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Title: Collegia in the Province of Egypt in the First Century AD
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 35    Date: 2005   
Pages: 197-216
DOI: 10.2143/AS.35.0.2003849

Abstract :
ln this article I explore the apparent discrepancy between the restrictive statutory Roman legislation on collegia and the documentation on associations in 1st-century Egypt. After exploration of the legal background, I examine the testimony of Philo, ln Flaccum 4, which reveals that the dissolution of hetaireiai and synodoi is not part of an empire-wide ban, but is firmly embedded in the history of Alexandria and in the urge of its prefect A. Flaccus to re-establish law and order. The second testimony providing the imposition of a fine on people taking part in associations, Gnomon of the ldios Logos §108, is so fragmentary as to allow only speculation about its context. It could preserve a clause either from A. Flaccus’ restrictions or from a tax regulation. The investigation suggests that the discrepancy between the literary tradition of a general ban and the documentary evidence on collegia is probably superficial, and it can be reconciled, if we reconsider the nature and the extent of the prohibition imposed by A. Flaccus, as a local and temporary police measure aiming to dissolve the nuclei of opposition and anti-Roman feeling in early 1st-century Alexandria.

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