free cities

Quick Reference

Formed a privileged category in Rome's system of provincial government. In the east the status ultimately derived from the blanket declaration of Greek freedom by Quinctius Flamininus (196 bc); by the late republic a free city was one with a special agreement with Rome allowing it local autonomy and sometimes tax‐immunity (immunitas). With dependence implicit, the status was liable to Roman encroachment and sudden cancellation, although emperors respected its outward forms.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Classical Studies.

Reference entries