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Resident Aliens And Translocal Merchant Collegia In The Roman Empire

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Chapter Summary

The greatest achievement of the Roman empire was that it succeeded in creating an imagined community based on Roman citizenship, which transcended the local level. This chapter studies the role of voluntary associations (collegia) of resident aliens and translocal merchants in this process. The inscription relating to the Tyrian stationarii is the richest document one have on an association of foreign residents. It documents its importance as a cult association, its relation with its home and its host city, its relation to a sister association and its relations with shippers and merchants. Collegia of residents aliens maintained close relations with their home cities. The case of the Tyrian stationarii suggests that the home city at least had moral authority over their emigrant communities. An important function of collegia of alien residents and translocal businessmen was to forge and strengthen social relations between persons sharing the same background, customs and profession.

Keywords: collegia; resident aliens; Roman empire; translocal merchants; Tyrian stationarii



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