Roman province

Last updated

Roman Empire under Augustus (31 BC - AD 14), showing the empire as of 31 BC in yellow, additions to 19 BC in dark green, additions in 9 BC in light green, and additions to AD 6 in pale green. Client states in mauve. Impero romano sotto Ottaviano Augusto 30aC - 6dC.jpg
Roman Empire under Augustus (31 BC – AD 14), showing the empire as of 31 BC in yellow, additions to 19 BC in dark green, additions in 9 BC in light green, and additions to AD 6 in pale green. Client states in mauve.
The Roman empire under Hadrian (125) showing the provinces as then organised. Roman Empire 125 political map.png
The Roman empire under Hadrian (125) showing the provinces as then organised.

The Roman provinces (Latin : provincia, pl. provinciae) were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled by a Roman appointed as governor. [1]


For centuries it was the largest administrative unit of the foreign possessions of ancient Rome. [1] With the administrative reform initiated by Diocletian, it became a third level administrative subdivision of the Roman Empire, or rather a subdivision of the imperial dioceses (in turn subdivisions of the imperial prefectures). [1]


A province was the basic and, until the Tetrarchy (from AD 293), the largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside Roman Italy.

During the republic and early empire, provinces were generally governed by politicians of senatorial rank, usually former consuls or former praetors. [1] A later exception was the province of Egypt, which was incorporated by Augustus after the death of Cleopatra and was ruled by a governor of only equestrian rank, perhaps as a discouragement to senatorial ambition. [1] That exception was unique but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus's personal property, following the tradition of the kings of the earlier Hellenistic period. [1]

Republican period

The English word province comes from the Latin word provincia. [2] The Latin term provincia had an equivalent in eastern, Greek-speaking parts of the Greco-Roman world. In the Greek language, a province was called an eparchy (Greek : ἐπαρχίᾱ, eparchia), with a governor called an eparch (Greek : ἔπαρχος, eparchos). [3]


The Latin provincia, during the middle republic, referred not to a territory, but to a task assigned to a Roman magistrate. That task might require using the military command powers of imperium but otherwise could even be a task assigned to a junior magistrates without imperium: for example, the treasury was the provincia of a quaestor and the civil jurisdiction of the urban praetor was the urbana provincia. [2] In the middle and late republican authors like Plautus, Terence, and Cicero, the word referred something akin to a modern ministerial portfolio: [4] "when... the senate assigned provinciae to the various magistrates... what they were doing was more like allocating a portfolio than putting people in charge of geographic areas". [5]

The first commanders dispatched with provinciae were for the purpose of waging war and to command an army. However, merely that a provincia was assigned did not mean the Romans made that territory theirs. For example, Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus in 211 BC received Macedonia as his provincia but the republic did not annex the kingdom, even as Macedonia was continuously assigned until 205 BC with the end of the First Macedonian war. Even though the Second and Third Macedonian wars saw the Macedonian province revived, the senate settled affairs in the region by abolishing Macedonia and replacing it with four client republics. Macedonia only came under direct Roman administration in the aftermath of the Fourth Macedonian war in 148 BC. [6] Similarly, assignment of various provinciae in Hispania was not accompanied by the creation of any regular administration of the area; indeed, even though two praetors were assigned to Hispania regularly from 196 BC, no systematic settlement of the region occurred for nearly thirty years and what administration occurred was ad hoc and emerged from military necessities. [7]

In the middle republic, the administration of a territory – whether taxation or jurisdictrion – had basically no relationship with whether that place was assigned as a provincia by the senate. Rome would even intervene on territorial disputes which were part of no provincia at all and were not administered by Rome. [8] The territorial province, called a "permanent" provincia in the scholarship, emerged only gradually.

Permanent provincia

The acquisition of territories, however, through the middle republic created the recurrent task of defending and administering some place. The first "permanent" provincia was that of Sicily, created after the First Punic War. In the immediate aftermath, a quaestor was sent to Sicily to look out for Roman interests but eventually, praetors were dispatched as well. The sources differ as to when sending a praetor became normal: Appian reports 241 BC; Solinus indicates 227 BC instead. Regardless, the change likely reflected Roman unease about Carthaginian power: quaestors could not command armies or fleets; praetors could and initially seem to have held largely garrison duties. [9] This first province started a permanent shift in Roman thinking about provincia. Instead of being a task of military expansion, it became a recurrent defensive assignment to oversee conquered territories. These defensive assignments, with few opportunities to gain glory, were less desirable and therefore became regularly assigned to the praetors. [10]

