Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-pfhbr Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-14T21:18:03.793Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Fiscus and Patrimonium: the Saepinum Inscription and Transhumance in the Abruzzi

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2012

Mireille Corbier
Affiliation:
C.N.R.S., Paris

Extract

In any discussion of the relationship between Fiscus and Patrimonium, the inscription from Saepinum dealing with incidents on the callis or tratturo from the Abruzzi to the Tavoliere which passed through the town must play a part. The inscription comprises three documents: a report from the Imperial freedman Septimianus to his superior, the freedman a rationibus Cosmus, on the maltreatment alleged by the conductores gregum oviaricorum in the region of Saepinum and Bovianum, at the hands of local magistrates and stationarii; a request from the a rationibus to the Praetorian Prefects; and a warning letter from these to the magistrates of Saepinum, placed at the head of the dossier.

The standard interpretation of the Saepinum inscription explains the place which it holds in discussions of the Patrimonium; for let us suppose that the conductores gregum oviaricorum are the contractors for the Imperial flocks, the oves dominicae, and that the intervention of Cosmus is justified on the basis of his position, the flocks being sub cura mea; it would follow that at any rate under Marcus (the affair belongs to the years 169–72), the possessions of the Emperor were in the hands of the a rationibus and hence of the Fiscus.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Mireille Corbier 1983. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Edited by Mommsen and Dressel on the basis of earlier transcriptions; the text in CIL IX, 2438, has been reprinted by Bruns, Fontes 7, 242–3, no. 71, S. Riccobono, FIRA 2 1, 327–9, no. 61, and Les lois des Romains, Textes de droit romain 7 II, ed. P. F. Girard and F. Senn, 389–91, chap. VII, no. 10. Re-edited by U. Laffi with photographs, L'iscrizione di Sepino (CIL, IX, 2438) relativa ai contrasti fra le autorità municipali e i conductores delle greggi imperiali con l'intervento dei prefetti del pretorio’, Studi class, e orient, XIV (1965), 177200Google Scholar (text, 180–1). On the system of calles see, for example, Gasperini, L., ‘Sedi umane e strade di Abruzzo in età romana’, in Studi geografici sull' Abruzzo in via di sviluppo (Pubbl. dell'istituto di geografia dell'Università di Pisa) (1970), with map after p. 122Google Scholar; La Regina, A., in Hellenismus in Mittelitalien (1975), 220Google Scholar; and Gabba, E. and Pasquinucci, M., Strutture agrarie e allevamento transumante nell'Italia romana (III–I sec. A.C.) (1979), tav. 1 and 42Google Scholar.

2 Passerini, A., Le coorti pretorie (1939), 251–9Google Scholar; Howe, L., The Pretorian Prefect from Commodus to Diocletian (A.D. 180–305) (1942), 34 with n. 7Google Scholar; Millar, F., The Emperor in the Roman World (1977), 124Google Scholar.

3 Thus U. Laffi, op. cit. (n. 1), 192.

4 A. Passerini, 253–4.

5 Skydsgaard, J., ‘Transhumance in ancient Italy’, Analecta Romana Instituti Danici VII (1974), 35–6Google Scholar.

6 See Ulpian, D 11, 4, 1–2: ‘Is qui fugitivum celavit, fur est … Est etiam generalis epistula Divorum Marci et Commodi, qua declaratur et praesides et magistratus et milites stationarios dominum adiuvare debere inquirendis fugitivis, et ut inventos redderent …’

7 D 47, 14: measures taken by Trajan and Hadrian.

8 Lo Cascio, E., ‘Patrimonium, ratio privata, res privata’, Annali dell'Istituto per gli Studi storici III (19711972), 84Google Scholar.

9 Millar, F., The Emperor, 188Google Scholar.

10 Grenier, A., ‘La transhumance des troupeaux en Italie et son rôle dans l'histoire romaine’, Mél. d'arch. et d'hist. de l'Ecole Française de Rome (1905), 307–12Google Scholar.

11 CTh 10, 6 uses for an imperial constitution of 395 the title ‘De grege dominico’.

12 ‘Some of the flocks’, as Millar, F. correctly noted in The Roman Empire and its Neighbours (1967), 142Google Scholar, a position later abandoned.

13 The Saepinum inscription offers one of the first attested examples of dominicus in the sense of ‘imperial’, cf. TLL V 1, s.v. dominicus, col. 1888.

14 Sirago, F., L'Italia agraria sotto Traiano (1958), 72Google Scholar: ‘già a metà del 2° sec. abbiamo visto che solo ai greggi imperiali è riservata la transumanza: cioè i greggi dei grandi proprietari saranno stati assorbiti nel patrimonium principis’ (see also pp. 147–8 and 154).

