Soldiers and equestrian rank in the third century A.D.

Davenport, Caillan (2012) Soldiers and equestrian rank in the third century A.D.. Papers of the British School at Rome, 80 89-123. doi:10.1017/S0068246212000062

Author Davenport, Caillan
Title Soldiers and equestrian rank in the third century A.D.
Journal name Papers of the British School at Rome   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0068-2462
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0068246212000062
Volume 80
Start page 89
End page 123
Total pages 35
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Subject 210306 Classical Greek and Roman History
Formatted abstract
This article considers a group of inscriptions, ranging in date from the late second to late third centuries ad, which indicates that low-ranked members of the Roman army gained access to equestrian rank in this period. The inscriptions attest two interrelated phenomena: (1) the promotion of soldiers to posts in the militiae equestres, a series of officer commands usually held by men from the ordo equester; and (2) grants of equestrian status to soldiers' sons, many of whom were only very young. These developments represent a marked departure from the circumstances that prevailed in the early Empire, when equestrian rank could be bestowed only by the emperor on men who possessed a census qualification of 400,000 sesterces. In this article, I propose that successive emperors gave soldiers greater access to the militiae equestres, and in some cases awarded equestrian rank to their sons, because they recognized the widespread desire for social mobility among the ranks of the army. The widening of access to equestrian rank within the Roman army contributed to the devaluation of this status over the course of the third century ad.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 25 Sep 2012, 15:03:29 EST by Dr Caillan Davenport on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry