2004
Volume 128, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Abstract

The Roman census figures are a fundamental source of demographic information for the classical world. Since the nineteenth century historical demographers have used these figures to calculate the number of Roman citizens. The resulting population figures, however, vary considerably between different interpretations. This article aims to show that the numerical differences can be associated with different views on Roman citizenship. A gender bias played a role, in particular a one-sided emphasis on male citizenship which has kept attention away from women as independent citizens in the census figures. This bias, which is already visible in Roman sources, was strengthened in the nineteenth century. Roman citizenship terminology was used to describe the contemporary liberal citizenship ideal with its emphasis on the male citizen-soldier as the head of his family. This liberal citizenship ideal in return influenced nineteenth-century interpretations of Roman citizenship which are still central to our understanding of the Roman census figures today.

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2015-09-01
2021-11-29
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): gender; historical demography; historiography; Roman census; Roman citizenship
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