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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World$
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Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, and Arjan Zuiderhoek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2022

The Imperial Property and its Development

The Imperial Property and its Development

Chapter:
(p.62) 4 The Imperial Property and its Development
Source:
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
Author(s):

Elio Lo Cascio

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.003.0004

The role of imperial property in the working of the Roman economy is unique when compared with the role it played in other empires in history. Its peculiarity stems from the ways in which it was originally formed and more generally from the ways in which the new imperial order was established. The ambivalent position of the princeps, who was neither a magistrate nor simply a private person, was reflected in the ambivalent position of his patrimonium, the property of a private individual that was used to meet ‘public’ ends. This can explain why imperial property was always run through the very instruments adopted by private people in managing their property, and why the economic scenario in which the emperor acted did not radically change in consequence of his presence. Neither did this situation change with the ‘crisis’ of the third century and the new political organization which emerged from it.

Keywords:   imperial property, fiscus, patrimonium, Roman economy, state, market

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