However, with Tarquinius Priscus, it was said that royal inheritance flowed from the female relations of the deceased monarch. The Roman kings were therefore chosen primarily on their virtues and not royal lineage.
The powers wielded by the king are difficult to determine since some historians attribute them with those possessed by later Republican leaders, mainly the Consuls. Modern historians believe that Rome's kings were the chief executive for the senate and the people, and that real power was exercised by the people. Other historians believe that the king had the supreme power and the senate and people only had checks upon his power.
The king had the sole right to auspice in behalf of Rome as its chief augur. No public business could be undertaken without consent of the gods whose will were made known through the auspices. Thus, the king is treated with reverence as he is considered the mediator between the gods and the people. The king is therefore the head of the national religion and the is its foremost religious executive. He had the power to control the Roman calendar. He also conducted all religious ceremonies, created lower religious officers, and appointed their officials. Aside from his religious authority, the king also held supreme military and judicial authority by virtue of the Imperium. It was his for life and was protected and gave him immunity from being tried for his actions. This allowed him to exercise vast military powers that could not be checked, for he was commander of all Roman legions. The kings wielded enormous power since there was also an absence of laws which protected citizens from the abuses of officials possessing the Imperium.
The Imperium also allowed the king to make legal judgments since he also acts as the chief justice of Rome. He had overall jurisdiction over cases brought before him, whether they are civil or criminal, although he could also assign pontiffs to function as minor judges. The powers vested upon him by the Imperium made the king supreme in both peace and war. Although a council advices the king during trials, it has no power over the king and cannot control his decisions. Some historians believe that the king's decision was final and cannot be appealed. Others say that an appeal can be made by a patrician or member of the elite, during meetings of the Curiate Assembly, which elected magistrates and exercised judicial and legislative powers.
The king also had the power to nominate or appoint all officials to offices. He appoints a Tribunus Celerum who is similar to the Praetorian Prefect, and served as the commander of the king's bodyguard. The king appointed the Tribune upon entering office and the Tribune was required to eave his office upon the death of the king. The Tribune was second in rank to the king and possessed the authority to convene the Curiate Assembly.
The king also appointed the Praefectus Urbanus who performed the duties of warden of the city. The prefect assumed all the king's powers and abilities when the monarch is absent from the city. He assumed the king's power that he was also bestowed the Imperium while inside the city. There came a point in time when the king also acquired the sole right to appoint patricians to the senate.
The Senate and the Curiate Assembly had very little power and authority under the Roman kings. They were not independent bodies that could meet and discuss affairs of state. They could only be convened by the king and their discussions are limited to matters which are presented before them by the monarch. The Curiate Assembly had the power to pas laws presented before