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Commanders and Command in the Roman Republic and Early Empire$
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Fred K. Drogula

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621265

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621265.001.0001

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The Concept of Provincia in Early Rome (to 367 BC)

The Concept of Provincia in Early Rome (to 367 BC)

(p.131) 3 The Concept of Provincia in Early Rome (to 367 BC)
Commanders and Command in the Roman Republic and Early Empire

Fred K. Drogula

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the concept of provincia as a specific sphere within which the imperium conferred the absolute (but vaguely defined) authority to give orders and to enforce one’s will. The provincia defined the purpose for which the commander’s imperium was to be used, but it did not define or limit how the commander was to use his imperium within the pursuit of that purpose. Because the provincia and provincial assignment defined the sphere in which each commander’s imperium was absolute and unchallenged, there was no need to establish different degrees of imperium between different commanders; the notion of rank was unnecessary because each command was clearly defined. Instead of placing its commanders into a hierarchy of rank or a chain of command, the Romans gave each commander a different provincia, thereby establishing whose imperium took priority or precedence in what sphere.

Keywords:   provincia, imperium, provincial assignment, Roman commander, chains of command

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