Only around 180 BC did provinces take on a more geographically defined position when a border was established to separate the two commanders assigned to Hispania on the river Baetis. [11] Later provinces, once campaigns were complete, were all largely defined geographically. [12] Once this division of permanent and temporary provinciae emerged, magistrates assigned to permanent provinces also came under pressures to achieve as much as possible during their terms. Whenever a military crisis occurred near some province, it was normally reassigned to one of the consuls; praetors were left with the garrison duties. [13] In the permanent provinces, the Roman commanders were initially not intended as administrators. However, the presence of the commander with forces sufficient to coerce compliance made him an obvious place to seek final judgement. A governor's legal jurisdiction thus grew from the demands of the provincial inhabitants for authoritative settlement of disputes. [14]

In the absence of opportunities for conquest and with little oversight for their activities, many praetorian governors settled on extorting the provincials. This profiteering threatened Roman control by unnecessarily angering the province's subject populations and was regardless dishonourable. It eventually drew a reaction from the senate, which reacted with laws to rein in the governors. [15] After initial experimentation with ad hoc panels of inquest, various laws were passed, such as the lex Calpurnia de repetundis in 149 BC, which established a permanent court to try corruption cases; troubles with corruption and laws reacting to it continued through the republican era. [16] By the end of the republic, a multitude of laws had been passed on how a governor would complete his task, requiring presence in the province, regulating how he could requisition goods from provincial communities, limiting the number of years he could serve in the province, etc. [17]


Prior to 123 BC, the senate assigned consular provinces as it wished, usually in its first meeting of the consular year. The specific provinces to be assigned were normally determined by lot or by mutual agreement among the commanders; only extraordinarily did the senate assign a command extra sortem (outside of sortition). [18] But in 123 or 122 BC, the tribune Gaius Sempronius Gracchus passed the lex Sempronia de provinciis consularibus, which required the senate to select the consular provinces before the consular elections and made this announcement immune from tribunician veto. [19] The law had the effect of, over time, abolishing the temporary provinciae, as it was not always realistic for the senate to anticipate the theatres of war some six months in advance. Instead, the senate chose to assign consuls to permanent provinces near expected trouble spots. From 200 to 124 BC, only 22 per cent of recorded consular provinciae were permanent provinces; between 122 and 53 BC, this rose to 60 per cent. [20]

While many of the provinces had been assigned to sitting praetors in the earlier part of the second century, with new praetorships created to fill empty provincial commands, by the start of the first century it had become uncommon for praetors to hold provincial commands during their formal annual term. Instead they generally took command as promagistrate after the end of their term. The use of prorogation was due to an insufficient number of praetors, which was for two reasons: more provinces needed commands [21] and the increased number of permanent jury courts ( quaestiones perpetuae ), each of which had a praetor as president, exacerbated this issue. [22] Praetors during the second century were normally prorogued pro praetore, but starting with the Spanish provinces and expanding by 167 BC, praetors were more commonly prorogued with the augmented rank pro consule ; by the end of the republic, all governors acted pro consule. [23]

Also important was the assertion of popular authority over the assignment of provincial commands. This started with Gaius Marius, who had an allied tribune introduce a law transferring to him the already-taken province of Numidia (then held by Quintus Caecilius Metellus), allowing Marius to assume command of the Jugurthine War. [24] This innovation destabilised the system of assigning provincial commands, exacerbated internal political tensions, and later allowed ambitious politicians to assemble for themselves enormous commands which the senate would never have approved: the Pompeian lex Gabinia of 67 BC granted Pompey all land within 50 miles of the Mediterranean; Caesar's Gallic command that encompassed three normal provinces. [25]

Late Republican period

In the late Republican period, Roman authorities generally preferred that a majority of people in Rome's provinces venerated, respected, and worshipped gods from Rome proper and Roman Italy to an extent, alongside normal services done in honor of their "traditional" gods. [26]

Transition to empire

The increasing practices of prorogation and statutorily-defined "super commands" driven by popularis political tactics [27] undermined the republican constitutional principle of annually-elected magistracies. This allowed the powerful men to amass disproportionate wealth and military power through their provincial commands, which was one of the major factors in the transition from a republic to an imperial autocracy. [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

The senate attempted to push back against these commands in many instances: it preferred to break up any large war into multiple territorially separated commands; for similar reasons, it opposed the lex Gabinia which gave Pompey an overlapping command over large portions of the Mediterranean. [33] The senate, which had long acted as a check on aristocratic ambitions, was unable to stop these immense commands, which culminated eventually with the reduction of the number of meaningfully-independent governors during the triumviral period to three men and, with the end of the republic, to one man.

