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The collegium (or officium) rationalium. The controversy over the reform of central financial administration in the 2nd half of the 2nd c. A.D.

Collegium (ou officium) rationalium. La controverse autour de la réforme de l’administration centrale financière dans la seconde moitié du iie siècle après Jésus-Christ
Karol Kłodziński
p. 291-310

Résumés

L’apparition de l’office de procurator summarum rationum et le titre rationalium vicarius de Beryllus de l’inscription de Vipasca (IRCPacen 121) constituaient les principaux arguments pour défendre les modifications de l’administration centrale financière dans la seconde moitié du iie siècle et attribuer la réforme de l’officium a rationibus à Marc Aurèle dans les années 166-169. À partir de ce moment, le procurator a rationibus (trecenarius) et le procurator summarum rationum (ducenarius) qui lui était subordonné, devaient fonctionner en effet comme rationales. L’objectif du présent article est de montrer que l’affirmation relative à l’activité du collegium (ou officium) rationalium depuis le règne de Marc Aurèle est une interprétation abusive des sources. La réforme de l’administration centrale financière et la mise en place du collegium rationalium devraient être datées non pas de l’époque de Marc Aurèle mais du règne de Septime Sévère.

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Texte intégral

I thank prof. Ségolène Demougin, prof. Adam Ziółkowski and the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions to a preliminary draft of this paper. Any error of fact or interpretation is solely the responsability of the author.

  • 1 Stat., Silv. 3, 3, 89-90: Quicquid fossis / ab auriferis eiectat Hiberia fossis/ Dalmatico quod mon (...)
  • 2 AE, 1908, 233 ; IRCPacen 121 (Hispania Epigrafica, no 23530): Be[ry]llo, Aug(usti) lib(erto), proc( (...)
  • 3 See Le Roux, 1985, p. 228 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 292-294 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 187-190.
  • 4 Thouvenot, 1940, 154 ; Le Roux, 1982, p. 373-376 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 300. Lastly, see Bernard, 200 (...)
  • 5 HA, Marc. 21, 1 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 300 ; Lazzarini, 2001, p. 105 ; Hirt, 2010, p. 124.
  • 6 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 192, 196 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 301, 364 ; Christol, 1999, p. 243 ; Eich (...)
  • 7 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 196 ; Christol, 1999, p. 243 ; cf. Eich, 2005, p. 168. Under the princ (...)

1Statius’ poetic description implies that the a rationibus was an official in charge of overseeing, among other things, the mines in Spain and Dalmatia1. That duty can be confirmed by a later inscription from Vipasca (modern Aljustrel, Portugal), with which coloni metalli Vipascensis honoured the imperial freedman Beryllus, who held the post of procurator of the metalla Vipascensia2. As the procurator metallorum, Beryllus was responsible for special tasks3, what is confirmed by two terms used by the coloni: rati[onaliu]m vicarius and restitutor metallo[r]um. When the Mauri raided southern Spain in 171/172 or 172/1734, Beryllus as the restitutor metallorum oversaw the reconstruction of the copper, silver and iron mines in Vipasca5. As the rationalium vicarius, Beryllus was a representative of the central financial administration for the mines in Vipasca6. The expression rationalium vicarius, which is not an official title (but rather a rhetorical phrase used by the coloni) confirms his direct institutional connection (source of official power) with the central administration in Rome, not with the provincial administration in Emerita7. Beryllus was probably responsible for the extraordinary task of restoring the mines in Vipasca, which was to provide the fiscus with income.

  • 8 Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 31 ; Pflaum, 1950, p. 81 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 395 no 163. It is not certain t (...)
  • 9 See e. g. Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Weaver, 1972, p. 265 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, 192-194 ; Herrmann (...)
  • 10 Weaver, 1972, p. 264-265 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 65 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194 ; Domergue, 1990, (...)
  • 11 Pflaum, 1975, p. 14 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 192-194 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162, 168-169 ; Eich, 20 (...)

2Next to the appearance of a procurator summarum rationum8, Beryllus’ “title” rationalium vicarius listed in the Vipasca inscription has for a number of scholars been a major argument in favour of accepting that changes were made to central financial administration in the second half of the 2nd century, and that a reform of the officium a rationibus was carried out by Marcus Aurelius (between 166 and 169)9, because from then on a procurator a rationibus (trecenarius) and a procurator summarum rationum (ducenarius) subordinate to him were to act as the rationales10. That hypothesis allowed scholars to point to the moment when the rationales began to be collegially active in the hierarchical structures of the central finances, be they the “collégialité inégale” of two pairs (the procuratores a rationibus and the procuratores summarum rationum) of equites and freedmen subordinate to them or a collegium of four rationales (“a finance department”)11. The claim about a collegium (or officium) rationalium being active from the reign of Marcus Aurelius on is too far-reaching and over-interprets the data.

  • 12 CIL XIV, 2008a = XV, 7740 ; CIL XIV, 1979, CIL XV, 7741 ; CIL XV, 7742a ; CIL XV, 7744 ; CIL XV, 77 (...)
  • 13 Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 34 n. 2 ; Liebenam, 1914, p. 264. See also Reintjes, 1961, p. 81 ; Christol, D (...)
  • 14 CIL XIV, 2008a = XV, 7740. Bruun considered also the imperial freedman T. Aelius Proculus, written (...)
  • 15 (1) CIL V, 867 (ILS, 1339) = InscrAqu. I, 486b ; (2) (AE, 1934, 232) ; InscrAqu. I, 486a ; PIR2 C 1 (...)
  • 16 Bruun, 1991, p. 294. See also Bruun, 2002, p. 184.
  • 17 Cf. Schmall, 2011, p. 541 n. 1813.

3Interestingly, the administrative formula of sub cura rationalis (or rationalium), which refers to an official or officials, can be found on Ostian fistulae as early as during the reign of Antoninus Pius12. Thus the title of rationalis was already in use before the two functions of the central financial administration were supposedly “institutionalized”, dated by Pflaum’s hypothesis to Marcus Aurelius’ reign. Already O. Hirschfeld and W. Liebenam concluded that the titles a rationibus and rationalis were synonymous, mostly based on the analysis of those fistulae13: the rationales in the fistulae were to be identical to the head a rationibus officials. When investigating fistulae aquariae, most of which came from Ostia, Bruun also mentioned the possibility based on an analysis of an inscription from Antoninus’ reign14. Namely, it is possible that the rationalis Cl(audius) Secundinus from a fistula (CIL XIV, 2008a = XV, 7740) is actually the same as the a rationibus (c. 144) Ti. Claudius Secundinus L. Statius Macedo, whose cursus honorum we read on two inscriptions from Aquileia15, and, as Bruun wrote, that “fistula-stamp is apparently the first (and perhaps only) case where we find the term rationalis used as a synonym for (proc.) a rationibus, which we have in both the cursus inscriptions”16. Therefore the claim of the synonymity of the two titles is only valid provided that the two officials were in fact the same person17.

  • 18 For more on the subject see Bruun, 1991, p. 257-259 ; Bruun, 2005, p. 21. We are not certain whethe (...)
  • 19 See Bruun, 1991, p. 298-303.
  • 20 Bruun, 1991, p. 266 ; Bruun, 2002, p. 183-185.
  • 21 Presumably those freedman procurators were subordinate to the rationales and also acted as part of (...)
  • 22 Bruun, 1991, p. 296. Cf. Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194.

