AskDefine | Define duumvirate

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any of several branches of the executive in Republican Rome controlled by two people
  2. Any government by two people

Extensive Definition

For the ancient Roman dual magistracy, see Duoviri
A duumvirate is an alliance between two equally powerful political or military leaders. The term can also be used to describe a state with two different military leaders who both declare themselves to be the sole leader of the state.
The tiny European nation of Andorra is technically a duumvirate, as it is ruled by two co-princes (one of whom is the President of France), although the Andorran prime minister actually wields power as the head of government. Duumvirates in history include the city-states of Carthage, ruled by two mayors, and ancient Rome, ruled by two Consuls.
In the fictional Middle-earth legendarium of author J.R.R. Tolkien, the Black Númenóreans' coastal city of Umbar was typically ruled by a duumvirate.
Some political parties have duumvirates, sometimes, such as is the case of Lindsey German and John Rees in the Socialist Workers Party in Britain.

See also

duumvirate in Ukrainian: Дуумвірат
duumvirate in Spanish: Duunvirato
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