with Lukas Lemcke: Users and Issuers of Permits of the Imperial Information and Transportation System in the 1st Century CE. In: Latomus 72, 2013, 1034-1054.


Abstract (English)

After a brief introduction into the imperial information and transportation system (occasionally called vehiculatio in the High Empire, but cursus publicus only in Late Antiquity), this study seeks to specify the dates of its first establishment under Augustus and, more importantly, the steps taken by the central power to tighten the control of its resources. Drawing on the Sagalassus inscription (SEG XXVI, 1392 [20/37 AD]), we shall offer new explanations for who was entitled to draw on those public carts and draft animals on the basis of function or personal status and who had to produce a permit (diploma) to access the resources in the early 1st century AD. Further precision will be allowed by an investigation of the edicts of the praefecti Aegypti Recto (Pap. Lond. III, 1171 [42 AD]), Capito (SEG XX, 694 [48 AD]), and Mamertius (PSI V, 446 [133-137 AD]), as well as a rescript of Domitian (IGLSyr V, 1998 [81-83 AD]). Those documents warrant the conclusion that the use of diplomata became obligatory for everyone (with the possible exception of senators) under Claudius, while the right to issue such permits became a monopoly of the imperial chancellery under Vespasian. In a final chapter, these reforms are contextualized within the broader constitutional development: first an increasingly close state control over the movements of aristocrats and officials under Claudius, and secondly a restriction of the waste of public resources under the Flavians.