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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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From Empire to World-State

From Empire to World-State

Ecumenical Language and Cosmopolitan Consciousness in the Later Roman Aristocracy

Chapter:
(p.187) 9 From Empire to World-State
Source:
Cosmopolitanism and Empire
Author(s):

John Weisweiler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465667.003.0009

This chapter looks at the public image of the emperor and his ruling class which emerged in the later Roman empire. The spread of the idea of the monarch as caretaker of the entire world had at least two important consequences. It enabled the emperors of this period to curtail the privileges of imperial and local aristocraciesand it reshaped the self-understandings of ruling groups. In the fourth century, some senior officials began to present themselves as a global elite, whose membership transcended divisions of ethnicity, geography, and culture. It had become possible to conceive of the Roman empire as a world in which local elites were no longer the subjects of imperial aristocrats, but members of the same social class.

Keywords:   later Roman empire, elites, local elites

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