THE AUGUSTAN DISCRIPTIO ITALIAE: AN ATTEMPT OF REGIONALISM?
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Among the interventions that Augustus realized in Italy during his Principate, the attention of the scholars has been mainly attracted by his division of Italy into eleven regions. The insufficient informations that we receive from Pliny (nat. hist. 3, 46) have led to quite distant interpretations. Some scholars think that the regions had a purely statistic role, based on census (Mommsen, Nicolet, Laffi); for others, they were districts for the administration of public lands and imperial properties (Marquardt, De Martino). In this paper it is argued that the Augustan regions were territorial districts whose role was to convey the local data to the central administration, probably including also lists of imperial lands; and it is questioned the possibility of a comparison between the Augustan invention and the administrative function of the modern regions.