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Cosmopolitanism and EmpireUniversal Rulers, Local Elites, and Cultural Integration in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean$
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Myles Lavan, Richard E. Payne, and John Weisweiler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465667.001.0001

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“Father of the Whole Human Race”

“Father of the Whole Human Race”

Ecumenical Language and the Limits of Elite Integration in the Early Roman Empire

(p.153) 7 “Father of the Whole Human Race”
Cosmopolitanism and Empire

Myles Lavan

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Roman efforts to integrate local elites in the eastern provinces of the early Roman empire. It reviews the many sources of difference—legal, cultural, and ethnic—that divided local populations from each other and from their Roman rulers, highlighting in particular the gap between the imperial elite and local elites in the east. Roman rulers and civic elites engaged in a dialogue of decrees and letters that worked to bridge that gap by imagining an empire in which “the whole human race” was equally subject to the emperor. The chapter illustrates the importance of discursive practices in bridging the divide between imperial and local elites even in an empire normally taken as the model of elite integration.

Keywords:   Roman empire, assimilation, subordination, ecumenical, letters, imperial elite

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