Dictator perpetuus


Dictator perpetuus

The Latin title "dictator perpetuo" (engl.: "dictator in perpetuity", "dictator for eternity"; sometimes incorrectly given as "dictator perpetuus") was a special honorary title given to Julius Caesar between January 26 and February 15 of the year 44 BCE, [ [http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/datesjc.html "Julius Caesar: Dates and Events"] ] which elevated Caesar's dictatorship into the monarchical sphere by abandoning the time restrictions usually applied in the case of the Roman "dictatura".

Contrary to popular perception, Julius Caesar was not dictator in perpetuity for five years. From 49 BCE to 45 BCE he had been "dictator interregnum". Before he received the special honors, Caesar was officially DICT·QVART ("dictator for the fourth time"). He was assassinated within one or two months of being given the title of "dictator perpetuo" by the Roman Senate. "Dictator perpetuo" is often mistranslated as "dictator for life", which ignores the fact that the perpetual dictatorship was part of the senatorial decrees regarding Caesar's divine and monarchical honors, as well as his planned apotheosis as "Divus Iulius", a complex of honors aimed at eternity and divinity. [Stefan Weinstock, "Divus Julius", Oxford 1971 ("passim")]

ee also

*Divine king
*Paramount leader
*Supreme Leader
*President for Life
*Emperor
*Monarch

References


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