Assidui or proletarii? Property in roman citizen colonies and the vacatio militiae

Saskia T. Roselaar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article argues that colonists in fourth- and third-century BC colonies with Roman citizen status remained proletarii, because allotments of two iugera of land were not sufficient to raise them to the fifth census class. The vacatio militiae recorded by Livy as a privilege enjoyed by these colonies does not mean that the colonists had become assidui. The article argues that instead the vacatio served to ensure that all colonists in such colonies remained exempt from military service, even if their possessions would rise sufficiently to allow them to become assidui. This ensured that such colonies maintained an adequate manpower supply and thus continued to fulfil their role in the defensive strategy of the Roman Republic. © 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)609-623
    Number of pages14
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


    • Assidui
    • Census qualification
    • Proletarii
    • Roman colonies
    • Vacatio militiae


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