This volume is primarily the result of the work carried out by an international research network, which was established in 2004 with the main purpose of studying the consulship in the Roman republic. The editors formed the core group of this network: Hans Beck (Montreal, Canada), Antonio Duplá (Vitoria, Spain), Martin Jehne (Dresden, Germany) and Francisco Pina Polo (Zaragoza, Spain), the last acting as Principal Investigator. The core group met on various occasions in Spain, and a large international conference was held at the University of Zaragoza in September 2007, where most of the papers presented in this book were delivered. These papers were significantly revised for publication. Other contributions were added as this volume took shape, to fill in the most significant gaps. The result is by no means a comprehensive study of the consulship, let alone a complete one. Rather, we look at the present volume as a contribution to an ongoing debate on Roman republican politics. That debate is more vibrant than ever. Branching out into the realms of other societies in the ancient Mediterranean, we feel that its applied models, concepts and thought paradigms are also relevant to the general discussion of elite power in antiquity.
We are grateful to the Ministerio de Ciencia y Educación of Spain for its sponsorship of two consecutive funding cycles of “Consuls, Consulars and the Government of the Roman Republic” (HUM2004–02449 and HUM2007–60776/HIST), which was vital to the work of our team. When the volume entered the publishing pipeline, Margherita Devine and Brahm Kleinman helped with the challenge of editing the work of scholars from so many different linguistic backgrounds and academic cultures. Special thanks go to them, as to Fabian Knopf, who took on the laborious task of compiling the index of persons. As so often, the editorial work took longer than anticipated, and the editors would like to thank the contributors not only for their willingness to participate, but also for their patience. Finally, we are grateful to Michael Sharp, Commissioning Editor for Classics at Cambridge University Press, for his support and guidance in bringing this publication to light.