Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Local Magistrates of Roman Spain

The Local Magistrates of Roman Spain

Copyright Date: 1990
Pages: 286
  • Book Info
    The Local Magistrates of Roman Spain
    Book Description:

    Local aristrocracies were crucial to the administrative and social assimilation of provincial communities in the Roman world. Leonard Curchin focuses on local political élites in the Iberian Peninsula, providing the first comprehensive and up-to-date prosopographical catalogue of all known local magistrates in Roman Spain.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7675-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)

    • 1 The Evolution of the Magisterial System
      (pp. 3-11)

      The study of local élites in the Roman Empire could hardly find a more appropriate starting-point than the Spanish provinces. Apart from being Rome’s earliest provincial acquisition on the European mainland, Spain — or at any rate her civilized southern and eastern sectors — achieved a level of romanization unexcelled anywhere else in the Empire (albeit matched, eventually, by neighbouring Narbonensis). This conjunction of precedence and progress allows us to trace the complete development of the municipal system in Spain from pre-Roman times to the Late Roman period, thereby providing a model or case-study with instructive implications for the Empire as a...

    • 2 Evidence for Local Magistrates in Roman Spain
      (pp. 12-20)

      Examination of the evidence from the Spanish provinces is essential to an understanding of local government in the Roman Empire. The Iberian Peninsula has yielded not only a wealth of lapidary inscriptions naming individual magistrates – welcome grist for the prosopographer’s mill – but also a series of miraculously preserved bronze tablets from southern Spain, containing substantial portions of colonial and municipal charters of the first centuries BC and AD.

      These charters are of tremendous importance for the municipal history of Roman Spain and indeed of the Roman West as a whole, for without the Spanish evidence, our knowledge of municipal regulations...

    • 3 Career Progression: The Cursus Honorum
      (pp. 21-57)

      Careers at Rome traditionally followed a more or less fixed order of offices(cursus honorum).The applicability of such a rigidcursusto local magistrates in the provinces is a rather more complex question. The purpose of present chapter is to examine the career structure of magistrates in Roman Spain, including the requirements for entry to various offices, the types of magistracy available, and career progression both within the local system and beyond. The evidence for this presentation consists principally the surviving Spanish charters, which (as explained in chapter 2) are probably typical of the regulations in all privileged communities....

    • 4 Duties of Magistrates
      (pp. 58-70)

      Local magistrates exercised a wide range of duties which embraced almost every conceivable sphere of activity – judicial, religious, economic, social, cultural. Many of these duties are punctiliously spelled out in the charters of Urso, Salpensa and Malaca, which have been extensively mined by modern commentators and by the standard handbooks on provincial administration; it would be pointless to reiterate at length the details of these provisions, which are as familiar to the specialist as they are tedious to the uninitiated. Whereas one could easily become bogged down in the cumbrous particulars of the charter regulations, there is obvious merit in...

    • 5 Social Status
      (pp. 71-84)

      As members of the local élite, magistrates were persons of elevated status within the community. In chapter 3 it was demonstrated that admission to magistracies and to the local senate was limited to persons meeting the requisite birth, property, and character qualifications. The present chapter explores in somewhat greater detail the problems of birth and citizenship, as well as some related social considerations.

      Local magistracies were the preserve of the free-born élite. The sole exception to this rule occurred under Julius Caesar, who allowed freedmen to serve as magistrates in his new Spanish foundations, whose colonists consisted largely of members...

    • 6 Romanization
      (pp. 85-102)

      Romanization may be defined as the process of assimilation of Roman customs by non-Roman peoples. This was neither an instantaneous nor a simple process; some areas of the Empire, including parts of Spain, were never completely romanized. In each Roman province, however, the élite were among the first to be romanized, and indeed formed an essential nucleus for the romanization of the province as a whole. As Brunt has demonstrated, the romanization of local aristocracies was both a tenet of Roman policy and a cornerstone of Roman control.¹

      Romanization was effected through a variety of means: the influence of the...

    • 7 Personal Wealth
      (pp. 103-114)

      The property qualification for admission to theordoand the requirement for magistrates to provide games from their own pockets suggest that magistrates and decurions made up the financial as well as the political élite in their own communities.¹ Indeed, as we have seen, those without money and those engaged in lower-class jobs were specifically barred from office. That local magistracies were the preserve of the wealthy is therefore selfevident. The intention of the present chapter is to explore several more ambitious questions, namely, where did magistrates get their wealth, how much did they have, how and why did they...

    • 8 Magistrates in the Late Empire
      (pp. 115-122)

      One of the primary symptoms of the ‘decline’ of the Roman Empire was financial and moral collapse of its cities during the Late Empire. The theory, well rehearsed, can be found in any manual of Roman history. Hereditary membership in the decurionate became obligatory, a development now considered to have been virtually inevitable. Scholars differ in dating this process to the second, third or fourth century;¹ the earliest preserved edict on the subject is dated to 320(Cod. Theod. 12.1.17).Magistracies were no longer an honour(honor)but a compulsory burden(munus);municipal offices had become (in Arnold’s phrase) instruments...

    • 9 General Conclusions
      (pp. 123-126)

      This book has dealt with four main themes: the adoption of Roman institutions, the identity and nature of the municipal élite, the social dynamics of local government, and relation of wealth to power (or, in the Late Empire, to obligation). These do not correspond to the titles of the individual chapters, but rather overlap them, and indeed each other. Our final task must be to draw together the discrete inferences emerging from discussion of individual points and to sketch a composite scenario of the functioning of the local magisterial system as it relates to these central themes.

      The creation of...

      (pp. 127-132)

      (pp. 135-136)

      This catalogue consists of five parts. Parts 1 through 3 list all known local magistrates from the Spanish provinces of Baetica, Lusitania, and Tarraconensis (Hispania Citerior), respectively. Part 4 contains addenda to the catalogue of historical magistrates. Part 5 lists supposed magistrates who appear to be spurious (e.g., attested in a fake inscription or adduced from a misreading of a coin) or dubious.

      Each province has been subdivided into towns with known magistrates. These towns are listed alphabetically by their Roman names; if the ancient name is unknown, the modern toponym is substituted. When a magistrate is known to have...

    • 1 Baetica
      (pp. 137-167)
    • 2 Lusitania
      (pp. 168-178)
    • 3 Tarraconensis (Hispania Citerior)
      (pp. 179-233)
    • 4 Addenda
      (pp. 234-235)
    • 5 Spurious or Doubtful Magistrates
      (pp. 236-244)
    (pp. 247-258)
    (pp. 259-262)
    (pp. 263-269)
  10. MAPS
    (pp. 271-275)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 276-276)