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I classiarii e l’economia del basso corso del Po in età medioimperiale: nuovi dati epigrafici e numismatici

Fezzi Luca Stella Andrea
Articolo Immagine
Rivista Storica dell’Antichità
Rivista Storica dell'Antichità N. LIII/2023

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The classiarii and the economy of the lower Po during the middle imperial age: new epigraphic and numismatic data

The aim of this study is to present and elaborate unpublished documentation useful for defining the role of the classiarii in the economy of the lower Po River during the middle imperial age. Specifically, it consists of two fragments of a military diploma of an unknown man who served under the praefectus classis praetoriae Ravennatis M. Gongius Paternus Nestorianus and of an unprecedented use of the very substantial but up to now underestimated numismatic evidence. From what emerges, the evolution of the settlement pattern that characterised the area surrounding the lower course of the Po River between the early and middle imperial age was dictated by specific economic dynamics. At the time of their greatest extension, the imperial saltus must have also included the area now in the southern Veneto, forming a single large compartment enclosed between the outermost Po River branches. From the Flavian age to the first half of the 3rd century, as attested by epigraphy, we witness the colonisation of the territory by a large group of individuals belonging to the Roman army, among whom the former members of the imperial fleet stationed in Ravenna played a prominent role, as is also evident from the economic activities of M. Gongius Paternus Nestorianus.

Keywords: Classiarii, epigraphy, numismatics, economy, lower Po.