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Document Details :
Title: Trajan and the honorarium decurionatus in the Cities of Pontus and Bithynia
Subtitle: A Re-assassment of Plin., Ep. 10.113
Author(s): KUHN, Christina T.
Volume: 79 Issue: 3 Date: 2020
The article provides a re-assessment of Pliny’s correspondence with Trajan concerning the implementation of the honorarium decurionatus, i.e. the fee to be paid by newly appointed councillors upon entry to the council in the cities of Bithynia and Pontus (Ep. X.112-113). The analysis focusses on the major hermeneutical issues of Trajan’s final statement on the matter in the last sentence of Ep. 113 (sed … praeferantur), which has been deemed by historians as one of the most important sentences of historical relevance in Pliny’s Letters. In order to clarify its meaning, the article explores the complex publication history of Book X, analyses the historical scenarios resulting from the different emendations and nuances in the translation of the Latin text in the modern editions of the Letters and proposes a new reading for Trajan’s message in the light of recent research on the post-classical polis.