4The inscribed fistulae aquariae from Ostia, containing the titles of the emperor and his officials (the rationales and the freedman procurators) were related to investments involving supplying water to imperial buildings, storehouses (horrea) and workshops (fullonicae), financed and perhaps managed by the administration of the patrimonium (thus the anonymous proc. patrimonii in times of Hadrian – CIL XV, 7739a)18, and later by the fiscus (thus the rationalis Cl. Secundinus during the reign of Antoninus Pius and the anonymous rationalis or rationales during that of Marcus Aurelius)19. The scholars in favour of the titles rationalis and a rationibus being synonymous claimed that the officials meant in the sub cura formula certainly represented the central financial institution of fiscus, which the emperor used to fund the maintenance of aqueducts in Rome and Ostia20. From the times of Marcus Aurelius on and until those of Caracalla and Geta, Ostian inscriptions of this type have anonymous rationalis or rationales before a named freedman procurator21. Bruun had his doubts whether the rationales listed each time on the fistulae really are a rationibus officials in this period22.

  • 23 Only an eques of high rank in the administrative hierarchy could hold the title of vir perfectissim (...)
  • 24 CIL XIV, 5309, 23 et 28. See Bruun, 1991, p. 296 ; Bruun, 2002, p. 184-185. Ultimately the formula (...)

5However, how can one be sure they were even fiscus officials rather than, say, officials of some lower rank? That seems indicated by a practice followed in the titulature of the emperor and officials on Ostian fistulae from the times of Hadrian until the half of the 3rd century. Namely, on the fistulae from the reign of Hadrian (sub cura procuratoris patrimonii: CIL XV, 7739a), as well as the much later ones, from under Severus Alexander and Trebonianus Gallus (sub cura rationalium vvirorum pperfectissimorum: CIL XIV, 5309, 22 et 26) we find high ranking equestrian officials of the fiscus (again, anonymous), not low ranking freedman officials23. Still, it cannot be ruled out that the rationales from the Ostian fistulae included some imperial freedmen from the financial administration24. In spite of certain doubts (we know neither the names (apart from Cl. Secundinus) nor the careers of the Ostian rationales), it is possible to claim the mysterious rationales from imperial Ostian stamps were the high ranking equestrian officials of Rome. So it could be correct to identify them with the procurator a rationibus and the procurator summarum rationum.

  • 25 Millar, 1999, p.  99: “Both the functions of, and the relevant vocabulary (Latin or Greek) for, the (...)
  • 26 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 191-193. Cf. Magie, 1905, p. 106-107 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 201. The (...)
  • 27 CIL III, 7126 = I.Ephesos, 651 ; Eck, 1977, p. 230 (AE, 1976, 676) ; Herrmann, 1997, p. 111 (AE, 19 (...)
  • 28 I.Ephesos, 2061 (I-II) = (AE 1913, 143a-b) ; I.Ephesos, 3046 = (AE ,1924, 81); I.Ephesos, 736.
  • 29 Cass. Dio 79, 21.
  • 30 AE, 1952, 6.
  • 31 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 190 (AE 2000, 1382) ; I.Selge, 13.
  • 32 I.Selge, 13. Ti. Claudius Vibianus Tertullus (PIR2 C 1049 ; PIR2 V 528) was in a bilingual inscript (...)
  • 33 Magie, 1905, p. 106.
  • 34 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 193-194.

6The use of the title rationalis/ rationalium, only confirmed by a single category of sources all from the port town of Ostia, is an exceptional administrative formula. But the complex and ambiguous Greek terminology used to mean the central finance offices can be considered conclusive as regards the synonymity of the two titles (a rationibus and rationalis)25. The Greek title of καθολικός, while the equivalent of the Latin rationalis, was also used for a rationibus and for procurator summarum rationum26. The expression ἐπὶ τῶν καθόλου λόγων (or ἐπὶ τῶν λόγων τῶν καθόλου), confirmed in narrative as well as epigraphic sources27, could mean an a rationibus official. Other Greek equivalents of a rationibus included: ἐπίτροπος ἀπò τῶν λόγων28, τοὺς καθόλου λόγνς ἐπι̣τετραμμένος29, ἐπὶ τὴν τῶ̣ν καθόλου λόγων προστασίαν ἐπι̣τετραμμένος30 and in two cases – ἐπίτροπος καθολικός31. Certainly, the Greek title ἐπίτροπος καθολικός of ---ius Achil[leus] and of Ti. Claudius Vibianus Tertullus32, while the equivalent of the Latin procurator rationalis33, was used for the highest financial official34.

  • 35 Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 395.
  • 36 CIL IX, 2438 = FIRA I2, 61. See Passerini, 1939, p. 251 ; Laffi, 1965, p. 177-192 ; Corbier, 1983, (...)
  • 37 PIR2 C 1535.
  • 38 PIR2 L 229. See also Appendix I (no 13).
  • 39 Only individual titles of the highest officials, a rationibus and summarum rationum, are written in (...)

7While the title ἐπίτροπος καθολικός/ procurator rationalis referring to an a rationibus official is attested beginning from the reign of Antoninus Pius, before 193 there is no evidence for any collegial functioning of rationales (including both proc. a rationibus and proc. summarum rationum). If the collegium rationalium was supposedly active after the creation of the office of procurator summarum rationum, which, as Pflaum believes, probably happened between October of 166 and February of 16935, why would the slightly later epistula ad Saepinum36 (which is administrative correspondence) attest to the administrative activity of a rationibus official (the imperial freedman Cosmus37) rather than of rationalis (or rationales)? Had the collegium rationalium been active at the time, then CIL IX, 2438 would mention rationales rather than a single a rationibus, just as the later administrative document of CIL VI, 1585b does. However, Cosmus, perhaps the freedman procurator of his equestrian superior P. Licinius Papirianus38, acted as a high rank representative of the officium a rationibus, responsible for a transhumance in Italy. Moreover, none of the numerous Antonine and Severan period inscriptions detailing the career of the highest ranking financial officials contains the Latin title of rationalis39.

8It is true that the title rationalis / rationalium is already confirmed during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (and even before then), but back then it was a colloquial and abbreviated terminological alternative way to refer to the central officials. Neither the abbreviated and specific category of Ostian stamps with repeated and brief formulas, nor the exceptional and rhetorical (not administrative) expression rationalium vicarius, which featured in a eulogy for a freedman procurator as part of the inscription set up by coloni in Vipasca, are proof enough for the hypothesis that the rationales were collegially active at the time. Interesting conclusions can be reached by analyzing the titulature of subordinate clerks active in the central financial administration in chronological order:

Tabularii a rationibus (imperial freedmen)

Source

In office

Ti. Claudius Homerus (Weaver, 2004, 486)

CIL VI, 8426 (ILS, 1642)

the reign of Claudius or Nero

[T]i. Cl[audius] [---] (Weaver, 2004, 681)

CIL VIII, 21008

the reign of Claudius or Nero

T. Flavius Delphicus (Weaver, 2004, 814)

AE, 1888, 130 (ILS, 1518) ; AE, 2007, 326

the Flavian dynasty

T. Flavius Heracleo (Weaver 2004, 889)

CIL VI, 8428

the Flavian dynasty

Fortunatus

CIL VI, 8410

85

Fructus Atticianus

CIL VI, 8410

85

Martialis Atticianus

CIL VI, 8515 ; AE 2012, 186

I c.

Celer Merypianus

InscrAqu. I, 465

the Flavian dynasty or beginning of I c.

Evander

CIL VI, 8427

probably the reign of Trajan

T. Aelius Saturninus (Weaver 2004, 1730)

CIL VI, 8450 (ILS, 1521)

the reign of Antoninus Pius

Anonymus

CIL VI, 33725

I-II c.

Optio tabellariorum offici rationum (imperial freedman)

Source

In office

T. Aelius Montanus (Weaver 2004, 1643)

CIL VI, 8424a (ILS, 1706)

the reign of Antoninus Pius

Melloproximus a rationibus (imperial freedman)

Source

In office

M. Aurelius Isidorus (Weaver 2004, 1643)

CIL VI, 8425 (ILS, 1478)

end of II / beginning of III c.

