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Masters and Freedmen: Junian Latins and the Struggle for Citizenship

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Chapter Summary

Grants of citizenship have long been recognized as an important factor in the integration of the Roman empire. Citizenship provided status and entry into patronage networks as well as more tangible benefits. Evidence of Junian Latins on the ground is rather thin, except for the case of L.Venidius Ennychus, known from the Herculaneum tablets, who wished to qualify for full citizenship by establishing that he had conceived a year-old child in proper marriage. To acquire Roman citizenship meant more to the Latins, though, as it offered the right to make wills and take under wills, which coloniary Latins already had as a matter of course, and it lessened their patron's control iure quodammodo peculii over their future inheritance. From the perspective of a Junian Latin, the law of Rome was tempting him with a carrot and threatening him with a stick.

Keywords:citizenship; Junian Latins; patronal interest; Roman empire



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