Early imperial period

During his sixth and seventh consulships (28 and 27 BC), Augustus began a process which saw the republic return to "normality": he shared the fasces that year with his consular colleague month-by-month and announced the abolition of the triumvirate by the end of the year in accordance with promises to do so at the close of the civil wars. [34] At the start of 27 BC, Augustus formally had a provincial command over all of Rome's provinces. That year, in his "first settlement", he ostentatiously returned his control of them and their attached armies to the senate, likely by declaring that the task assigned to him either by the lex Titia creating the Triumvirate or that the war on Cleopatra and Antony was complete. [35] In return, at a carefully-managed meeting of the senate, he was given commands over Spain, Gaul, Syria, Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt to hold for ten years; these provinces contained 22 of the 28 extant Roman legions (over 80 per cent) and contained all prospective military theatres. [36]

The provinces that were assigned to Augustus became known as imperial provinces and the remaining provinces, largely demilitarised and confined to the older republican conquests, became known as public or senatorial provinces, as their commanders were still assigned by the senate on an annual basis consistent with tradition. [37] Because no one man could command in practically all the border-regions of the empire at once, Augustus appointed subordinate legates for each of the provinces with the title legatus Augusti pro praetore . These lieutenant legati probably held imperium but, due to their lack of an independent command, were unable to triumph and could be replaced by their superior (Augustus) at any time. [38] These arrangements were likely based on the precedent of Pompey's proconsulship over the Spanish provinces after 55 BC entirely through legates, while he stayed in the vicinity of Rome. [39] [40] In contrast, the public provinces continued to be governed by proconsuls with formally independent commands. [37] In only three of the public provinces were there any armies: Africa, Illyricum, and Macedonia; after Augustus' Balkan wars, only Africa retained a legion. [41]

To make this monopolisation of military commands palatable, Augustus separated prestige from military importance and inverted it. The title pro praetore had gone out of use by the end of the republic and was regardless in inferior status to a proconsul. More radically, Egypt (which was sufficiently powerful that a commander there could start a rebellion against the emperor) was commanded by an equestrian prefect, "a very low title indeed" as prefects were normally low-ranking officers and equestrians were not normally part of the elite. [42] In Augustus' "second settlement" of 23 BC, he gave up his continual holding of the consulship in exchange for a general proconsulship – with a special dispensation from the law that nullified imperium within the city of Rome – over the imperial provinces. [43] He also gave himself, through the senate, a general grant of imperium maius, which gave him priority over the ordinary governors of the public provinces, allowing him to interfere in their affairs. [44]

Within the public and imperial provinces there also existed distinctions of rank. In the public provinces, the provinces of Africa and Asia were given only to ex-consuls; ex-praetors received the others. The imperial provinces eventually produced a three-tier system with prefects and procurators, legates pro praetore who were ex-praetors, and legates pro praetore who were ex-consuls. [45] The public provinces' governors normally served only one year; the imperial provinces' governors on the other hand normally served several years before rotating out. [46] The extent to which the emperor exercised control over all the provinces increased during the imperial period: Tiberius, for example, once reprimanded legates in the imperial provinces for failing to forward financial reports to the senate; by the reign of Claudius, however, the senatorial provinces' proconsuls were regularly issued with orders directly from the emperor. [47]

Late imperial period

The new territorial division of tetrarchic system, promoted by Diocletian (c. AD 300). Prima tetrarchia Diocletianus.PNG
The new territorial division of tetrarchic system, promoted by Diocletian (c.AD 300).

The emperor Diocletian introduced a radical reform known as the tetrarchy (AD 284–305), with a western and an eastern senior emperor styled Augustus , each seconded by a junior emperor (and designated successor) styled caesar . [1] Each of these four defended and administered a quarter of the empire. In the 290s, Diocletian divided the empire anew into almost a hundred provinces, including Roman Italy. [1] Their governors were hierarchically ranked, from the proconsuls of Africa Proconsularis and Asia through those governed by consulares and correctores to the praesides . The provinces in turn were grouped into (originally twelve) dioceses, headed usually by a vicarius , who oversaw their affairs. Only the proconsuls and the urban prefect of Rome (and later Constantinople) were exempt from this, and were directly subordinated to the tetrarchs. [1]

Although the Caesars were soon eliminated from the picture, the four administrative resorts were restored in 318 by Emperor Constantine I, in the form of praetorian prefectures, whose holders generally rotated frequently, as in the usual magistracies but without a colleague. [1] Constantine also created a new capital, named after him as Constantinople, which was sometimes called 'New Rome' because it became the permanent seat of the government. [1] In Italy itself, Rome had not been the imperial residence for some time and 286 Diocletian formally moved the seat of government to Mediolanum (modern Milan), while taking up residence himself in Nicomedia. [1] During the 4th century, the administrative structure was modified several times, including repeated experiments with Eastern-Western co-emperors. [48]

