the senate (lat. senatus, v. lat.: senex = Greis, old man) means literally “Council of Elders” (therefore it also the Verballhornung Senatorium).

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Roman realm

in old Rome was the senate the highest advice of the Roman realm. Formally it had in the republic as a meeting of the former office-holdersonly advisory function, actually however it was the center of power of the state. All higher officials of the Roman state received a seat in the senate following their term of office and the following governorship; their reputation and their influence were measured ontheir office dressed last. Although the highest offices, above all the consulate, were usually reached only by members of some fewer influential families, “gewöhnlichere” citizens could nevertheless also attain a senatorial seat over the clothing of lower offices.

In the Roman Kaiser erathe senate was entmachtet then as far as possible, but possessed the senators further highest reputation. The westRoman senate disappeared only at the end of late ancient times, around 600, from the sources.

See also: Roman senate


The term designates

Hanseatic cities and city states in Northern Germany the highest executive of some Hanseatic cities and the city states. There are senates in Hamburg, Bremen, Luebeck and Berlin. In the city states the senate takes the functions of federal state government and Municipal authorities (in Bremen only the city Bremen; Bremerhaven has its own municipal authorities) truely.


in Bavaria gave it to 1999 the Bavarian senate as the second chamber of the parliament, however it had above all consulting function. Itone occupied not directly by the people selected to separate by the “socially relevant groups” (churches, federations etc.), had therefore a rather ständischen character.


the two saying bodies of the Federal Constitutional Court senates, likewise the saying bodies of the Federal courts are likewise called, the higher regional courts, higher administrative courts, Higher Labor Courts and the revenue courts.


is called universities the central collegial organ of the academic autonomy traditional (also: Academic senate, large one and small senate).

Also numerous mechanisms within the scientific and cultural range have Senates, for example Max-Planck company, the German research council or the academies of the sciences and the arts.

anglo-saxon tradition

in the anglo-saxon tradition of the two-chamber parliaments stands the senate opposite for the house of representatives (frequently also upper and House of Commons called). Historicallythis resulted from a partial democratization, in which a selected control committee (the representatives) was placed to the feudalen government machinery (the senate) to the side. The further historical development ran differently.

Today the term in the USA designates a legislative (legislation) political institution, partly with privileged influence on the judge shank. The members of the US senate are called senators.

In Great Britain and Northern Ireland the upper house calls itself House OF lord (see there).


in Italy is calledthe second chamber of the parliament senate. He is selected with another mode of election than the Lower House, has however the same authority. The appointment as the senator on lifetimes is the highest honor, which the Italian president can assign to earned personalities.To the senators on lifetimes also Giovanni Agnelli and Mario Luzi belonged.

fictitious senates

in George Lucas star Wars at present a senate, whereby each planet will represent by senators, exists to the republic there thoseRepublic of a whole galaxy covers.

see also


  • Hofmann, Friedrich: The Roman senate at present the republic: after its composition and.internal condition regards. Berlin 1847 (lp Aalen 1972)

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