>>78523>Only Roman citizens (both plebeians and patricians) had the right to confer magisterial powers on any individual magistrate. The most important power was imperium, which was held by consuls (the chief magistrates) and by praetors (the second highest-ranking ordinary magistrate). >Defined narrowly, imperium simply gave a magistrate the authority to command a military force. Defined more broadly, however, imperium gave a magistrate the constitutional authority to issue commands (military, diplomatic, civil, or otherwise). >A magistrate's imperium was at its apex while the magistrate was abroad. While the magistrate was in the city of Rome itself, however, he had to completely surrender his imperium, so that liberty (libertas) was maximized.
Magistrates with imperium sat in a curule chair, and were attended by lictors (bodyguards) who carried fasces which symbolized the power of the state to punish and to execute.>Only a magistrate with imperium could wear a bordered toga, or be awarded a triumph.
Proconsuls were, at a minimum, 42 years of age. By that age, Alexander the Great had already hellenized the known world and died. Using the imperium that Caesar acquired from the bill he had passed earlier in his office, he would not return to Rome and relinquish his command for 10 years. Even after he attempted to run for consulship again, he did not relinquish his imperium, meaning he could not be legally prosecuted. After this point, the power of imperium, and subsequently the fasces as a symbol of it, had been corrupted.
The Octavian era proved how quickly a republic can crumble, despite having so many seemingly clever safeguards to balance the powers.
It is important to realize that this history and symbol were already thrown through multiple layers of nationalism and political tampering long before benny got his hands on it