Detailed information on the arrangements during this period is contained in the Notitia Dignitatum (Record of Offices), a document dating from the early 5th century. Most data is drawn from this authentic imperial source, as the names of the areas governed and titles of the governors are given there. There are however debates about the source of some data recorded in the Notitia, and it seems clear that some of its own sources are earlier than others. Some scholars compare this with the list of military territories under the duces , in charge of border garrisons on so-called limites , and the higher ranking Comites rei militaris, with more mobile forces, and the later, even higher magistri militum. [49]

Justinian I made the next great changes in 534–536 by abolishing, in some provinces, the strict separation of civil and military authority that Diocletian had established. [1] This process was continued on a larger scale with the creation of extraordinary Exarchates in the 580s and culminated with the adoption of the military theme system in the 640s, which replaced the older administrative arrangements entirely. [1] Some scholars use the reorganization of the empire into themata in this period as one of the demarcations between the Dominate and the Byzantine (or the Later Roman) period.[ citation needed ]

List of provinces

Republican provinces

Cisalpine Gaul (in northern Italy) was occupied by Rome in the 220s BC and became considered geographically and de facto part of Roman Italy, [50] but remained politically and de jure separated. It was legally merged into the administrative unit of Roman Italy in 42 BC by the triumvir Augustus as a ratification of Caesar's unpublished acts (Acta Caesaris). [51] [52] [53] [54] [55]

Provinces of the Principate

The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, under Trajan (117); imperial provinces are shaded green, senatorial provinces are shaded pink, and client states are shaded gray. RomanEmpire 117.svg
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, under Trajan (117); imperial provinces are shaded green, senatorial provinces are shaded pink, and client states are shaded gray.

Under Augustus

  • 30 BC – Aegyptus, taken over by Augustus after his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII in 30 BC. It was the first imperial province in that it was Augustus' own domain as the Egyptians recognised him as their new pharaoh. Its proper initial name was Alexandrea et Aegyptus. It was governed by Augustus' praefectus, Alexandreae et Aegypti.
  • 27 BC – Achaia (southern and central Greece), Augustus separated it from Macedonia (senatorial propraetorial province)
  • 27 BC – Hispania Tarraconensis; former Hispania Citerior (northern, central and eastern Spain), created with the reorganisation of the provinces in Hispania by Augustus (imperial proconsular province).
  • 27 BC – Lusitania (Portugal and Extremadura in Spain), created with the reorganisation of the provinces in Hispania by Augustus (imperial proconsular province)
  • 27 BC – Illyricum, Augustus conquered Illyria and southern Pannonia in 35–33 BC. Created as a senatorial province in 27 BC. Northern Pannonia was conquered during the Pannonian War (14–10 BC). Subdivided into Dalmatia (a new name for Illyria) and Pannonia, which were officially called Upper and Lower Illyricum respectively in 9 BC, towards the end of the Batonian War. Initially a senatorial province, it became an imperial propraetorial province in 11 BC, during the Pannonian War. It was dissolved and the new provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia were created during the reign of Vespasian (69–79). In 107, Pannonia was divided into Pannonia Superior and Pannonia Inferior – imperial provinces (proconsular and propraetorial respectively).
  • 27 BC or 16–13 BC – Aquitania (south-western France) province created in the territories in Gaul conquered by Julius Caesar; there is uncertainty as to whether it was created with Augustus’ first visit and the first census on Gaul or during Augustus' visit in 16–13 (imperial proconsular province)
  • 27 BC or 16–13 BC – Gallia Lugdunensis (central and part of northern France) province created in the territories in Gaul conquered by Julius Caesar; there is uncertainty as to whether it was created with Augustus’ first visit and the first census on Gaul or during Augustus’ visit in 16–13 (imperial proconsular province)
  • 25 BC – Galatia (central Anatolia, Turkey), formerly a client kingdom, it was annexed by Augustus when Amyntas, its last king, died (imperial propraetorial province)
  • 25 BC – Africa Proconsularis. The client kingdom of Numidia under king Juba II (30 - 25 BC), previously between 46 - 30 BC the province Africa Nova, was abolished, and merged with the province Africa Vetus, creating the province Africa Proconsularis (except territory of Western Numidia).
  • 22 BC – Gallia Belgica (Netherlands south of the Rhine river, Belgium, Luxembourg, part of northern France and Germany west of the Rhine; there is uncertainty as to whether it was created with Augustus’ first visit and the first census on Gaul or during Augustus' visit in 16–13 (imperial proconsular province)
  • 15 BC – Raetia (imperial procuratorial province)
  • 14 BC – Hispania Baetica; former Hispania Ulterior (southern Spain); created with the reorganisation of the provinces in Hispania by Augustus (senatorial propraetorial province). The name derives from Betis, the Latin name for the Guadalquivir River.
  • 7 BC – Germania Antiqua, lost after three Roman legions were routed in 9 AD
  • AD 6? – Moesia (on the east and south bank of the River Danube part of modern Serbia, the north part of North Macedonia, northern Bulgaria), Conquered in 28 BC, originally it was a military district under the province of Macedonia. The first mention of a provincial governor was for 6 AD, at the beginning of the Batonian War. In 85 Moesia was divided into Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior (imperial proconsular provinces).
  • AD 6 – Judaea, imperial procuratorial province, created after the deposition of ethnarch Herod Archelaus, formed initially from the territory of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea. Reverted to the status of client kingdom under king Herod Agrippa in AD 41 by Claudius and became province again after Agrippa's death in AD 44, enlarged by territories of Galilee and Peraea; renamed Syria Palaestina by Hadrian in AD 135 and upgraded to proconsular province.

