As to the elections, they passed, so far as they depended on the
magistrates and were of political importance, practically into the
hands of the senate. In this way it acquired, as has been mentioned
already,(25) the right to appoint the dictator.
Great regard had
certainly to be shown to the community; the right of bestowing the
public magistracies could not be withdrawn from it; but, as has
likewise been already observed, care was taken that this election of
magistrates should not be constructed into the conferring of definite
functions, especially of the posts of supreme command when war was
imminent. Moreover the newly introduced idea of special functions on
the one hand, and on the other the right practically conceded to the
senate of dispensation from the laws, gave to it an important share
in official appointments.