Chief Priest

Under the kings, the Senate and Curiate Assembly had very little power and authority; they were not independent bodies in that they didn't possess the right to meet together and discuss questions of state at their own will. They could only be called together by the king and could only discuss the matters the king laid before them. While the Curiate Assembly did have the power to pass laws that had been submitted by the king, the Senate was effectively an honorary council. It could advise the king on his action but by no means could prevent him from acting. The only thing that the king could not do without the approval of the Senate and Curiate Assembly was to declare war against a foreign nation. The Leges Regiae ("royal laws") were supposed early Roman laws, which classical historians, such as Plutarch, claimed had been introduced by the Kings of Rome. By the 19th century, most historians doubted the authenticity of the leges regiae story. More recently, some scholars have acknowledged that, even though the sources could have been rewritten or enriched in the course of time, the laws as such might indeed originate from the period of the Roman Kingdom. For example, recent research has discovered previously unknown fragments quoted by ancient writers and some changes have been made about attribution to the various kings. Note that the position of the king during the entire Regal period was that of a political, military, religious, and judiciary chief of the community, even though the actual duties were delegated and entrusted to his many auxiliaries.[citation needed] [edit]Historical overview According to Sextus Pomponius, Romulus organized the tribes of Rome into thirty units called "Curia", and he then administered the affairs o the state on the basis of the opinion the Curiate Assembly. This event is at the origin of lex regia. Romulus is also credited with creating another institution involved in the emanation of leges regiae - the council of the elders or Senate of the Roman Kingdom. After an interregnum Numa Pompilius succeeded to Romulus: as it will happen for each of his successors an interrex held the government til the election of the new king. Numa emanated a number of important leges regiae. To him was attributed the compilation of the book Commentari regi. A great innovation of his concerned criminal law on voluntary and non voluntary crimes. Some scholars argue on lexical grounds that in this period some leges regiae showed a Sabine influence. Successor Tullus Hostilius is traditionally called the warrior king. He celebrated the solemn sacrifices using the work by Numa Commentari Numae. He created the officials named Fetiales who were a sacerdotal collegium. After him Ancus Marcius had sacral norms from Numa's work transcribed and made public. He established the jus fetiale and imprisonment. The last three kings were Etruscans according to tradition. Their cultural heritage influenced the leges regiae of this period. Tarquinius Priscus emanated many laws that covered different areas: he doubled the number of the senators and of the Vestals. Servius Tullius then used Numa's work for the election of the consuls. Moreover he established the census and the timocratic constitution that will be the basis for the future development of the republican institutions. During the reign of Tarquinius Superbus there are to be mentioned repressive laws, international treaties and the adoption of the Libri Sibyllini.