Proximi a rationibus/rationum (imperial freedmen)

Source

In office

Hilarianus

AE, 1907, 80 ; AE, 1954, 65

probably I c.

M. Aurelius Marcio (Weaver 2004, 1643)

CIL III, 348 (ILS, 1477)

end of II / beginning of III c.

M. Aurelius Fortis (or Fortunatus) (Weaver 2004, 2035)

Eck 1986, p. 280 (AE, 1987, 133)

end of II / beginning of III c.

Adiutores a rationibus

(imperial slaves)

Source

In office

Astylus

CIL VI, 8419

the Julio-Claudian dynasty

Hilarus

CIL VI, 5305

end of I c.

Pallans

CIL VI, 8423

2nd half of I c.

Flavianus

CIL VI, 8421

2nd half of I c./ 1 half of II c.

Quintio (Weaver 2004, 3798)

CIL VI, 8424

the Antonine dynasty

Adiutores a rationibus

(imperial freedmen)

Source

In office

T. Flavius Felix (Weaver, 2004, 814)

CIL VI, 8422

the Flavian dynasty

Anton[---]

CIL VI, 8418

II c.

Aelius Chrysanthus

AE, 1950, 171

the reign of Hadrian or Antoninus Pius

T. Aelius Crispinus

CIL VI, 8417

the reign of Antoninus Pius

Septimianus (or Septumanus)

CIL IX, 2438 ; VI, 455

168-169

Eutychianus

CIL VI, 8420

183

Clerical staff in the officium summarum rationum

Source

Function

In office

Anonymus (imperial freedman)

CIL VI, 37743

adiut(or) sum(arum) rat(ionum) tab(ulariorum?)

2nd half of II c.-III c.

Chresimus

CIL VI, 1115

tabul(arius)
[su]mmarum rationum
[cu]ṃ proximìs et adiu[tori]b(us)

283-285

Clerical staff in the collegium rationalium

Source

Function

In office

Tertiolus (imperial freedman)

CIL X, 6092 (ILS, 1500)

proxim(us) rational(ium)

end of II c./ beginning of III c.

Felix (imperial slave)

CIL VI, 9033 (ILS, 1480)

adiutor rationalium

end of II c./ beginning of III c.

Hermes (imperial slave)

CIL VI, 19401=VI, 34121

adiutor rationalium

end of II c./ beginning of III c.

[Aur(elius (?) S)aturninus (imperial freedman)

AE, 1973, 294 = 1976, 312 = 1980, 595bis

έπί διαγυωσεων τών έξoχωτάτων καθολικών

beginning of III c.

  • 40 In a few cases the dating of the inscriptions is uncertain, but in the inscription from Rome (CIL V (...)
  • 41 That those officials are not confirmed after the reign of Severi need not be connected to any admin (...)
  • 42 Weaver, 1972, p. 255: “The term ‘rationalium’ has distinctly late second- and third- century associ (...)

9Lower-ranking clerks in the officium a rationibus (rationum) probably were still active in the early 3rd c. (or even as late as the end of the Severan dynasty), while the subordinate staff of summarum rationum still functioned under Carinus40. A chronological tally of the titles of lower-ranking clerks confirms those officia functioned as separate institutions as late as in the 3rd century, even though after the reign of the Severi individual officials from a rationibus/rationum disappear41. Yet interestingly, the titulature of lower-ranking rationalium officials appeared towards the end of the 2nd century42.

  • 43 His first stay in Rome as emperor is dated to 9 June-9 July 193. See Cass. Dio, 75, 1, 3-5 ; Herodi (...)
  • 44 CIL VI, 1585a ; CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920). All those inscriptions have been widely commented upon. (...)
  • 45 Daguet-Gagey, 1998, p. 893-915. In the context of, as Boulvert, 1970, p. 303-304 put it, the “trans (...)
  • 46 CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920). It used to be believe that this inscription lists two (so Mommsen and Hi (...)
  • 47 About the location of the columna divi Marci in Rome see Chausson, 2001, p. 362-378 ; La Rocca, 200 (...)
  • 48 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Pflaum, 1960-1961, p. 517 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 65 ; Pflaum, 1975, p. 14. Alread (...)

10What was the reason? In my opinion it had to do with the organizational changes at the onset of the Severan reign and the creation of the collegium (or officium) rationalium. The reorganization of the central financial administration, probably carried out at the beginning of Septimius Severus’ reign43, is confirmed by inscriptions from Rome containing primarily official correspondence, dated to 6 and 7 August and 11 September 19344. Those extremely interesting inscriptions are the only evidence for any collegial activity of the rationales in the 2nd century45. One of them, comprised of a short introduction followed by three letters, makes a mention of four individual rationales: Aelius Achilles, Claudius Perpetuus, Flavianus, and Eutychus, that is, two equites and two freedmen46. The rationales are styled representatives of the fiscus, who intervened for Adrastus, a column’s procurator, asking for aid in the construction of a private (solo iuris sui pecunia) house (hospitium), which was to function as a guardhouse (custodia) near that columna divi Marci (or columna centenaria or columna centenaria divi Marci)47. It was already Pflaum who identified the two pairs of rationales (two equites and two freedmen) from CIL VI, 1585b with procuratores a rationibus and procuratores summarum rationum48.

  • 49 CIL VIII, 23395 (ILS, 5966) ; M’Charek, 1999, p. 152 ; AE 1999, 1770 (Hr Abd es-Selam) ; cf. Eich, (...)
  • 50 P. Oxy. XLII 3046-50 ; P. Mil. Vogl. II 97 ; Eich, 2005, p. 171-173. Cf. Parsons, 1967, p. 134-141.
  • 51 PIR2 S 221.
  • 52 I.Pergamon VIII, 2 no. 44 = SEG 40, 1133.
  • 53 See Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 206-211.

11Perhaps, beginning with 193 existed one college of rationales, and still two separate financial departments. The sources are scant and unclear, so that it is impossible to elucidate the differences between those institutions, but the collegial work of the rationales, first confirmed in CIL VI, 1585a-b dated to 193, is well documented in the 3rd century. Probably during that time the evocatus Augusti Fabius Celer, acting with the permission and at the behest of the rationales in their collective capacity (ex auctoritate rationalium), probably determined the boundaries of the imperial estates in Africa Proconsularis49, and certain mid-3rd-century papyri demonstrate that two central financial officials (καθολικοί), presumably Marcellus and Salutaris, jointly carried out administrative duties as they intervened in Egypt after production fell and so did tax income50. A certain imperial freedman [Aur(elius (?) S)aturninus51 confirmed by an inscription from Pergamum52, was also a subordinate official of procurator a cognitionibus in the college of ἐξoχώτατοι καθολικοί (eminentissimi (or excellentissimi) rationales) at the beginning of the 3rd century53.

  • 54 Cf. Eich, 2005, p. 172.
  • 55 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 206: “[...] officium des rationales, associés en collège”.
  • 56 See CIL VIII, 23395 ; CIL XI, 1214 ; CIL VI, 1587 ; CIL V, 858 ; CIL VIII, 7043 ; SEG 54, 1659 ; MA (...)

12The appearance in the sources of the terms referring to the college of rationales did not come down to using the specific administrative formulas borrowed from Rome (or, the bureaucratic jargon)54; instead, it followed from the changes to the central financial administration during Septimius Severus’ reign. It is also during that period that the subordinate slave and freedman staff was titled rationalium, possibly implying that those officials were active as part of the college of rationales55. Although the separate officia of a rationibus and summae rationes still functioned in the 3rd century, towards the end of the 2nd, new administrative structure (collegium) was created to improve the government, which was to carry out certain administrative and financial tasks. This was headed by four rationales (two procuratores a rationibus and two procuratores summarum rationum) assisted by lower ranking clerks who bore the title rationalium. How long was the collegium rationalium active? That remains unanswered. From 193 until Diocletian’s reforms, epigraphic material increasingly often features the title rationalis (καθολικός) used in reference to the highest central financial officials who had earlier been known as procurator a rationibus (since c. 235 v. p. rationalis) and procurator (later magister) summarum rationum56.

