of a praetor, which in some cases gave him command of four or more legions.

This rank was also the overall Legionary commander. This post was generally appointed by the emperor. The person chosen for this rank was a former Tribune and held command for 3 or 4 years, although he could serve for a much longer period. In a province with only one legion, the Legatus was also the provincial governor, but in provinces with multiple legions, each legion had a Legatus and the provincial governor (who was separate from the legions) had overall command of them all.

Diplomatic legatus

Legatus was also a term for an ambassador of the Roman Republic who was appointed by the senate for a mission (legatio) to a foreign nation, as well as for ambassadors who came to Rome from other countries.[2] This is the sense of the word that survives in the phrase Papal legate.

References

  1. ^ "The Roman Army" Accessed April 16, 2007
  2. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1875), Bill Thayer's edition, entry on "Legatus."

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Tyranni
Infraordo: Tyrannides
Parvordo: Tyrannida
Familia: Tyrannidae
Genus: Legatus
Species: Legatus leucophaius

Name

Legatus P.L. Sclater, 1859

Reference

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London Pt(27)1 p.46








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