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This book deals with changing power and status relations between the highest ranking representatives of Roman imperial power at the central level, in a period when the Empire came under tremendous pressure, AD 193-284. Based on epigraphic, literary and legal materials, the author deals with issues such as the third-century development of emperorship, the shift in power of the senatorial elite and the developing position of senior military officers and other high equestrians. By analyzing the various senior power-holders involved in Roman imperial administration by social rank, this book presents new insights into the diachronic development of imperial administration, appointment policies and socio-political hierarchies between the second and fourth centuries AD.
In: The Impact of Imperial Rome on Religions, Ritual and Religious Life in the Roman Empire
In: Crises and the Roman Empire
In: Mnemosyne


In Vita Alexandri 21.5 the author of the Historia Augusta claims that praetorian prefects were elevated to the rank of senator by Severus Alexander to make sure that no Roman senator would be judged by someone who was not a senator. Most scholars agree that the writer of the Historia Augusta makes a muddle of truth, half truth and falsehood concerning the grant of senatorial dignity to praetorian prefects. Yet they pay little attention to the statement concerning the motive of the prefects’ status upgrade. Re-interpretations based on recent discoveries suggest that information from the Historia Augusta may contain elements of truth, which makes it worthwhile to re-evaluate cases for which alternative sources are available. In this article, the case of L. Petronius Taurus Volusianus, praetorian prefect under Gallienus and consul in AD 261, is discussed against the background of changing power and status relations in the third century, showing that Historia Augusta, Vita Alexandri 21.5 may contain more truth than is usually agreed upon.

In: Mnemosyne