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Pater Patriae

Pater Patriae (pl. Patres Patriae), also seen as Parens Patriae, is a Latin honorific title meaning "Father of the Fatherland". It is somewhat analogous to the modern "Father of His Country" (e.g. George Washington) except that it does not imply a great rôle in the foundation of the state so much as a great contribution to the preservation and integrity of the state. Like all official honorific titles of the Roman Republic, the honour of being called pater patriae was conferred by the Roman Senate; it was first awarded to the great orator Marcus Tullius Cicero for his part in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy during his consulate in 63 BC. It was next awarded to Julius Caesar, who as dictator was sole master of the Roman world.

The Senate voted the title to Caesar Augustus in 2 BC, but it did not become a part of the core of the Imperial powers and honours (viz., Imperator, Caesar, Augustus, Princeps Senatus, Pontifex Maximus, tribunicia potestas); Tiberius did not receive the honour. The Senate eventually conferred the title on many Roman Emperors, often only after many years of rule (unless the new Emperor were particularly esteemed by the senators, as in the case of Nerva); as a result, many of the short-lived Emperors never received the title.

List of Patres Patriae

Note that with the exceptions of Cicero and Julius Caesar, the following are all considered Roman Emperors.