A report on Roman dictator and Roman magistrate

Depiction of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus. Fabius was dictator in 217 BC.
Gaius Gracchus, tribune of the people, presiding over the Plebeian Council
Head presumed to be that of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Sulla was dictator from 82–79 BC.
Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.
Depiction of the Assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (mid 19th century).
Augustus, the first Roman emperor

A Roman dictator was an extraordinary magistrate in the Roman Republic endowed with full authority to resolve some specific problem to which he had been assigned.

- Roman dictator

Dictators had more "major powers" than any other magistrate, and after the Dictator was the censor, and then the consul, and then the praetor, and then the curule aedile, and then the quaestor.

- Roman magistrate
Depiction of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus. Fabius was dictator in 217 BC.

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A 1792 depiction of the death of Gaius Gracchus, who was driven to suicide after the passage against him of the first senatus consultum ultimum in 121 BC.

Senatus consultum ultimum

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A 1792 depiction of the death of Gaius Gracchus, who was driven to suicide after the passage against him of the first senatus consultum ultimum in 121 BC.
An 1889 depiction of Cicero denouncing Catiline in the senate. In the First Catilinarian, Cicero references a senatus consultum ultimum – "we have a resolution of the senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you" – empowering him to take action against Catiline's conspiracy.
A senatus consultum ultimum was decreed against Octavian, pictured in a later bust, which became unenforceable when the senate's forces defected to Octavian's side.

The senatus consultum ultimum ("final decree of the senate", often abbreviated to SCU) is the modern term given to resolutions of the Roman senate lending its moral support for magistrates to use the full extent of their powers and ignore the laws to safeguard the state.

Its usage in the late republic also was in contrast to the general practice of the early republic to appoint dictators to resolve domestic unrest.