Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Law, Land, and Territories: The Roman Diaspora and the Making of Provincial Administration
by Eberle, Lisa Pilar, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2014, 198; 3686263
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the relationship between the institutions of Roman provincial administration and the economy of the Roman imperial diaspora in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second and first centuries BC. Focusing on the landed estates that many members of the imperial diaspora acquired in the territories of Greek cities, I argue that contestation over the allocation of resources in the provinces among Roman governing classes, the members of the imperial diaspora, and the elites of Greek cities decisively shaped the contours of what we would late recognize as the institutions of provincial administration.

Setting the Roman Empire within a new comparative framework, Chapter One suggests that ancient cities around the Mediterranean, including Rome, often used their imperial power to help their own citizens infringe upon the exclusionary property regimes of other cities, which insisted that—unless they decided otherwise—only their own citizens could acquire this land. Chapter Two combines semantic history with archaeological case-studies to argue that Roman ownership of agricultural resources in the territories of provincial cities was wide-spread and in fact often underpinned the movement of products for which the members of the diaspora are more commonly known. Chapter Three uses epigraphic documentation and Cicero's writings to examine how provincial governors responded to the economic concerns that Romans brought before them, maintaining that law became the most prominent response because it was able to perform a separation between the empire as state and the potentially problematic actions by members of the diaspora, while at the same time not abandoning these Romans' concerns. Chapter Four investigates the contestation over the terms on which members of the diaspora were able to acquire land in Greek cities and vindicates the contributions that Roman jurists and the elites of Greek cities made to the institutional architecture of provincial administration and the political economy it enshrined.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mackil, Emily
Commitee: Fligstein, Neil, Norena, Carlos, Papazarkadas, Nikolaos
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Classical studies, Law, Ancient history
Keywords: Greek east, Law and empire, Property, Roman economy, State formation, Territoriality
Publication Number: 3686263
ISBN: 978-1-321-63011-4
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