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Good for business. The roman army and the emergence of a 'business class' in the northwestern provinces of the roman empire (1st century BCE–3rd century CE)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the impact of the Roman army on the emergence of a 'business class' as a social category in the northwestern provinces of the Empire. It ventures the following definition: A socio-economic class is an aggregate of social actors who share a (partially) common social identity, signifying a dinstinctive similarity in basic dispositions, derived from their specific position in or to the social field of market exchange. The social identity of a particular 'class' is based on economic distinctions; quantitative (wealth and income), qualitative (source of wealth or income) and organisational (investment only, labour only). The emergence and growth of 'the' market as a distinct social field had its corollary in the emergence and growth of a business class, which originally and until deep into the first century, was prevalently of Roman nationality.

Keywords: business class; northwestern provinces; Roman army; Roman Empire; Roman nationality; socio-economic class



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