Power and Status in the Roman Empire, AD 193-284


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.
Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Inge Mennen, Ph.D. (2010) in History, Radboud University Nijmegen, is currently Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. She has published on the Severan emperors’ representation of power, and the role of senators and high equestrians in imperial administration.

Review Quote

" Mennen's study of the changing power and status relation between the highest level of Roman imperial administration is a well written analysis of a highly complex and methodologically challenging period, and offers a clear and coherent contribution to scholarship. Mennen draws on the available evidence and treats both the literary and epigraphic records with great care. All in all Mennen's study will be of great interest to those in the field of 3rd century imperial administration and of the period in general." Jesper Majbom Madsen in BMCR, 25.04.2012

Table of contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABBREVIATIONS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1: CHANGING EMPERORSHIP: SETTING THE SCENE 1.1. Factors influencing emperorship between AD 193 and 284 1.2. Consequences for the position of the emperor 1.3. Conclusion CHAPTER 2: THE IMPACT OF CRISES ON THE POSITION OF THE SENATORIAL ELITE 2.1. Establishing the senatorial elite in the third century 2.2. Analyzing the selected families 2.3. Defining a nucleus within the senatorial elite 2.4. Conclusion EXCURSUS: PROSOPOGRAPHY OF THE SENATORIAL ELITE FAMILIES CHAPTER 3: PRAETORIAN PREFECTS AND OTHER HIGH-RANKING EQUESTRIANS 3.1. The increasing responsibilities of high equestrians in imperial administration 3.2. The status of high-ranking equestrians in the third century 3.3. The praefecti praetorio: a case study 3.4. Conclusion CHAPTER 4: HIGH-RANKING MILITARY OFFICERS: SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS VS GALLIENUS 4.1. Septimius Severus and his military officers 4.2. Gallienus and his military officers 4.3. Conclusion CONCLUSION APPENDIX -1- APPENDIX -2- APPENDIX -3- BIBLIOGRAPHY


All those interested in the socio-political history of the ancient world, the workings of Roman imperial administration, and the connections between center and periphery within the Roman Empire.