/proh kon"seuhl/, n.an African subgenus of Dryopithecus that lived 17-20 million years ago and is possibly ancestral to modern hominoids.[ < NL (1933), equiv. to pro- PRO-1 + Consul, allegedly the name of a chimpanzee in a London zoo (with a pun on L proconsul PROCONSUL); the genus was thought to be ancestral to the chimpanzee]
* * *In the ancient Roman republic, a consul whose powers had been extended for a definite period beyond his regular one-year term.These extensions were necessitated by such events as long periods of war. The extension of a chief magistrate's term was originally voted by the people, but the power was soon assumed by the Senate. Provincial governors were usually magistrates whose terms had been extended. Under the empire (after 27 BC), governors of senatorial provinces were called proconsuls.
* * *▪ ancient Roman officialLatin Pro Consule, or Proconsul,in the ancient Roman Republic, a consul whose powers had been extended for a definite period after his regular term of one year. From the mid-4th century BC the Romans recognized the necessity, during lengthy wars, of extending the terms of certain magistrates; such extension was termed prorogatio. Initially prorogation was voted by the people, but soon the Senate assumed this power. As Rome acquired more overseas territories, prorogation became more common: provincial governors were almost always prorogued magistrates or proconsuls. By the middle republic proconsular powers were sometimes conferred upon private citizens, for example, on Pompey in 77, 66, and 65 BC. Under the empire (after 27 BC), governors of senatorial provinces were called proconsuls. In modern times the title has been used informally of certain powerful colonial officials (e.g., the consul general of British-occupied Egypt).
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