15 Trapenard, E., L'ager scripturarius. Contribution à l'histoire de la propriété collective (1908), 220Google Scholar with n. 2; Millar, F., The Emperor, 188Google Scholar: ‘It is more than unlikely that private flocks also were not still driven along these trails’. A constitution of 365 (CTh 7, 7, 2) proves that there were at that time flocks other than those of the Emperor.

16 Millar, F., The Emperor, 188Google Scholar.

17 Eph. epigr. 8 (1899), no. 139 = Cianfarani, V., Orto, L. Franchi Dall', La Regina, A., Culture adriatiche di Abruzzo e Molise (1978), 568, no. 415, tav. 415Google Scholar.

18 CIL I2, 585 = FIRA 2 1, no. 8 = Les lois des Romains, chap. III, no. 8; cf. E. Gabba and M. Pasquinucci, op. cit. (n. 1), 50, n. 86 and 102–3.

19 CIL IX, 2826, l. 5 ff.: ‘[ …] quae intimius haventes in pectore nostro sancimus hac opportuna et necessaria costutione sacroque omni tempore per loca praefigendo cancellarii nri auctoritate edicto qui professa pecuaria regali derelicto transitu tramite devio arbitrali directione transferre ausi fuerint vel extra designatos et stationales calles per campum vel silvam pasturam et mansionem facere vel etiam ex lege certum numerum professi augere pecora nisi vel diplomatis annotationem exhibentis iusto auxilio vel inventa ratione defendetur criminali id fraude et dolo factum poenali sciant eosque ex legis tenore puniendos praecipimus …’

Wickham, C., Studi sulla società degli Apennini nell'alto medioevo. Contadini, signori e insediamento nel territorio di Valva (Sulmona) (1982), 52–3Google Scholar, correctly interprets this document as evidence for the continuity of transhumance from antiquity to the Gothic period. (He suggests that the decline was connected with the arrival of the Lombards.)

20 Pflaum, H.-G., Abrégé des procurateurs équestres (1974), 26Google Scholar; Carrières procuratoriennes III, 1025; M. Corbier, ‘Ti. Claudius Marcellinus et la procuratèle du patrimoine’, ZPE 43 (1981) (Gedenkschrift für Hans-Georg Pflaum), 75–87.

21 See especially E. Trapenard, op. cit. (n. 15), 33; Cl. Nicolet, , Tributum. Recherches sur la fiscalité directe sous la République romaine (1976), 81Google Scholar; Le métier de citoyen dans la Rome républicaine (1976), 229–38; E. Gabba and M. Pasquinucci, op. cit. (n. 1), 49–50.

22 Either authors do not tackle this subject or they assume, as does U. Laffi, loc. cit. (n. 1), 187–8 (after Rostovtzeff), the absorption of public pastures into the Imperial Patrimonium: ‘all' epoca di Marco Aurelio anche questi terreni pascolativi erano confluiti, per la piú gran parte, nel patrimonium principis; essi venivano sfruttati non piú mediante l'esazione di un'imposta pubblica appaltata, ma attraverso la diretta concessione in affitto a dei conductores privati, quegli stessi, con tutta probabilità, che ricevevano in conduzione anche le greggi.’ U. Laffi does not for a moment assume, any more than does Rostovtzeff, that pasturage became free of charge.

23 E. Gabba and M. Pasquinucci, op. cit. (n. 1), 48–50 and 92–4.

24 E. Trapenard, op. cit. (n. 15), 27–98; see also Cl. Nicolet, , Tributum, 281Google Scholar, and Métier de citoyen, 229–33, and E. Gabba and M. Pasquinucci, op. cit. (n. 1), 49–50 and 134–40.

25 cf. E. Trapenard, op. cit. (n. 15), 69–83 with commentary on Varro II, 1, 16 and on Ulpian, D 47, 8, 2, 20.

26 On the lex, cf. E. Trapenard, 52–60, who recognizes in these specifications a financial and farming regulation all in one.

27 If the preface of book 1 was written in 37 B.C. (Varro was then 80), and the dat e of book II, De re pecuaria, is pu t in 67 B.C., the work as a whole would date from 55–50 B.C.; on these problems of the chronology of Varro, see recently Heurgon, J., Economie rurale. Livre I (Collection des Universités de France) (1978), XXIXXVIIGoogle Scholar.

28 See n. 19 above.

29 D 47, 8, 2, 20; cf. E. Trapenard, op. cit. (n. 15), 69, 72, 78.

30 This commentary on the Saepinum inscription was prepared for a seminar held at Newnham College, Cambridge on 28 November 1979, at the invitation of Miss Joyce Reynolds and Michael Crawford. It was subsequently discussed at the Institut de Droit romain de l'Université de Paris (at the invitation of Professor Levy) and at the Istituto di Diritto romano dell'Universitá di Bari (at the invitation of Francesco Grelle). The final version has benefited from the comments of the participants at these various meetings–comments which are too numerous for me to be able to thank their authors individually; the responsibility remains mine alone.

I owe thanks to Michael Crawford who has undertaken the translation.