(for, or in place of, the consul). At the division of the provinces by Augustus, in the year B.C. 27, into senatorial and imperial, the emperor assigned to the senate such portions of territory as were peaceable and could be held without force of arms. Those which he retained were called imperial, and were governed by legates and procurators. Over the senatorial provinces the senate appointed by lot yearly an officer, who was called "proconsul" and who exercised purely proconsul, civil functions. The provinces were in consequence called "proconsular."
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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