The army and the spread of Roman citizenship
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This paper draws on recent advances in our knowledge (much of it owed to the proliferation of military diplomas) and a new analytical method to quantify the number of soldiers and their children who received Roman citizenship between 14 and 212 c.e. Although significant uncertainties remain, these can be quantified and turn out to be small relative to the overall scale of enfranchisement. The paper begins by reviewing what is known about grants of citizenship to soldiers, with particular attention to the remaining uncertainties, before presenting a quantitative model of the phenomenon. The total number of beneficiaries was somewhere in the region 0.9–1.6 million — significantly lower than previous estimates have suggested. It also emerges that the rate of enfranchisement varied substantially over time, in line with significant changes in manpower, length of service (and hence the number of recruits and discharged veterans) and the rate of family formation among soldiers. The Supplementary Material available online (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075435819000662) contains a database of military diplomas (Supplementary Appendix 1), a mathematical model of enfranchisement implemented in MS Excel (Supplementary Appendix 2), a description of the model (Supplementary Appendix 3A) and a derivation of the model of attrition across service cohorts in Fig. 6 (Supplementary Appendix 3B).
Lavan , M P 2019 , ' The army and the spread of Roman citizenship ' , Journal of Roman Studies , vol. 109 , pp. 27-69 . https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075435819000662
Journal of Roman Studies
© The Author 2019. Published by The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075435819000662
DescriptionThe author acknowledges The Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council for Research Fellowships that funded this research.
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