Dictators of Ancient Rome In its original sense, dictator meant a political office of the Roman Republic. Indeed, dictator is a Latin word that means (roughly) "one who commands". A dictator was elected in times of military emergency to take command of the state and its armies for a term of 6 months. Unlike ordinary Roman govenment officials, dictators were elected without colleagues and had no limits on their authority, military or civil. A dictator was chosen by the Senate and confirmed by a vote of the people. The dictator, once confirmed, chose his own Magister Equitum or "Commander of the Cavalry" to help him in his administration.
The best known of the Roman dictators of the regular type were Cincinnatus and Fabius Maximus (see Second Punic War). Julius Caesar was named dictator for a 10 year term in 46 BC and "dictator for life" in 45, both irregular appointments.
The problem is however that probably every dictator creates a group of people around him that can profit heavily from him being in reign. This group will of course hold that the dictator is benevolent. Even in recent times dictators have been generously supported by western states. This includes weapon deals and big loans.
Many dictators attempt to create an image for themselves as being benevolent dictators, usually by creating a personality cult.