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Dux (plural: duces) is Latin for leader (from the verb ducere, 'to lead') and later for Duke and its variant forms (Doge, Duce, etc.).

During the Roman Republic, dux could refer to anyone who commanded troops, including foreign leaders, but was not a formal military rank. In writing his commentaries on the Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar uses the term only for Celtic generals, with one exception for a Roman commander who held no official rank.Thomas Wiedemann, “The Fetiales: A Reconsideration,” Classical Quarterly 36 (1986), p. 483. The Roman called dux is Publius Crassus, who was too young to hold a commission; see discussion of his rank.

Roman empire

Until the third century AD, dux was not a formal expression of rank within the Roman military or administrative hierarchy.Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C.-A.D. 337 (Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 191

In the Roman military, a Dux would be a general in charge of two or more legions. While the title of Dux could refer to a consul or imperator, it usually refers to the Roman governor of the provinces. As the governor, the Dux was both the highest civil official as well as the commander-in-chief of the legions garrisoned within the province.

However, during the time of the Dominate, the powers of a Dux were split from the role of the governor and were given to a new office called "Dux". The Dux was still the highest military office within the province and...
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