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8 Triple Vision: Ulpian of Tyre on the Duties of the Proconsul

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Chapter Summary

Ulpian is silent on Tyre's past as a founder of colonies or its continuing overseas connections with its daughter-cities, such as Lepcis Magna in Tripolitania, the home city of Ulpian's first imperial patron, Septimius Severus. Ulpian was not alone in reshaping the past in order to reinforce a present identity but his distancing of himself from his Greek heritage makes him unusual. This chapter focuses on Ulpian's account of what was expected of the proconsul on his arrival in his province. Ulpian's 270 books on Roman law conform to the conventions of Roman jurisprudence, as practised since the first century. In the streets and bazaars of Tyre, the young Ulpian would have jostled with speakers of multiple languages, peoples with diverse cultures, histories and legal practices largely ignored by the dominant discourse of Hellenism. Expertise in Roman law brought Ulpian to success and power in the imperial administration.

Keywords: imperial administration; proconsul; Roman law; Ulpian

10.1163/9789004278288_010
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