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L’oratore e il funzionario: la corrispondenza tra Libanio e il praeses Ulpiano

Pellizzari Andrea
Articolo Immagine
Rivista Storica dell’Antichità
Rivista Storica dell'Antichità N. LIII/2023

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The Orator and the Official: the Correspondence between Libanius and the praeses Ulpianus

Libanius’ epistolary has the merit of bringing to light fragments of the lives and careers of officials and of introducing us to otherwise unknown figures of whom we can reconstruct, in addition to their prosopography, their reactions in the face of appointment (as well as the reasons for it), the choices – extraordinary or routine – that they were called upon to make and the human behaviour that preceded such decisions. This is the case of the praeses Ulpianus, a peripheral official active in the East in the early Sixties of the IV century AD who belonged to those provincial elites that constituted the reservoir of the empire’s central and peripheral functionary. Through his correspondence with the Antiochian orator one can see in the watermark the complexity of the contemporary historical plot, in which such ‘minor’ figures sometimes managed to play some role, sometimes ended up being dramatically involved.

Keywords: Ulpianus, Libanius, Epistolary, Functionary, Provinces, Empire.