Under Tiberius

  • AD 17 – Cappadocia (central Anatolia – Turkey); imperial propraetorial (later proconsular) province, created after the death of its last client king Archelaus.

Under Claudius

  • AD 42 – Mauretania Tingitana (northern Morocco); after the death of Ptolemy, the last king of Mauretania, in AD 40, his kingdom was annexed. It was begun by Caligula and was completed by Claudius with the defeat of the rebels. In AD 42, Claudius divided it into two provinces (imperial procuratorial province).
  • AD 42 – Mauretania Caesariensis, (western and central Algeria), after the death of Ptolemy, the last king of Mauretania, in AD 40, his kingdom was annexed. It was begun by Caligula and was completed by Claudius with the defeat of the rebels. In AD 42 Claudius divided it into two provinces( imperial procuratorial province).
  • AD 41/53 – Noricum (central Austria, north-eastern Slovenia and part of Bavaria), it was incorporated into the empire in 16 BC. It was called a province, but it remained a client kingdom under the control of an imperial procurator. It was turned into a proper province during the reign of Claudius (41–54) (imperial propraetorial province).
  • AD 43 – Britannia; Claudius initiated the invasion of Britannia. Up to AD 60, the Romans controlled the area south of a line from the River Humber to the Severn Estuary. Wales was finally subdued in 78. In 78–84 Agricola conquered the north of England and Scotland. Scotland was then abandoned (imperial proconsular province). In 197 Septimius Severus divided Britannia into Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. Imperial provinces (proconsular and propraetorial respectively).
  • AD 43 – Lycia annexed by Claudius (in 74 AD merged with Pamphylia to form Lycia et Pamphylia).
  • AD 46 – Thracia (Thrace, north-eastern Greece, south-eastern Bulgaria and European Turkey), it was annexed by Claudius (imperial procuratorial province).
  • AD 47? – Alpes Atrectianae et Poeninae (between Italy and Switzerland), Augustus subdued its inhabitants, the Salassi, in 15 BC. It was incorporated into Raetia. The date of the creation of the province is uncertain. It is usually set at the date of Claudius' foundation of Forum Claudii Vallensium (Martigny), which became its capital (imperial procuratorial province).

Under Nero

  • AD 62 – Pontus (the eastern half of the Kingdom of Pontus) together with Colchis annexed, later incorporated in the province of Cappadocia (probably under Emperor Trajan).
  • AD 63 – Bosporan Kingdom incorporated as part of the Roman province of Moesia Inferior. In 68 AD Galba restored the Bosporan Kingdom as a client kingdom.
  • AD 63? – Alpes Maritimae (on the French Alps), created as a protectorate by Augustus, it probably became a province under Nero when Alpes Cottiae became a province (imperial procuratorial province)
  • AD 63 – Alpes Cottiae (between France and Italy), in 14 BC it became a nominal prefecture which was run by the ruling dynasty of the Cotii. It was named after the king, Marcus Julius Cottius. It became a province in 63 (imperial procuratorial province).

Under Vespasian

Under Domitian

  • AD 83/84 – Germania Superior (southern Germany) The push into southern Germany up to the Agri Decumates by Domitian created the necessity to create this province, which had been a military district in Gallia Belgica when it was restricted to the west bank of the River Rhine (imperial proconsular province).
  • AD 83/84 – Germania Inferior (Netherlands south of the River Rhine, part of Belgium, and part of Germany west of the Rhine) originally a military district under Gallia Belgica, created when Germania Superior was created (imperial proconsular province).
  • AD 92 – Chalcis was annexed to Syria after the death of its last ruler, tetrarch Aristobulus of Chalcis.

