Brill’s New Pauly

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(155 words)

[German version]

In the late Republic and in the early Principate frumentarii were soldiers possibly responsible for  logistics (providing food, escorting traders). From the 2nd cent. AD at the latest, however, they acted as imperial messengers, couriers, informers and policemen. Their name and activity is derived from the traders with whom they once collaborated, for these frumentarii were often also employed as spies. Military frumentarii were assigned to legions, but stationed in Rome in the castra peregrina and there under the command of the praefectus praetorio; frumentarii

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Wierschowski, Lothar (Oldenburg), “Frumentarii”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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