1st Edition

Official Power and Local Elites in the Roman Provinces

Edited By Rada Varga, Viorica Rusu-Bolindeț Copyright 2017
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Presenting a new and revealing overview of the ruling classes of the Roman Empire, this volume explores aspects of the relations between the official state structures of Rome and local provincial elites. The central objective of the volume is to present as complex a picture as possible of the provincial leaderships and their many and varied responses to the official state structures. The perspectives from which issues are approached by the contributors are as multiple as the realities of the Roman world: from historical and epigraphic studies to research of philological and linguistic interpretations, and from architectural analyses to direct interpretations of the material culture. While some local potentates took pride in their relationship with Rome and their use of Latin, exhibiting their allegiances publicly as well as privately, others preferred to keep this display solely for public manifestation. These complex and complementary pieces of research provide an in-depth image of the power mechanisms within the Roman state. The chronological span of the volume is from Rome’s Republican conquest of Greece to the changing world of the fourth and fifth centuries AD, when a new ecclesiastical elite began to emerge.

    List of figures

    Notes on contributors


    I. Local elites in West Roman Greece: the evidence from Thesprotia and Preveza (Ourania Palli, Georgios Riginos, Vasiliki Lamprou)

    I.1. The historical context

    I. 2. The passage to Roman rule and the composition of local elites

    I. 3. The spread of villa culture in Western Epirus

    I. 4. The testimony of grave architecture

    I. 5. Discussion

    I. 6. References

    II. Collective mentality and πραότης: ruling classes in the Eastern provinces in literature, linguistics and epigraphy. A "vademecum" for the politician. (Francesca Zaccaro)

    II. 1. A turning point for the Roman Empire’s collective mentality: between first and 2nd century BC

    II. 2. Πραότης before Empire: the case of oratory age

    II. 3. The imperial shift: the case of Plutarch’s writings as a "vedemecum" of the politician

    II. 4. The politician between city and family

    II. 5. References

    III. Roman State Structures and the Provincial Elite in Republican Iberia (Benedict Lowe)

    III. 1. Magistrates as patrons

    III. 2. Patrons and communities

    III. 3. The granting of citizenship

    III. 4. Hospitium

    III. 5. Conclusions

    III. 6. References

    IV. Routes of Resistance to Integration: Alpine Reactions to Roman Power (Hannah Cornwell)

    IV. 1. Introductory ideas

    IV. 2. The Geopolitics of the Western Alps

    IV. 3. Routes and road–building

    IV. 4. Resistance and integration in the Cottian Alps

    IV. 5. Conclusions

    IV. 6. References

    V. The Futility of Revolt: Pausanias on local myths of freedom and rebellion (Lydia Langerwerf)

    V. 1. Pausanias Periegetes?

    V. 2. The Fall of the Achaean League

    V. 3. The Rise of the


    Rada Varga is Junior Researcher at Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania, and holds a PhD in Ancient History (awarded in 2012, summa cum laude). Her scholarly interests are focused on Roman social history, epigraphy and demography. She has a particular interest in digital epigraphy and ancient population reconstruction/prosopography.

    Viorica Rusu-Bolindeț is Senior Researcher at the National History Museum of Transylvania, Romania. She holds a PhD in Ancient History (awarded in 2001) and her main scholarly interests are centred on the economic life of the Lower Danube provinces. Her book Ceramica romana de la Napoca received the Romanian Academy’s Excellence Prize in 2007.

    "... the volume is a valuable contribution to scholarship, providing good coverage of provincial elites in the Roman empire. It is overall a clearly written and scholarly relevant collection of essays providing interesting case studies, which can be used in comparative research of provincial elites in the Roman empire."

    - Danijel Dzino, Macquarie University (Australia), in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review