1. (historical) The early period of the Roman Empire, during which some characteristics of the government of the Roman Republic were retained; the reign of any particular emperor during said period.
    • 1967, Richard Alexander Bauman, The Crimen Maiestatis in the Roman Republic and Augustan Principate, Witwatersrand University Press.
    • 1972, H. F. Jolowicz, Barry Nicholas, A Historical Introduction to the Study of Roman Law, Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition, page 395 ↗,
      The history of the courts and of judicial procedure during the principate is closely parallel to that of the government as a whole.
    • 1978, A. Arthur Schiller, Roman Law: Mechanisms of Development, Walter de Gruyter (Mouton Publishers), page 463 ↗,
      The transition from republic to Principate brought a new and potent factor into the legal picture of the Roman state, the princeps or emperor.
    • 1996, Clare Krojzl (translator), Sebastian Hensel, III: From Diocletian to Alaric [1886, lecture notes], Theodor Mommsen (editor), A History of Rome Under the Emperors, C.H.Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Republished 2005, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), eBook, page 317 ↗,
      The dominate of Diocletian and Constantine differs more sharply from the principate than the latter does from the Republic.
    • 2000, Ellen O'Gorman, Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus, Cambridge University Press, page 23 ↗,
      In the introductory chapter I had already started to examine how Tacitus' designation of the Augustan regime as a versus status potentially draws a line of continuity between the principate and the civil wars which that regime claims to have resolved.
  2. The office of one who is principal or preeminent (such as a prince); the quality or status of being principal; preeminence.
    • 1998, Annabel S. Brett (translator and editor), William of Ockham, On the Power Of Emperors and Popes, Thoemmes Press, page 87 ↗,
      From all this we may draw the conclusion that papal principate was instituted for the utility and advantage of its subjects and not for the honour and glory or the utility and temporal advantage of the holder of the principate, in such a way as that such principate deserves to be be called 'of service' and not of 'lordship'.
  3. A state ruled by a prince; a principality.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

principate (not comparable)

  1. Primary; principal.

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