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Title: Fleets and Prouinciae in the Roman Republic : institutions, administration and the conceptualisation of empire between 260 and 49 B.C.
Author: Day, Simon Christopher
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This research examines how, when and why the Romans assigned and defined the tasks of preparing and commanding fleets during the Republic. In doing so, it brings new evidence to bear on the wider debates about the nature of the prouincia and the institutional and administrative development of the Roman empire. The communis opinio is that a prouincia originally represented a functional “sphere of operation” that was allotted or assigned to a magistrate and that it only later developed a geographical meaning with territorial connotations through the process of “provincialisation.” This research challenges that view through an analysis of the evidence for the definition, assignment and practical use of the prouincia classis and other prouinciae connected with the command of fleets. Drawing upon and analysing the lists of administrative arrangements to be found in the “annalistic” sections of the surviving books of Livy’s History, it argues that prouinciae were defined in specific geographical and functional terms long before the development of permanent territorial empire. This offers a new perspective which points to and elucidates the flexible use of the prouincia as a means of separating magistrates and promagistrates in space or by function in space. It argues that the rationale for this was to limit conflicts between commanders over command and triumphal rights. By combining evidence from a wide range of sources after the loss of Livy’s History from 167, the research shows that the above rationale for demarcating prouinciae still applied in the first century B.C. However, it also demonstrates that there were significant changes with the assignment of vast Mediterranean-wide naval prouinciae in the first half of the first century B.C. It argues that the definition of these prouinciae was made possible by the development of a singular collective Mediterranean-wide ora maritima, which was brought about by the Romans’ increasing “acknowledgement of empire.” The negative political and institutional implications of these developments are also assessed. Finally, in discussing the above, this research also provides new insights into the role and auctoritas of the Senate, the function and freedom of magistrates, and the Romans’ conceptualisation of their empire.
Supervisor: Prag, Jonathan R. W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; History of the ancient world ; Roman History ; Roman provinces ; prouincia ; provincia ; prouinciae ; provinciae ; Roman imperialism ; Roman navy ; Roman fleets ; Roman triumph ; naval triumph ; Roman Senate ; Roman Republic ; Roman magistrates ; Roman promagistrates ; imperium ; ancient Mediterranean ; ora maritima ; Pompey ; Pompeius ; Antonius Creticus ; Lex Porcia ; terra marique ; extraordinary commands ; special commands