  • 57 Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 150-153 ; Eich, 2013, p. 96-98. Cf. Hammond, 1959, p. 457-459. Some changes to (...)
  • 58 HA, Pertinax 7, 6.
  • 59 PIR2 A 988.
  • 60 CIL X, 6657 (ILS 1387) ; AE 1945, 80 ; Oliver, 1946, p. 311-319 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 598-601 no. 2 (...)
  • 61 Cass. Dio 74, 2.
  • 62 Osier, 1974, p. 27-31.
  • 63 A rationibus, procurator rationis privatae, a declamationibus Latinis, a declamationibus Graecis, a (...)
  • 64 Pflaum, 1974, p. 33-38 ; Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 149.
  • 65 Guey, 1962, p. 86-90 ; Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 154-155.

13How to explain the appearance of the collegium of rationales? One explanation is connected with the reform of the financial administration carried out by Septimius Severus after Commodus’ reign57. Since Commodus had left the treasury practically empty58, we can surmise one of Severus’ first moves after entering Rome was reorganizing the central financial administration. One of the people most involved would have been M. Aquilius Felix59, a centurio frumentarius and a trusted imperial official in Rome, who was placed in simultaneous control of three important offices there as soon as the new ruler came into power. Those were public works (procurator operum publicorum et fiscalium Urbis sacrae), crown property (procurator rationis patrimonii) and the private property of the Antonine family (procurator rationis privatae Aug. n.)60. Another important factor was the sudden increase in expenses on the army and civilians criticized by Cassius Dio61, and the sweeping reform of the procuratorial administration62, which elevated ten offices to the rank of trecenarius63, with a record fifty new procuratorial posts between 193 and 21164. No doubt the reform was made possible by the most drastic reduction of silver content in the denarius since Nero (by ca. 50%) in the years 194–19565; increased minting and reducing the pure metal content of the silver coins allowed him not only to pay and equip the praetorian guard and the legions (Septimius Severus and Caracalla considerably raised soldiers’ pay) and to fund the Parthian expeditions, but also to expand the procuratorial administration and pay its officials. Thus the central financial administration had to shoulder massive expenses in a short time, while managing the budget and carrying out any current administrative tasks. Possibly creating a new institution run by the highest-ranking financial officials was meant to improve that situation.

  • 66 See e. g. IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424.

14Dated to the beginnings of Septimius Severus’ reign, CIL VI, 1585a–b are primarily casuistical evidence for official activity in Rome, registering certain specific stages of the administrative procedure ; they are not a record of the cursus honorum of any official(s). Thus it cannot be ruled out that from the Severan times on rationales featured in the so-called “administrative documentation” collegially (as representatives of a single financial institution), whereas when the point was, so to speak, to present (possibly self-present) and commemorate their careers and rank (that is, in cursus inscriptions), their personalized official title was used (such as a rationibus and summarum rationum), since it highlighted the high rank and prestige behind that particular position66.

  • 67 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424.
  • 68 PIR2 A 1559.
  • 69 I.Ephesos, 627. See Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 529-530 no 193, p. 1020 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 203- (...)
  • 70 Schmall, 2011, p. 502.
  • 71 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424. See Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 31 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 697 no 160 ; Lo Cascio, (...)

15One can only suppose the highest ranking, equestrian a rationibus official came first in CIL VI 1585b, but there is no way to be absolutely certain the a rationibus then held the rank of trecenarius, which, assuming the procurator summarum rationum was ducenarius, would have made his position the higher one. Still, this version of the hierarchy of those offices is very likely, since during roughly the same time Aurelius Felix was active as an a rationibus trecenarius (early in the 3rd century)67, and M. Aurelius Mindius Matidianus Pollio68 as a rationalis ducenarius (perhaps the procurator summarum rationum) around 19069. On the other hand, we must not consider the claim that a rationibus was superior to procurator summarum rationum completely proven70. We can only say it is very probable that towards the end of the 2nd century at the latest a rationibus reached the highest rank (that of trecenarius) in the equestrian procuratorial administration71.

  • 72 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 697 no 160 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 25, 28, 63 ; Eck, 1998, p.  (...)
  • 73 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424 (early 3rd century).
  • 74 Even before Pflaum such a course of procuratorial career of a rationibus officials was defined by H (...)
  • 75 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74. See also Zwicky, 1944, p. 39 ; Reintjes, 1961, p. 81.
  • 76 See CIL VI, 1564 (ILS, 1452): [C(aio?) Quint?]ilio C(ai) fil(io) [---] / [adlecto in amplissimum] o (...)

16While the claims by Pflaum and other scholars regarding the date of the reform of the central financial administration in the context of the rationales forming go under Marcus Aurelius , as I have tried to demonstrate, too far, it still seems that as regards the special rank of a rationibus under Marcus Aurelius, Pflaum was correct. It is quite likely that during that emperor’s reign a rationibus was the first office to receive the trecenarius rank72. While, as mentioned above, the first such official is only confirmed during the reign of Septimius Severus73, the specific career path (tres militiaecentenariusducenariusa rationibus)74 of the equites who held the position of a rationibus under Marcus Aurelius may be an argument for that post having risen to trecenarius rank before that. Moreover, Pflaum’s hypothesis according to which the creation of the office of procurator summarum rationum (ducenarius) in the central administration under Marcus Aurelius resulted in the a rationibus being elevated to the higher rank of trecenarius75, while possible, ultimately has no unambiguous confirmation in the sources76.

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Annexe

APPENDIX I The titles of the head officials of a rationibus in chronological order (until c. 235)77

1. L. Vibius C(ai) f(ilius) Aem(ilia) Lentulus78 (I.Ephesos, 2061 (I-II) (AE, 1913, 143a-b) ; I.Ephesos, 3046 (AE, 1924, 81) ; I.Ephesos, 736: πίτροπος πò τῶν λόγων)79 c. 112

2. Cn. Pompeius Sex(ti) f(ilius) Quir(ina) Homullus Aelius Gracilis Cassianus Longinus (CIL VI, 1626 (ILS, 1385): procurator Augusti a rationibus)80 – between 103 and 114

3. T. Statilius Optatus81 (CIL VI, 31863 (ILS, 9011): procurator Augusti a rationibus) – during the reign of Hadrianus

4. Anonymus I82 (Eck 1977, p. 230 (AE, 1976, 676): π τῶν λόγων τῶν ϰαθόλου) – during the reign of Hadrianus

5. C. Iunius C(ai) f(ilius) Quir(ina) Flavianus83 (CIL VI, 1620 = VI, 3163 (ILS, 1342): procurator a rationibus) – end of the reign of Hadrianus / beginning of the reign of Antoninus Pius

6. ---ius Achil[leus] (Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 190 (AE, 2000, 1382): πίτροπος ϰαθολικός) – during the reign of Antoninus Pius

7. L. Valerius L(uci) f(ilius) Qui(rina) Proculus84 (CIL II, 1970 (ILS, 1341): procurator a rationibus Augusti) – c. 140

8. M. Petronius M(arci) f(ilius) Quir(ina) Honoratus85 (CIL VI, 1625a ; VI, 1625b (ILS, 1340) ; CIL XIV, 4458: procurator a rationibus Augusti) – c. 142

9. Ti. Claudius Ti(beri) f(ilius) Secundinus L. Statius Macedo86 [(1) CIL V, 867 (ILS, 1339) ; InscrAqu. I, 486b ; (2) (AE, 1934, 232) ; InscrAqu. I, 486a: a rationibus Augusti] – c. 144 or 144-14687

