Concepts of Citizenship

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This article discusses concepts of citizenship in Late Antiquity. In the early Roman Empire, citizenship was an elite legal status to which granted certain rights, privileges, and obligations under civil and criminal law. But as time passed, citizenship, and access to Roman ius civile (civil law), became less and less a special status and more a lowest common denominator. In Late Antiquity, Roman citizenship was no longer was being "granted" in the same manner as during the Principate. The only formal grants of Roman citizenship were to freedmen and slaves, who experienced not so much a change from "non-citizen" to "citizen" as a transfer to a greater measure of legal freedom.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity
EditorsScott Fitzgerald Johnson
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages1247
ISBN (Print)9780195336931, 0195336933
StatePublished - 2012


  • Roman citizenship
  • Roman Empire
  • Romans
  • legal status
  • barbarians


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