In the Roman social hierarchy, the equestrian order stood second only to the senatorial aristocracy in status and prestige. Throughout more than a thousand years of Roman history, equestrians played prominent roles in the Roman government, army, and society as cavalrymen, officers, businessmen, tax collectors, jurors, administrators, and writers. This book offers the first comprehensive history of the equestrian order, covering the period from the eighth century BC to the fifth century AD. It examines how Rome's cavalry became the equestrian order during the Republican period, before analysing how imperial rule transformed the role of equestrians in government. Using literary and documentary evidence, the book demonstrates the vital social function which the equestrian order filled in the Roman world, and how this was shaped by the transformation of the Roman state itself.
Caillan Davenport is a Senior Lecturer in Roman History at Macquarie University, Sydney. He was educated at the University of Queensland and at the University of Oxford. He has been a Junior Fellow of the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies, a Rome Awardee at the British School at Rome, and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow.