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In ancient Rome, ten tribunes were elected to protect plebs from patricians; they were empowered to veto decisions of magistrates and, later, the Senate's decrees. They could also propose legislation of their own. Roman emperors also took the title of tribune, which gave them the constitutional rights of tribunes and a popular image. Military tribunes were senior officers of legions, also elected. The Latin word tribunus was derived from tribus, tribe, indicating ‘of the people’.

Subjects: Classical studies

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