10. T. Furius L(uci) f(ilius) Pal(atina) Victorinus88 (CIL VI, 41143: procurator a rationibus) – c. 152 or 155–157

11. Q. Baienus P(ubli) f(ilius) Pup(inia) Blassianus89 (CIL XIV, 5341, 5353, 5382, 5406 (AE, 1959, 61=1966, 161= 1972, 70=1974, 123): procurator a rationibus) – c. 162

12. M. Bassaeus M(arci) f(ilius) St[el(atina)] Rufus90 (CIL VI, 41141 (ILS, 1326): procurator a rationibus) – c. 165

13. P. Licinius M(arci) f(ilius) Quir(ina) Papirianus91 (CIL VIII, 1641 (ILS, 6818) ; ILBardo, 367: procurator a rationibus) – between 169 and 180

14. Ti. Claudius Vibianus Tertullus92 (CIL III, 7126=I.Ephesos, 651: a rationibus Auggustorum ; π τῶν ϰαθóλου λóγων ; I.Selge, 13: ϰαθολικός πίτροπος) – since July 175 to 177

15. T. Taius Sanctus (AE, 1961, 280 ; CIL VI 41118): a rationibus]93 – c. 177-179

16. L. Iulius Vehilius Gallus Iulianus94 (CIL VI, 31856=VI, 41271 (ILS, 1327): a rationibus) – c. 183 or c. 185/18695

17. Iulius Candidus96 (AE 1952, 6: πὶ τὴν τῶ̣ν ϰαθόλου λόγων προστασίαν ἐπι̣τετραμμένος) – between 10 XII 186 and 9 XII 187

18. [Iu]lius ([Ae]lius?) Iulianus97 (AE, 1994, 421 = 2010, 284: a rationibus) – end of II c. (?)

19. Aelius Achilles (CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920): rationalis) – 193

20. Aurelius Felix98 (IG XIV, 1480=IGUR, 424: τοὺς ϰαθόλου λóγους πιτροπεύσας) – during the reign of Septimius Severus

21. Anonymus II (CIL IX, 5440: a rationibus) – in II c.?

22. M. Aurelius Iulianus99 (CIL VI, 1596 = XIV, 2463: a rationibus) – beginning of III c.

23. L. Septimius Antonius Agathonicus100 (CIL XV, 7747: rationalis ; CIL VI, 10233: fisci agens ; EE IX, 695: vir perfectissimus a rationibus hereditatium) – 26 March 211

24. Q. Marcius Dioga101 (CIL VI, 41277 ; CIL XIV, 4468–4470: a rationibus Augusti) – c. 211 or 212/213

25. Aurelius Eubulus102 (Cass. Dio, 79, 21, 1: τοὺς καθόλου λόγoνς πι̣τετραμμένος) – 222

APPENDIX II The titles of the head officials of summarum rationum in chronological order (until c. 235)

1. L. Aurelius Nicomedes103 (CIL VI, 1598: procurator summarum rationum) – during the reign of Marcus Aurelius

2. [---]ilius (CIL VI, 1564: procurator summarum rationum) – during the reign of Marcus Aurelius

3. M. Aurelius Matidianus Pollio104 (I.Ephesos, 627: ϰαθολικός δουϰηνάριος) – c. 190

4. Ti. Claudius Perpetuus105 (CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920): rationalis) – 193

5. M. Aurelius [---] (CIL IX, 1785: procurator summarum rationum) – c. 200

6. L. Satrius Silvinus106 (CIL V, 536a = Inscr. Ital. X, 4,42: procurator summarum rationum) – beginning of III c. (before 235)

7. M. Cn. Licinius Rufinus107 (Herrmann, 1997, p. 111 (AE, 1997, 1425): π τῶν καθόλου λόγων) – between 211 and 230

Epigraphical sources

AEL’Année Épigraphique

CIGCorpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, auctoritate et impensis Academiae Litterarum Regiae Borusicae edidit A. Boeckhius, vol. 1-4, Berolini 1828-1843.

CILCorpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Berolini 1863-

EEEphemeris Epigrafica. Corporis Inscriptionum Latinarum Supplementum, edita iussu Instituti Archeologici Romani, vol. 1-8, Romae-Berolini 1872-1899, 1903-1913.

FIRA2Fontes Iuris Romani Antejustiniani in usum scholarum, ediderunt S. Riccobono and V. Arangio-Ruiz, vol. 1-3, Florentiae 1940-19432.

I.EphesosDie Inschriften von Ephesos, eds. H. Wankel et al. Bonn 1979-84 (IK 11-17).

IGInscriptiones Graecae, consilio et auctoritate Academiae Litterarum Regiae Borussicae editae, vol. 1-3, Berolini 1903-

IGUR – Inscriptiones Graecae Urbis Romae, ed. L. Moretti, vol. 1-4, Rome 1968-90.

ILBardoCatalogue des inscriptions latines païennes du musée du Bardo, ed. Z.B. Ben Abdallah, CEFR 92, Rome 1986.

ILSInscriptiones Latinae Selectae, edidit H. Dessau, vol. 1-3, Berolini 1892-1916.

Inscr. Aq. – Inscriptiones Aquileiae, ed. J.B. Brusin, vol. 1-3, Udine 1991-93.

Inscr. Ital. – Inscriptiones Italiae, Rome 1931-

I.PergamonDie Inschriften von Pergamon, eds. M. Fränkel, C. Habicht. Berlin 1890-1969.

IRCPacen – J. d’Encarnação, Inscrições romanas do Conventus Pacensis: subsídios para o estudo da romanização, Coimbra 1984 (Tese de doutoramento em Pré-História e Arqueologia, Universidade de Coimbra).

I.Selge – Die Inschriften von Selge, eds. J. Nollé, F. Schindler, Bonn 1991 (IK 37).

SEG – Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, redigendum curavit J.J.E. Hondius, A.G. Woodhead, Amsterdam-Leiden 1923-

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Notes

1 Stat., Silv. 3, 3, 89-90: Quicquid fossis / ab auriferis eiectat Hiberia fossis/ Dalmatico quod monte nitet, quod messibus Afris. See Dušanić, 1977, p. 93 ; Hirt, 2010, p. 124.

2 AE, 1908, 233 ; IRCPacen 121 (Hispania Epigrafica, no 23530): Be[ry]llo, Aug(usti) lib(erto), proc(uratori) diligen/tissimo et amantissimo, ra/tio[naliu]m vicar(io), homini op/timo et iu[sti]ssimo, restitu/tori metallo[r]um, / coloni Au[g(usti)?] [d(omini)?] n(ostri) metalli Vipas/censis / statuam cum basi de suo / libenter posuerunt ii, / qui infra scripti sunt, / dedicante ipso. [---] / T(itus) Iunius [---]/. D[ed]icata [---] / Cn(aeo) Claudio [---]. With the praenomen and nomen of one consul preserved, it is possible to date the inscription to three years: 146, 173 or 235. See Degrassi, 1952, p. 41-42, 48, 65. However, the date of the Mauri raid into southern Spain and Beryllus’ title of restitutor are both arguments for the year 173. See Edmondson, 1987, p. 46, 56 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194-195 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 296, 300-301 ; Eich, 2005, p. 167-168 and cf. Mrozek, 1968, 53. Unless indicated otherwise, all dates in the present work are AD.

3 See Le Roux, 1985, p. 228 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 292-294 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 187-190.

4 Thouvenot, 1940, 154 ; Le Roux, 1982, p. 373-376 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 300. Lastly, see Bernard, 2009, p. 357-375

5 HA, Marc. 21, 1 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 300 ; Lazzarini, 2001, p. 105 ; Hirt, 2010, p. 124.

