Election of the kings

Whenever a king died, Rome entered a period of interregnum. Supreme power of the state would devolve to the Senate, which was responsible for finding a new king. The Senate would assemble and appoint one of its own membersthe interrexto serve for a period of five days with the sole purpose of nominating the next king of Rome. After the five-day period, the interrex would appoint (with the Senate's consent) another Senator for another five-day term. This process would continue until a new king was elected. Once the interrex found a suitable nominee to the kingship, he would bring the nominee before the Senate and the Senate would review him. If the Senate passed the nominee, the interrex would convene the Curiate Assembly and preside over it during the election of the King. Once proposed to the Curiate Assembly, the people of Rome could either accept or reject him. If accepted, the king-elect did not immediately enter office. Two other acts still had to take place before he was invested with the full regal authority and power. First, it was necessary to obtain the divine will of the gods respecting his appointment by means of the auspices, since the king would serve as high priest of Rome. This ceremony was performed by an augur, who conducted the king-elect to the citadel where he was placed on a stone seat as the people waited below. If found worthy of the kingship, the augur announced that the gods had given favorable tokens, thus confirming the kings priestly character. The second act which had to be performed was the conferral of the imperium upon the king. The Curiate Assemblys previous vote only determined who was to be king, and had not by that act bestowed the necessary power of the king upon him. Accordingly, the king himself proposed to the Curiate Assembly a law granting him imperium, and the Curiate Assembly by voting in favor of the law would grant it. In theory, the people of Rome elected their leader, but the Senate had most of the control over the process. The Interrex (plural interreges) was literally a ruler "between kings" (Latin inter reges) during the Roman Kingdom and the Roman Republic. He was in effect a short-term regent. The office of interrex was supposedly created f llowing the death of Rome's first king Romulus, and thus its origin is obscured by legend. The Senate of the Roman Kingdom was at first unable to choose a new king. For the purpose of continuing the government of the city, the senate, which then consisted of one hundred members, was divided into ten decuriae (groups of ten); and from each of these decuriae one senator was nominated as decurio. Each of the ten decurios enjoyed in succession the regal power and its badges for five days as interrex; and if no king was appointed at the expiration of fifty days, the rotation began anew. The period during which they exercised their power was called an interregnum and at that time lasted for one year, after which Numa Pompilius was elected as the new king. After the death of each subsequent king an interrex was appointed by the senate. The interrex's function was to call a meeting of the Comitia Curiata which would elect a new king. Interreges were appointed under the Republic for holding the comitia for the election of the consuls when the consuls, through civil commotions or other causes such as death, had been unable to do so in their year of office. Each held the office for only five days, as under the kings. The comitia were, as a general rule, not held by the first interrex, who was originally the curio maximus; more usually by the second or third; but in one instance we read of an eleventh, and in another of a fourteenth interrex. The comitia for electing the first consuls were held by Sp. Lucretius as interrex was also called praefectus urbis.[clarification needed] The interreges under the republic, at least from B.C. 482, were elected by the senate from the whole body, and were not confined to the decem primi or ten chief senators as under the kings. Plebeians, however, were not admissible to this office; and consequently when plebeians were admitted into the senate, the patrician senators met together without the plebeian members to elect an interrex. For this reason, as well as on account of the influence which the interrex exerted in the election of the magistrates, we find that the tribunes of the plebs were strongly opposed to the appointment of an interrex. The interrex had jurisdictio.