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Young Magistrates in the Greek East

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This article challenges the current view that young men (before the age of 22 or 25) institutionally participated in the government of their cities in the Greek East during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. First, the laws and Imperial edicts concerning the age of officeholders (magistrates and liturgists) in the East are presented. Then the inscriptions mentioning young officeholders are critically examined and discussed; only thirteen cases are recorded with certainty. In the conclusion it is argued that office holding by children and young men was not a structural phenomenon in the cities. There was great reluctance to entrust responsible offices to young men. The offices young notables did hold were liturgical offices, especially the gymnasiarcheia, and financial magistracies, all implying heavy financial expenses for the holder or his parents, and the low-ranking office of the ephêbarcheia.


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