6 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 192, 196 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 301, 364 ; Christol, 1999, p. 243 ; Eich, 2005, p. 167-168 ; Martins, 2008, p. 92.

7 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 196 ; Christol, 1999, p. 243 ; cf. Eich, 2005, p. 168. Under the principate the title vicarius referred primarily to personal slaves of slaves or freedmen, Weaver, 1964, p. 117-128 ; Weaver, 1972, p. 200-206. For more on servi vicarii, see Erman, 1896 ; Buckland, 1908, 239-249 ; Reduzzi Merola, 1990.

8 Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 31 ; Pflaum, 1950, p. 81 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 395 no 163. It is not certain the office of summae rationes was created by Marcus Aurelius (Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 193 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162. Cf. Demougin, 1976, p. 135-145 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 200-201), but the first procurator summarum rationum known to us is confirmed during his reign. L. Aurelius Nicomedes (PIR2 N 89 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 393-396 no 163), originally an imperial freedman who acted as L. Aelius Caesar’s a cubiculo and Lucius Verus’ nutritor ; later as a member of the equestrian order he held a series of appropriate positions. See CIL VI, 1598 (ILS, 1740).

9 See e. g. Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Weaver, 1972, p. 265 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, 192-194 ; Herrmann, 1997, p. 117 ; Lazzarini, 2001, p. 105-106.

10 Weaver, 1972, p. 264-265 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 65 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194 ; Domergue, 1990, p. 300 ; Herrmann, 1997, p. 117 n. 27 ; Eck, 1998, p. 84-85, 92 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162 and 168-169 ; Hirt, 2010, p. 124 ; Moore, 2012, p. 221 n. 3.

11 Pflaum, 1975, p. 14 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 192-194 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162, 168-169 ; Eich, 2015, p. 106 ; Bruun, 2015, p. 488. Cf. CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920) ; IG XIV, 1480=IGUR, 424.

12 CIL XIV, 2008a = XV, 7740 ; CIL XIV, 1979, CIL XV, 7741 ; CIL XV, 7742a ; CIL XV, 7744 ; CIL XV, 7745 ; NSA, 1953, 158, n.9 ; CIL XV, 7746 ; CIL XV, 7747 ; CIL XIV, 5309, 21 ; CIL XIV, 5309, 22 ; CIL XIV, 5309, 26. See Boulvert, 1970, p. 267-268 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 193-194 ; Delmaire, 1989a, p. 25 n. 1. There is a chronological table of fifteen example Ostian fistulae with imperial officials listed on them in Bruun, 2002, p. 170-171.

13 Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 34 n. 2 ; Liebenam, 1914, p. 264. See also Reintjes, 1961, p. 81 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 193-194, 201 ; Bruun, 1991, p. 293-294.

14 CIL XIV, 2008a = XV, 7740. Bruun considered also the imperial freedman T. Aelius Proculus, written on a fistula (CIL XIV, 5309, 23 et 28) from halfway through the 2nd century a possible a rationibus. The context of that inscription (which lacks imperial nomenclature or the sub cura formula) it unclear but we can assume that this official was a subordinate in the officium or a freedman assistant of an equestrian procurator. Cf. Bruun, 2002, p. 184-185.

15 (1) CIL V, 867 (ILS, 1339) = InscrAqu. I, 486b ; (2) (AE, 1934, 232) ; InscrAqu. I, 486a ; PIR2 C 1015. So Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 264 no 109 ; Sablayrolles, 1996, p. 552 no 14 ; and Zaccaria, 2008, p. 423 ; cf. Schmall, 2011, p. 541 n. 1813. Interestingly, on Roman figlinae Ti. Claudius Secundinus was styled an officinator, that is, one who rented officinae, or manufacturing enterprises which made bricks on the estates belonging to a number of domini: Lucilla Veri (CIL XV, 1082, 1), Caes(ar) n(oster) (CIL XV, 718,1) and Faustina Aug(usta) (CIL XV, 728,1). That eques, also sometimes identified with Ti. Claudius Secundinus L. Statius Macedo, was probably active in the fifties of the 2nd century. See Helen, 1975, p. 111, 142.

16 Bruun, 1991, p. 294. See also Bruun, 2002, p. 184.

17 Cf. Schmall, 2011, p. 541 n. 1813.

18 For more on the subject see Bruun, 1991, p. 257-259 ; Bruun, 2005, p. 21. We are not certain whether proc. C. Iulius Rufus (BCAR 1906, 113) was the main procurator patrimonii around the year 147, as believed by Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 1025. It is possible that he worked at that office as a freedman procurator or a lower-ranking clerk. Cf. Bruun, 2005, p. 22-24.

19 See Bruun, 1991, p. 298-303.

20 Bruun, 1991, p. 266 ; Bruun, 2002, p. 183-185.

21 Presumably those freedman procurators were subordinate to the rationales and also acted as part of the fiscus administration. Bruun, 1991, p. 303 even believes them to have been freedman procuratores a rationibus, while according to Pflaum they were procuratores portus utriusque. See Bruun, 2002, p. 169 n. 44, 184.

22 Bruun, 1991, p. 296. Cf. Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194.

23 Only an eques of high rank in the administrative hierarchy could hold the title of vir perfectissimus. See Mennen, 2011, p. 158-159 ; Demougin, 2015, p. 65-66. It has been suggested that one of the anonymous rationales from Ostia was L. Septimius Antonius Agathonicus (PIR2 S 436), who held the office of v. p. a rat. in 211 (and was referred to as fisci agens on 26 March 211). See CIL XV, 7747 ; EE IX, 695 ; CIL VI, 10233. See Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 1019. Cf. Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194 n. 186 ; Illuminati, 1993, p. 232 n. 2. Agathonicus is the first known a rationibus to hold the title vir perfectissimus. Under Septimius Severus it was attained to by a praefectus annonae, an a cognitionibus and an a declamationibus Latinis. See Pflaum, 1960-61, 624 n. 10 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 194 n. 185. In the 3rd century, and especially beginning with the reign of Alexander Severus, a rationalis would usually be termed a v. p. ; see e. g. CIL XIV, 5309, 22 et 26 ; Delmaire, 1989b, p. 11 ; Bruun, 1991, p. 294 ; and Eich, 2005, p. 162, and cf. Jones 1950, p. 29 ; Eck, Groß-Albenhausen, 2001, p. 784.

24 CIL XIV, 5309, 23 et 28. See Bruun, 1991, p. 296 ; Bruun, 2002, p. 184-185. Ultimately the formula sub cura rationalis/rationalium can referred to an equestrian procurator a rationibus and his freedman assistant or a subordinate clerk (e.g. adiutor or proximus), but this possibility is less likely.

25 Millar, 1999, p.  99: “Both the functions of, and the relevant vocabulary (Latin or Greek) for, the major financial post, or posts, at the emperor’s side are highly unclear”. Cf. Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 190-194 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 199-201. As an example we could use the career or an outstanding jurist, eques and later senator, M. Cn. Licinius Rufinus (PIR² L 236), listed as part of an inscription in Thyateira (Herrmann, 1997, p. 111 (AE, 1997, 1425)), which quite shone before 238: consiliarius Augusti, ab epistulis Graecis, a studiis Augusti, rationalis (a rationibus or summarum rationum?), a libellis (or a responsis), (adlectus inter aedilicios/tribunicios), praetor, legatus provinciae Norici, consul suffectus (or adlectus inter consulares), sodalis Titii, vigintivir, amicus Caesaris ; cf. Herrmann, 1997, p. 114-118 ; Millar, 1999, p. 98-99 ; Eck, 2006, 72, n. 29 ; Mennen, 2011, 153 ; Okoń, 2017, p. 162 no 642. The chronology of his career is uncertain but we can assume that he was cos. suff. between 220-230 and vigintivir in 238. See Herrmann, 1997, p. 120-121. It is not quite clear whether the central financial office mentioned in the inscription as ἐπὶ τῶν καθόλου λόγων was in fact a rationibus or procurator summarum rationum. The rank of the equestrian offices held by Rufinus and the order in which they are listed cannot be decisive here, because a studiis (ducenarius) is mentioned after ab epistulis Graecis (trecenarius). Thus it is possible that the next post our jurist attained to was that of summae rationes (rationalis), which was also ducenarius ; so Pflaum, 1974, p. 39-40, and cf. Herrmann, 1997, p. 117-118 ; Millar, 1999, p. 99. Similar doubt surrounds the interpretation of the title καθολικός, found in the inscription (SEG 54, 1659) from Hippos (Sussita), dated to 238.

