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Making Italy Just Another Province

Contributed by David Verne

Hadrian begins to get restless after staying in Rome for some time, so he decides to go on a tour of Italy. He improves the infrastructure and makes legal decisions in the towns that he visits. While traveling around the peninsula, he gets an idea for an administrative reform. At this time, Italy was divided into 18 administrative districts, with most towns left to their own devices. Hadrian changed this and divided Italy into four provinces, each ruled by an Imperial governor. This didn't go over well with the populace or the Senate, and this was repealed a few hours after Hadrian's death in 138 A.D. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Italy was the birthplace of the Empire; the populace were all considered Roman, and they believed that they were superior to the people living in the provinces. Italy, especially Rome, was seen as the home province, not just another conquered territory, and this was reflected in the way the populace was treated. Rome's poor received free bread and wine daily, and everyone in Italy was exempt from tax. One day Italy would lose its special status, but that was years in the future.

See Also


  1. Duncan, Mike (February 07, 2010). 83- May His Bones Be Crushed.

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