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“Cataloguing the Empire”: The Regionary Catalogues and the Role and Purpose of Bureaucratic Inventories

Hosie, Simon (2016) “Cataloguing the Empire”: The Regionary Catalogues and the Role and Purpose of Bureaucratic Inventories. MPhil thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The previous historiography of the Regionaries is extremely limited and provides few answers as to their origins or purpose. Whereas previous works have discarded documents like the Regionaries as unsuitable for administration, this thesis will provide a new potential production context for the Regionaries due to the Romans unique conception of administrative “usefulness”. Furthermore, with the methodology I have created, this thesis will challenge traditional historiographical notions of administrative “usefulness” as having been based on anachronistic modern values. To do this I will be exploring what the Regionary Catalogues can tell us about government of the city of Rome in Late Antiquity. Whereas previous study has focused on the practical data the Regionaries can provide about the urban administration. I propose that we should instead focus on how the Regionaries represent Roman conceptions of the administration. My methodology has therefore involved synthesising a new approach from Clifford Ando and Jon Lendon, whose work focused on the methods the imperial government used to represent itself to its subjects. Ando explored the complex representations of imperial authority, whilst Lendon investigated the culture of the aristocrats who governed. This allows us to explore how an aristocratic culture that emphasises tradition and glory amongst its semi-professional administrators, could construct a complex, socio-political hierarchy that would ensure a reasonable form of administrative effectiveness. To provide context for these explorations, I have examined a monumental document similar to the Regionaries. The Severan Marble Plan shares a number of similarities in content, including an author the Emperor Septimius Severus. When the factors behind the creation of the Marble Plan are considered and applied to the Regionary Catalogues we are able to provide a potential new origin for the Regionaries, the Emperor Aurelian and his urban reforms.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Simon Hosie
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 15:07
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2017 15:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15917

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