26 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 191-193. Cf. Magie, 1905, p. 106-107 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 201. The Latin title procurator summarum rationum had no other Greek equivalent either: Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 192. The title of M. Cn. Licinius Rufinus could be the only exception, see note 25.

27 CIL III, 7126 = I.Ephesos, 651 ; Eck, 1977, p. 230 (AE, 1976, 676) ; Herrmann, 1997, p. 111 (AE, 1997, 1425) ; Euseb., Hist. eccl. 7, 10, 5. One inseperable element of the Greek titulature referring to the a rationibus officials is the preposition ἐπὶ used in numerous ways: Lim, 1993, p. 159.

28 I.Ephesos, 2061 (I-II) = (AE 1913, 143a-b) ; I.Ephesos, 3046 = (AE ,1924, 81); I.Ephesos, 736.

29 Cass. Dio 79, 21.

30 AE, 1952, 6.

31 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 190 (AE 2000, 1382) ; I.Selge, 13.

32 I.Selge, 13. Ti. Claudius Vibianus Tertullus (PIR2 C 1049 ; PIR2 V 528) was in a bilingual inscription also called ἐπὶ τῶν καθόλου λόγων (CIL III, 7126 = I.Ephesos, 651). Cf. Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 193.

33 Magie, 1905, p. 106.

34 Eich, Petzl, 2000, p. 193-194.

35 Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 395.

36 CIL IX, 2438 = FIRA I2, 61. See Passerini, 1939, p. 251 ; Laffi, 1965, p. 177-192 ; Corbier, 1983, p. 126-131 ; Lo Cascio, 2000, p. 151-161 ; Corbier, 2006, p. 225-232 ; Eck, 2015, p. 190-191.

37 PIR2 C 1535.

38 PIR2 L 229. See also Appendix I (no 13).

39 Only individual titles of the highest officials, a rationibus and summarum rationum, are written in the cursus inscriptions. See Appendix I and II. Cf. Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 199-201.

40 In a few cases the dating of the inscriptions is uncertain, but in the inscription from Rome (CIL VI, 8420) dated to 183, the imperial freedman Eutychianus was listed as an adiut(or) a rat(ionibus). Another inscription (CIL VI, 1115), this one from Carinus’ reign (283-285), attests to a tabularium summarum rationum being active then. Cf. Wachtel, 1966, p. 119-121 ; Boulvert, 1970, p. 98 n. 38 ; Weaver, 1972, p. 252-258 ; Eck, 1986, p. 280-281.

41 That those officials are not confirmed after the reign of Severi need not be connected to any administrative changes ; rather, it can result from the disappearance of the custom (the ‘epigraphic habit’) of erecting inscriptions in the 3rd century, which are our primary source of information on institutions. Lastly, see Beltrán Lloris, 2015, p. 141-145.

42 Weaver, 1972, p. 255: “The term ‘rationalium’ has distinctly late second- and third- century associations” ; Eck, Groß-Albenhausen, 2001, p. 403: “Late in the 2nd cent., the term rationalis began to occur ; it became more widespread in the 3rd cent.”.

43 His first stay in Rome as emperor is dated to 9 June-9 July 193. See Cass. Dio, 75, 1, 3-5 ; Herodian 2, 14, 1-2 ; HA, Sep. Sev. 7 ; Kienast, 1990, p. 156. Having to suddenly pay a large and loyal army, which demanded a remuneration for its victory (HA, Sep. Sev. 7, 6-7), and collecting the funds for the campaign against Pescennius Niger meant that from the beginning of Septimius Severus’ stay in Rome efficiency of the central financial administration was a priority. As an active administrator, a former advocatus fisci (Eutropius, Breviarium 8, 18, 2 ; HA, Geta 2, 4), Severus was quite familiar with imperial finances. Cf. Zwalwe, 2003, p. 166. Certainly he was fast, because as early as August of 193 one of his closest and most trusted equestrian financial officials, Aquilius Felix (see note 60), was responsible for public works (opera publica) in Rome, CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920).

44 CIL VI, 1585a ; CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920). All those inscriptions have been widely commented upon. For more information see Daguet-Gagey, 1998, p. 893-915 ; Eich, 2005, p. 168-171 ; Moore, 2012, p. 221-229 ; Eck, 2015, p. 185-200. The dating of the inscription CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920) is somewhat controversial, but Adrastus’ social status, conclusive here (Augg(ustorum) nn(ostrorum) lib(ertum) (l. 6)), indicates the beginning of Septimius Severus’ and Caracalla’s joint reign (since 197), rather than the co-regency of Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus (193-195). For more on the subject, see Moore, 2012, p. 224-225 ; Strasser, 2017, p. 743.

45 Daguet-Gagey, 1998, p. 893-915. In the context of, as Boulvert, 1970, p. 303-304 put it, the “transformation du bureau a rationibus”, CIL VI, 1585a-b are a peculiar illustration for how rationales functioned side by side. See also Pflaum, 1958, p. 194-195.

46 CIL VI, 1585b (ILS, 5920). It used to be believe that this inscription lists two (so Mommsen and Hirschfeld) or even three persons (so Dessau and Stein) in the nominative. See Boulvert, 1970, p. 304, and cf. Masi, 1971, p. 21-22.

47 About the location of the columna divi Marci in Rome see Chausson, 2001, p. 362-378 ; La Rocca, 2004, p. 231 ; Beckmann, 2011, p. 51-52 ; Strasser, 2017, p. 737-738.

48 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Pflaum, 1960-1961, p. 517 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 65 ; Pflaum, 1975, p. 14. Already O. Hirschfeld (1905: 34-35) had no doubt that the aforementioned rationales (of whom he believed to have been two) were procuratores: a rationibus and summarum rationum.

49 CIL VIII, 23395 (ILS, 5966) ; M’Charek, 1999, p. 152 ; AE 1999, 1770 (Hr Abd es-Selam) ; cf. Eich, 2005, p. 167 n. 1 ; Delmaire, 1989a, p. 180 n. 23.

50 P. Oxy. XLII 3046-50 ; P. Mil. Vogl. II 97 ; Eich, 2005, p. 171-173. Cf. Parsons, 1967, p. 134-141.

51 PIR2 S 221.

52 I.Pergamon VIII, 2 no. 44 = SEG 40, 1133.

53 See Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 206-211.

54 Cf. Eich, 2005, p. 172.

55 Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 206: “[...] officium des rationales, associés en collège”.

56 See CIL VIII, 23395 ; CIL XI, 1214 ; CIL VI, 1587 ; CIL V, 858 ; CIL VIII, 7043 ; SEG 54, 1659 ; MAMA VI, 376 ; Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 34 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 1019-1020 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 202 ; M’Charek, 1999, p. 152 ; Eich, 2005, p. 172. The Latin form a rationibus does reappear in inscriptions after a long break around the turn of the 3rd and 4th century (CIL VI, 1120a ; CIL VI, 31384), but in those cases we most likely see it resurface as an archaism, which by then meant the central official v. p. rationalis as he was during the Tetrarchy. See Delmaire, 1989b, p. 15.

