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Open Access The Impact Of Crises On The Position Of The Senatorial Elite

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The Impact Of Crises On The Position Of The Senatorial Elite

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Chapter Summary

The senatorial elite of the first three centuries AD has been analyzed by Hopkins and Burton in 1983. Based on their intergenerational analysis of senatorial membership and holders of the consulate they rejected both the traditional view that membership of the senate was hereditary and Alföldy's notion of a de facto inheritable consulate under the Antonines. This chapter discusses continuity within the senatorial elite. Beginning with a number of consular positions within central imperial administration, the author inventoried a substantial proportion of the senatorial elite which served the emperors at the level of central administration between AD 193 and 284. These lists enable to mark out eighteen gentes which apparently dominated the senatorial elite in the period under scrutiny. A detailed prosopographical analysis has shown similarities in the profiles of these families which collectively constituted (part of) a nucleus within the central senatorial elite.

Keywords: Burton; central imperial administration; gentes; Hopkins; prosopographical analysis; senatorial elite



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