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Policing the Roman EmpireSoldiers, Administration, and Public Order$
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Christopher Fuhrmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737840.001.0001

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“Like a thief in the night”: Self-help, Magisterial Authority, and Civilian Policing

“Like a thief in the night”: Self-help, Magisterial Authority, and Civilian Policing

(p.44) (p.45) 3 “Like a thief in the night”: Self-help, Magisterial Authority, and Civilian Policing
Policing the Roman Empire

Christopher J. Fuhrmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the diversity of policing and public order measures in the many areas of the Roman Empire that did not have soldier-police, including religion as social control, self-help, private security, posses, town watches and magistrates, magistrates’ attendants (apparitores), market officials, public slaves, and civilian police forces. Asia Minor and Egypt had particularly well developed civil police forces. In the provinces of Asia Minor, eirenarchs, paraphylakes, and diôgmitae policed the territory of many cities. Roman Egypt had a multiplicity of civil police, which can be roughly divided between several types of guards (their ranks largely filled by public-service liturgies), and police officers (e.g. archephodoi) who arrested criminals and summoned suspects (sometimes acting on so-called “orders to arrest” or summonses issued by higher authorities). Local conflicts and limited jurisdiction created space for Roman involvement in public order, and the growth of military policing.

Keywords:   Self-help, magistrates, apparitores, public slaves, Asia Minor, eirenarchs, paraphylakes, diôgmitae, Roman Egypt, public services (liturgies)

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