Under Trajan

  • AD 100 – Territories of Iturea, Trachonitis, Batanea, Gaulanitis, Auranitis and Paneas were annexed to Syria after the death of king Herod Agrippa II.
  • AD 106 – Arabia, formerly the Kingdom of Nabataea, it was annexed without resistance by Trajan (imperial propraetorial province)
  • AD 107 – Dacia "Trajana" (the Romanian regions of south-eastern Transylvania, the Banat, and Oltenia), conquered by Trajan in the Dacian Wars (imperial proconsular province). Divided into Dacia Superior and Dacia Inferior in 158 by Antoninus Pius. Divided into three provinces (Tres Daciae) in 166 by Marcus Aurelius: Porolissensis, Apulensis and Malvensis (imperial procuratorial provinces). Abandoned by Aurelian in 271.
  • AD 103/114 - Epirus Nova (in western Greece and southern Albania), Epirus was originally under the province of Macedonia. It was placed under Achaia in 27 BC except for its northernmost part, which remained part of Macedonia. It became a separate province under Trajan, sometime between 103 and 114 AD, and was renamed Epirus Nova (New Epirus) (imperial procuratorial province).
  • AD 114 – Armenia, annexed by Trajan, who deposed its client king. In 118 Hadrian restored this client kingdom
  • AD 116 – Mesopotamia (Iraq) seized from the Parthians and annexed by Trajan, who invaded the Parthian Empire in late 115. Given back to the Parthians by Hadrian in 118. In 198 Septimius Severus conquered a small area in the north and named it Mesopotamia. It was attacked twice by the Persians (imperial praefectorial province).
  • AD 116 – Assyria, Trajan suppressed a revolt by Assyrians in Mesopotamia and created the province. Hadrian relinquished it in 118.

Under Septimius Severus

Under Caracalla

  • AD 214 – Osrhoene, this kingdom (in northern Mesopotamia, in parts of today's Iraq, Syria and Turkey) was annexed.

Under Aurelian

  • AD 271 – Dacia Aureliana (most of Bulgaria and Serbia) created by Aurelian in the territory of the former Moesia Superior after his evacuation of Dacia Trajana beyond the River Danube.
Many of the above provinces were under Roman military control or under the rule of Roman clients for a long time before being officially constituted as civil provinces. Only the date of the official formation of the province is marked above, not the date of conquest.

Provinces of the late empire

Primary sources for lists of provinces

Early Roman Empire provinces

Late Roman Empire provinces

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Augustus</span> First Roman emperor from 27 BC to AD 14

Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, was the founder of the Roman Empire; he reigned as the first Roman emperor from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. The reign of Augustus initiated an imperial cult as well as an era associated with imperial peace, the Pax Romana or Pax Augusta, in which the Roman world was largely free of armed conflict aside from expansionary wars and the Year of the Four Emperors. The Principate system of imperial rule established by Augustus lasted until the Crisis of the Third Century.

This article concerns the period 19 BC – 10 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of ancient Rome</span> Overview of and topical guide to ancient Rome

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ancient Rome:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallia Lugdunensis</span> Province of the Roman Empire (area now part of France)

Gallia Lugdunensis was a province of the Roman Empire in what is now the modern country of France, part of the Celtic territory of Gaul formerly known as Celtica. It is named after its capital Lugdunum, possibly Roman Europe's major city west of Italy, and a major imperial mint. Outside Lugdunum was the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls, where representatives met to celebrate the cult of Rome and Augustus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Praetor</span> Official of the Roman Republic

Praetor, also pretor, was the title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to a man acting in one of two official capacities: (i) the commander of an army, and (ii) as an elected magistratus (magistrate), assigned to discharge various duties. The functions of the magistracy, the praetura (praetorship), are described by the adjective itself: the praetoria potestas, the praetorium imperium, and the praetorium ius, the legal precedents established by the praetores (praetors). Praetorium, as a substantive, denoted the location from which the praetor exercised his authority, either the headquarters of his castra, the courthouse (tribunal) of his judiciary, or the city hall of his provincial governorship. The minimum age for holding the praetorship was 39 during the Roman Republic, but it was later changed to 30 in the early Empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallia Aquitania</span> Roman province from 27 BC until the 5th century

Gallia Aquitania, also known as Aquitaine or Aquitaine Gaul, was a province of the Roman Empire. It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine. It was bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Promagistrate</span> Ancient Roman office

In ancient Rome, a promagistrate was a person who was granted the power via prorogation to act in place of an ordinary magistrate in the field. This was normally pro consule or pro praetore, that is, in place of a consul or praetor, respectively. This was an expedient developed, starting in 327 BC and becoming regular by 241 BC, that was meant to allow consuls and praetors to continue their activities in the field without disruption.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallia Narbonensis</span> Roman Empire province from 121 BC until 5th century

