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Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius$
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Christopher Smith and Liv Mariah Yarrow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600755

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.001.0001

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Decem Legati: A Flexible Institution, Rigidly Perceived

Decem Legati: A Flexible Institution, Rigidly Perceived

(p.168) 9 Decem Legati: A Flexible Institution, Rigidly Perceived
Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Liv Mariah Yarrow

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the evidence for the use of boards of ten commissions in the period after 146 bc and compares these later instances with those better know legations of the late third and early second centuries. It concludes that there is no strong break in Roman constitutional practice, but instead that the institution was adapted throughout its history to suit individual circumstances. The evidence from Cicero, Plutarch, and Cassius Dio regarding the legates sent to Lucullus during the Mithridatic War is central to the arguement. The lex Rupilia as presented in Cicero's Verrines further illustrates the Romans own conception of the institution.

Keywords:   Boards of Ten, Cicero, constitutional history, legates, Roman imperialism

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