57 Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 150-153 ; Eich, 2013, p. 96-98. Cf. Hammond, 1959, p. 457-459. Some changes to the financial administration were also caused by the growth of the imperial property resulting from confiscating the properties of Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus, and later of Plautianus. See Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 150-151 ; Lo Cascio, 2015, p. 66-67. Cf. Masi, 1971, p. 55-56. The property of the former praefectus praetorio was managed by a special official, the procurator ad bona Plautiani (CIL III, 1464 (ILS, 1370)). See Pflaum, 1950, p. 90 ; Lewicki, Kotula, 1986, p. 263-264. From the rule of the Severi on there was also the procurator ad bona damnatorum (CIL VI, 1634 (ILS, 1423)).

58 HA, Pertinax 7, 6.

59 PIR2 A 988.

60 CIL X, 6657 (ILS 1387) ; AE 1945, 80 ; Oliver, 1946, p. 311-319 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 598-601 no. 225. It is to Aquilius Felix that the rationales addressed one of their letters, applying the very courteous formula of petimus dari iubeas, CIL VI, 1585b (l. 36-37). Elio Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 151 supposes Aquilius Felix was responsible for turning the ratio privata into the res privata. The inscription published recently by D. Nonnis introduces a new procurator rationis privatae (the imperial freedman M. Ulpius Epaphroditus) from the times of Trajan. See Nonnis (2014: 189-203).

61 Cass. Dio 74, 2.

62 Osier, 1974, p. 27-31.

63 A rationibus, procurator rationis privatae, a declamationibus Latinis, a declamationibus Graecis, a cognitionibus, a libellis, a censibus, ab epistulis Latinis, ab epistulis Graecis, rationalis Aegypti. See Pflaum 1950, p. 82 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 34 ; Alföldy, 1979, p. 261. According to Pflaum, 1974, p. 34, the office of a cubiculo was raised to trecenarius rank as well, but that seems incorrect, as towards the end of the 2nd century a cubiculo, just like a memoria, was still a post held by imperial freedmen, not equites. See Demougin, 2003, p. 397-416.

64 Pflaum, 1974, p. 33-38 ; Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 149.

65 Guey, 1962, p. 86-90 ; Lo Cascio, 2005, p. 154-155.

66 See e. g. IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424.

67 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424.

68 PIR2 A 1559.

69 I.Ephesos, 627. See Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 529-530 no 193, p. 1020 ; Christol, Demougin, 1990, p. 203-204.

70 Schmall, 2011, p. 502.

71 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424. See Hirschfeld, 1905, p. 31 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 697 no 160 ; Lo Cascio, 2000, p. 147 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162. Cf. Birley, 1992, p. 54. It cannot be proven beyond all doubt that he was then the head of the college of rationales, although it does seem rather likely. See Eich, 2015, p. 106.

72 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 697 no 160 ; Pflaum, 1974, p. 25, 28, 63 ; Eck, 1998, p. 85 ; Lo Cascio, 2000, p. 147 ; Eich, 2005, p. 162 ; Kłodziński, 2016, p. 119 n. 3. Cf. Birley, 1992, p. 54.

73 IG XIV, 1480 = IGUR, 424 (early 3rd century).

74 Even before Pflaum such a course of procuratorial career of a rationibus officials was defined by Hans Zwicky (1944, p. 39).

75 Pflaum, 1950, p. 74. See also Zwicky, 1944, p. 39 ; Reintjes, 1961, p. 81.

76 See CIL VI, 1564 (ILS, 1452): [C(aio?) Quint?]ilio C(ai) fil(io) [---] / [adlecto in amplissimum] ordinem inter praetorios iudici[o Imp(eratoris) M(arci) Aureli Antonini Aug(usti)?] / [a rationibus Aug(usti)?, ab epist]ulis Latinis, procuratori summarum ratio[num ---] / [procuratori provinciae A]siae, iuridico Alexandreae, ab epistulis [Graecis ---] / [procuratori provinciae] Macedoniae, ab commentariis Corneli Re[pentini pr(aefecti) pr(aetorio) ---]. Reconstructing the lacuna as a rationibus Aug(usti?) is purely hypothetical. We do not really know of this particular official did hold that particular office. That was ruled out even by Pflaum, who did not include him in his fasti a rationibus. See Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 448 no 178 ; p. 1019.

77 I only cite those inscriptions which list the Latin title of a rationibus (or its Greek equivalent) and the basic literature (PIR2 ; H.-G. Pflaum, Les carrières procuratoriennes équestres sous le Haut-Empire Romain, vol. 1-3, Paris 1960-1961=CP ; Pflaum, Les carrières procuratoriennes équestres sous le Haut-Empire Romain. Supplément, Paris 1982=SCP ; H. Devijver, Prosopographia Militiarum Equestrium quae fuerunt ab Augusto ad Gallienum, Leuven 1976-1980=PME).

78 PIR2 L 167 ; CP, 156-158 no. 66 ; PME, 864-865 no 97.

79 PIR2 L 167 ; CP, 156-158 no. 66 ; PME, 864-865 no 97.

80 PIR2 P 617 ; CP, 188-189 no. 89.

81 PIR2 S 838 ; CP, 289-292 no. 119 ; PME, 751-752 no. 69.

82 SCP, 38-40 no. 119a ; PME, 909-910 no. 33 bis.

83 PIR2 I 753 ; CP, 320-322 no. 134 ; PME, 498 no. 144.

84 PIR2 V 178 ; CP, 274-279 no. 113 ; PME, 825-826 no. 29.

85 PIR2 P 281 ; CP, 283-286 no. 117 ; PME, 634-636 no. 24.

86 PIR2 C 1015 ; CP, 262-264 no. 109.

87 Camodeca, 2012, p. 307 note 7.

88 PIR2 F 584 ; CP, 326-331 no. 139 ; PME, 391-392 no. 100.

89 PIR2 B 131 ; CP, 304-313 no. 126 ; PME, 178-179 no. 14.

90 PIR2 B 69 ; CP, 389-393 no. 162.

91 PIR2 L 229.

92 PIR2 C 1049 ; PIR2 V 528 ; CP, 683-684 no. 252.

93 PIR2 S 173 ; CP, 1002-1007 no. 178 bis.

94 PIR2 I 615 ; CP, 456-464 no. 180 ; PME, 492-493 no. 136 ; Filippini, Gregori 2014, p. 85-120.

95 Camodeca, 2012, p. 310.

96 PIR2 I 235 ; CP, 468.

97 Camodeca, 2012, p. 305-321 ; Filippini, Gregori 2014, p. 85-120.

98 PIR2 A 1503 ; CP, 696-697 no. 260 ; PME, 149 no. 226.

99 PIR2 A 1537.

100 PIR2 S 436 ; Illuminati (1993: 231-232).

101 PIR2 M 231 ; CP, 719-725 no. 271 ; SCP, 58 ; Christol (1991: 165-186).

102 PIR2 A 1499.

103 PIR2 N 89 ; CP, 393-396 no 163.

104 PIR2 A 1559 ; Pflaum, 1960-61, p. 523-531 no 193.

105 PIR2 C 958 ; CP, 515-517 no 191.

106 PIR2 S 201 ; CP, 1020.

107 PIR² L 236. See. note 25.

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Karol Kłodziński, « The collegium (or officium) rationalium. The controversy over the reform of central financial administration in the 2nd half of the 2nd c. A.D. », Pallas, 107 | 2018, 291-310.

Référence électronique

Karol Kłodziński, « The collegium (or officium) rationalium. The controversy over the reform of central financial administration in the 2nd half of the 2nd c. A.D. », Pallas [En ligne], 107 | 2018, mis en ligne le 31 mai 2019, consulté le 22 juillet 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/9359 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.9359

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Auteur

Karol Kłodziński

PhD in Ancient History
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
cezar871[at]wp.pl

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Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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