I am looking for a way to say "Implied Power" in Latin. When I say "Implied Power" I mean to say "Implicit Political Authority."

Here is an example to walk readers through what I am trying to get at:

"Explicit Political Authority" is the authority of a governing body to give orders to a department of government, the private sector and the electorate. I have decided to use the word "Imperium" instead of saying "Explicit Political Authority" every time.

Now, "Implicit Political Authority" is the authority exerted by a private entity upon someone holding Imperium (explicit political authority). Someone with "Implicit Political Authority" holds no political office, but by some means is able to influence the outcomes of political life.

So, what I need is ONE word to say "Implicit Political Authority." Obviously Rome had a word for political power, but did they have a way to say indirect power? If they did not, how might we say it?


1 Answer 1


One possible word for "implicit" is tacitus, meaning "implied", "silent", "hidden", and similar things. You could say imperium tacitum.

Alternatively, you could work with the word auctoritas for influence. I think it fits better; auctoritas tacita sounds like the kind of invisible power you describe.

You can get very close with two words, but I don't know of a single Latin word that would achieve your goal. Whichever single Latin word is closest to what you want, it is going to be open to (mis)interpretation. (This is not unique to Latin; I am not aware of a good English word either. Something like "influence" is pretty vague.) If you want to be understood, use two words.

However, if you want to use a single word as opposed to imperium (as less direct power), then auctoritas is a good choice. But it requires context and explanation to work in the intended meaning.


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