Gallia Narbonensis was a Roman province located in what is now Occitania and Provence, in Southern France. It was also known as Provincia Nostra, because it was the first Roman province north of the Alps, and as Gallia Transalpina, distinguishing it from Cisalpine Gaul in Northern Italy. It became a Roman province in the late 2nd century BC. Gallia Narbonensis was bordered by the Pyrenees Mountains on the west, the Cévennes to the north, the Alps on the east, and the Gulf of Lion on the south; the province included the majority of the Rhone catchment. The western region of Gallia Narbonensis was known as Septimania. The province was a valuable part of the Roman Empire, owing to the Greek colony of Massalia, its location between the Spanish provinces and Rome, and its financial output.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lugdunum</span> Ancient Roman city on the site of modern Lyon, France

Lugdunum was an important Roman city in Gaul, established on the current site of Lyon. The Roman city was founded in 43 BC by Lucius Munatius Plancus, but continued an existing Gallic settlement with a likely population of several thousands. It served as the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis and was an important city in the western half of the Roman Empire for centuries. Two emperors, Claudius and Caracalla, were born in Lugdunum. In the period 69–192 AD, the city's population may have numbered 50,000 to 100,000, and possibly up to 200,000 inhabitants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Proconsul</span> Governor of a province in the Roman republic

A proconsul was an official of ancient Rome who acted on behalf of a consul. A proconsul was typically a former consul. The term is also used in recent history for officials with delegated authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roman governor</span> Position

A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law throughout one or more of the many provinces constituting the Roman Empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of Portuguese history (Lusitania and Gallaecia)</span>

This is a historical timeline of Portugal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Macedonia (Roman province)</span> Roman province

Macedonia was a province of ancient Rome, encompassing the territory of the former Antigonid Kingdom of Macedonia, which had been conquered by the Roman Republic in 168 BC at the conclusion of the Third Macedonian War. The province was created in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled King of Macedonia in the Fourth Macedonian War. The province incorporated the former Kingdom of Macedonia with the addition of Epirus, Thessaly, and parts of Illyria, Paeonia and Thrace.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Constitution of the Roman Empire</span> Unwritten set of guidelines and principles of the Roman Empire

The Constitution of the Roman Empire was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent. After the fall of the Roman Republic, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the Roman Senate to the Roman Emperor. Beginning with the first emperor, Augustus, the emperor and the Senate were theoretically two co-equal branches of government. In practice, however, the actual authority of the imperial Senate was negligible, as the emperor held the true power of the state. During the reign of the second emperor, Tiberius, many of the powers that had been held by the Roman assemblies were transferred to the Senate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Magistrates of the Roman Empire</span>

The executive magistrates of the Roman Empire were elected individuals of the ancient Roman Empire. During the transition from monarchy to republic, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the executive to the Roman Senate. During the transition from republic to empire, the constitutional balance of power shifted back to the executive. Theoretically, the senate elected each new emperor, although in practice, it was the army which made the choice. The powers of an emperor, existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his legal standing. The two most significant components to an emperor's imperium were the "tribunician powers" and the "proconsular powers". In theory at least, the tribunician powers gave the emperor authority over Rome's civil government, while the proconsular powers gave him authority over the Roman army. While these distinctions were clearly defined during the early empire, eventually they were lost, and the emperor's powers became less constitutional and more monarchical.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Constitution of the Roman Empire</span>

The history of the constitution of the Roman Empire begins with the establishment of the Principate in 27 BC and is considered to conclude with the abolition of that constitutional structure in favour of the Dominate at Diocletian's accession in AD 284.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Legatus Augusti pro praetore</span>

A legatus Augusti pro praetore was the official title of the governor or general of some Imperial provinces of the Roman Empire during the Principate era, normally the larger ones or those where legions were based. Provinces were denoted imperial if their governor was selected by the emperor, in contrast to senatorial provinces, whose governors were elected by the Roman Senate.

Marcus Baebius Tamphilus was a consul of the Roman Republic in 181 BC along with P. Cornelius Cethegus. Baebius is credited with reform legislation pertaining to campaigns for political offices and electoral bribery (ambitus). The Lex Baebia was the first bribery law in Rome and had long-term impact on Roman administrative practices in the provinces.

The Terentii Varrones a branch of the gens Terentia in ancient Rome.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tenagino Probus</span> Roman soldier and governor of Egypt (died 270)

Tenagino Probus was a Roman soldier and procuratorial official whose career reached its peak at the end of the sixth decade of the third century AD. A poverty of primary sources means that nothing is known for certain of his origins or early career. However, in later years he served successively as Praeses (governor) of the province of Numidia and of Egypt,. These were both very senior procuratorial offices, the latter in particular traditionally considered one of the pinnacles of an equestrian career. In these roles he exercised military skills in addition to administrative ones; as Praefectus Aegypti he led military operations outside his province. He died resisting the invasion of Egypt by the forces of Zenobia of Palmyra in the troubled interregnum between Emperors Claudius II and Aurelian.



