Procurator (Roman fiscal)


Procurator (Roman fiscal)

A Roman fiscal procurator ("procurator Augusti") was the chief financial officer of a province of the Roman Empire during the Principate era (30 BC - 284 AD). The term should not be confused with the title of "procurator" held by the governors of those Roman provinces that were customarily administered by members of the equestrian order, or with the senior imperial secretaries, and a number of other officials in Rome, also called "procuratores".

A fiscal procurator worked alongside the "legatus Augusti" (governor) of his province but was not subordinate to him, reporting directly to the emperor. The governor headed the civil and judicial administration of the province and was the commander-in-chief of all military units deployed there. The procurator, with his own staff and agents, was in charge of the province's financial affairs. [Mattingly (2006) 256] This included (1) the collection of taxes, especially the land tax ("tributum soli"), poll tax ("tributum capitis") and the "portorium", an imperial duty on the carriage of goods on public highways; (2) collection of rents on land belonging to imperial estates; (3) management of mines; [Mattingly (2006) 507] and (4) the distribution of pay to public servants (mostly in the military).

The office of fiscal procurator was always held by an equestrian, unlike the office of governor that was reserved for members of the higher senatorial order. [Mattingly (2006) 256] The reason for the dual administrative structure was to prevent excessive concentration of power in the hands of the governor, as well as to limit his opportunities for peculation. It was not unknown for friction to arise between governor and procurator over matters of jurisdiction and finance.

Citations

References

* Mattingly, David (2006) "An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire"

See also

* Roman governor
* Roman province


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