A Consul is a powerful position of authority in ancient Rome; two Consuls were annually elected from 509 BC onwards. They had executive authority and military command of the Roman Republic. The office survived under the imperial system of the Roman Empire that succeeded the republic, but became increasingly divested of real power. The office even survived the fall of Rome itself in 476 AD, and the Barbarian rulers of Italy continued to appoint consuls until 541 AD.
See also Incitatus.