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Le province romane" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  2. 1 2 Richardson 1992, p. 564.
  3. Mason 1974, pp. 81, 84–86, 138–139.
  4. Richardson 1992 , pp. 564–565, citing, among others, Plaut. Capt., 156, 158, 474; Ter. Haut., 516; Cic. Cael., 26.63.
  5. Richardson 1992, p. 565.
  6. Richardson 1992, pp. 566–567.
  7. Richardson 1992, p. 567.
  8. Richardson 1992, p. 570.
  9. Drogula 2015, pp. 242–245.
  10. Drogula 2015, p. 247.
  11. Drogula 2015, pp. 250–51.
  12. Drogula 2015, pp. 253–254.
  13. Drogula 2015, pp. 256–257, 263.
  14. Drogula 2015, pp. 266–268.
  15. Drogula 2015, pp. 275–276.
  16. Drogula 2015, pp. 279–281.
  17. Drogula 2015, p. 292.
  18. Richardson 1992, p. 573.
  19. Drogula 2015, p. 298; Richardson 1992, p. 573.
  20. Drogula 2015, pp. 299–300.
  21. Brennan, T Corey (2000). The praetorship in the Roman republic. Oxford University Press. pp. 626–627.
  22. Badian 2012. Formally, the presidency of one of the permanent courts was in fact the provincia of the praetor-president.
  23. Drogula 2015, pp. 229–330, 341.
  24. Drogula 2015, p. 304; Richardson 1992, pp. 573–574.
  25. Drogula 2015, p. 306.
  26. Pearson, Patricia O'Connell; Holdren, John (May 2021). World History: Our Human Story. Versailles, Kentucky: Sheridan Kentucky. p. 181. ISBN   978-1-60153-123-0.
  27. Drogula 2015, p. 307.
  28. Drogula 2015 , p. 311. "The use of populär legislation to manipulate provinciae and provincial assignment would also create the armies that brought down the republic".
  29. Nicolet, Claude (1991) [1988]. Space, geography, and politics in the early Roman empire . University of Michigan Press. pp.  1, 15. ISBN   978-0472100965.
  30. Hekster, Olivier; Kaizer, Ted. Frontiers in the Roman world. p. 8.
  31. Eder, W (1993). "The Augustan principate as binding link". Between republic and empire. University of California Press. p. 98.
  32. Lintott 1999, p. 114.
  33. Drogula 2015, p. 309.
  34. Crook 1996, pp. 76–77.
  35. Drogula 2015 , p. 354; Aug. RG 34.
  36. Drogula 2015, pp. 354–355.
  37. 1 2 Drogula 2015, p. 355.
  38. Drogula 2015, pp. 355–356.
  39. Bowman 1996, pp. 346–347.
  40. Drogula 2015, pp. 356–57.
  41. Drogula 2015, p. 364.
  42. Drogula 2015 , p. 370. Drogula also notes that appointing a person of such low status would mean that he would not have the support necessary among the elite to challenge the emperor successfully.
  43. Drogula 2015, pp. 358–359.
  44. Drogula 2015, pp. 360–363.
  45. Bowman 1996, pp. 346, 369–370.
  46. Bowman 1996, p. 347.
  47. Bowman 1996 , pp. 347–48, noting also that Tiberius regularly remitted embassies from cities in the senatorial provinces to the senate to allow it "an illusion of its traditional functions".
  48. Nuovo Atlante Storico De Agostini, 1997, pp. 40–41. (In Italian)
  49. "Note sull'«anzianità di servizio» nel lessico della legislazione imperiale romana" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  50. Carlà-Uhink, Filippo (25 September 2017). The "Birth" of Italy: The Institutionalization of Italy as a Region, 3rd–1st Century BCE. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. ISBN   978-3-11-054478-7.
  51. Williams, J. H. C. (22 May 2020). Beyond the Rubicon: Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy - J. H. C. Williams - Google Books. Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780198153009. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020.
  52. Long, George (1866). Decline of the Roman republic: Volume 2. London.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  53. Cassius, Dio. Historia Romana. Vol. 41. 36.
  54. Laffi, Umberto (1992). "La provincia della Gallia Cisalpina". Athenaeum (in Italian) (80): 5–23.
  55. Aurigemma, Salvatore. "Gallia Cisalpina". (in Italian). Enciclopedia Italiana. Retrieved 14 October 2014.


Modern sources
Other sources