Constitutio Antoniniana: Difference between revisions

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The '''''Constitutio Antoniniana''''' ([[Latin]] for: "Constitution [or Edict] of Antoninus") (also called the '''Edict of Caracalla''' or the '''Antonine Constitution''') was an [[edict]] issued in 212 AD,<ref>"Late Antinquity" by Richard Lim in ''The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome''. Edinburgh: [[Edinburgh University Press]], 2010, p. 114.</ref> by the [[Roman Emperor]] [[Caracalla]]. declaringIt declared that [[Peregrinus (Roman)|all free men]] in the [[Roman Empire]] were to be given full [[Roman citizen]]ship and that all free women in the Empire were to be given the same rights as Roman women.
 
Before 212 AD, for the most part only inhabitants of [[Italy (Roman Empire)|Italy]] held full Roman citizenship. Colonies of Romans established in other provinces, Romans (or their descendants) living in provinces, the inhabitants of various cities throughout the Empire, and small numbers of local nobles (such as kings of client countries) also held full citizenship also. Provincials, on the other hand, were usually non-citizens, although some held the [[Latin Right]].
 
== Analysis ==
The context of the decree is still subject to discussion. According to historian and politician [[Cassius Dio]] ({{circa}} 155 AD{{snd}}{{circa}} 235 AD), the main reason [[Caracalla]] passed the law was to increase the number of people available to tax. In the words of Cassius Dio: "This was the reason why he made all the people in his empire Roman citizens; nominally he was honoring them, but his real purpose was to increase his revenues by this means, inasmuch as aliens did not have to pay most of these taxes."<ref>[http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/78*.html Cassius Dio, ''Roman History'', book 78, chapter 9.]</ref> However, few of those that gained citizenship were wealthy, and while it is true that Rome was in a difficult financial situation, it is thought that this could not have been the sole purpose of the edict. Cassius Dio generally saw Caracalla as a bad, contemptible emperor.
 
Another goal may have been to increase the number of men able to serve in the legions, as only full citizens could serve as [[legionaries]] in the [[military history of the Roman Empire|Roman Army]]. In scholarly interpretations that agree with a model of moral degeneration as the reason for the fall of the Roman Empire, most famously the model followed by British historian [[Edward Gibbon]], the edict came at thea cost to the [[Auxiliaries (Roman military)|auxiliaries]], which primarily consisted of non-citizen men.
 
Additionally, before the edict, one of the main ways to acquire Roman citizenship was to enlist in the [[Roman Army]], the completion of service in which would give the citizenship to the discharged soldier. The edict may have made enlistment in the army less attractive to most, and perhaps the recruiting difficulties of the Roman army by the end of the 3rd century were related to this {{Citation needed|date=November 2009}}.