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Mapping The Collegia Centonariorum

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to chart the geographical and chronological distributions of the collegia centonariorum. It explains that the geographical and chronological diffusion of this type of collegium had particular patterns, distinct from those of other well attested Roman collegia, especially the collegia fabrum and the collegia dendrophorum. The investigation of both the distributions of the collegia centonariorum and the implication(s) of such distributions has significant bearing on a proper understanding of the origin(s), nature and functions of these collegia. The chapter lays the foundation for the rest of the book, especially Chapters 2-4. Van Nijf suggested that we should see these collegia as status groups in the Roman cities. But neither seeing them as purely fire brigades nor applying the paradigm of 'status-group' theory provides satisfactory answers to the individuality of these collegia. The chapter illustrates this point by a brief discussion of the case of the collegia dendrophorum.

Keywords: 'status-group' theory; collegia dendrophorum; fire brigades; Roman cities



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