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3. The Local Magistrates and Elite of Roman Corinth

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Chapter Summary

Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis, founded ca. 44 BCE on the site of the ancient Greek city of Corinth, may well have begun on a rather small scale, but it expanded quickly over the waning years of the 1st century BCE. The status of freedmen and the opportunities afforded to them at Corinth is perhaps best illustrated by the case of Cn. Babbius Philinus. Roman Corinth's elite, known to one primarily through the holders of the various magistracies there, is composed of three main strands: freedmen, almost exclusively of Greek origin; Romans, i.e. Roman citizens from the West, usually members of the Roman elite and normally already active or settled in the East, sometimes having been so for several generations; and members of the Greek provincial elite. The occurrence of social mobility seems not only extremely unlikely but actually counter to the way the system was designed.

Keywords: Cn. Babbius Philinus; Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis; freedmen; Greek provincial elite; Roman Corinth's elite; social mobility



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