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Anti-corruption in HistoryFrom Antiquity to the Modern Era$
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Ronald Kroeze, André Vitória, and Guy Geltner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809975.001.0001

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The Corrupting Sea

The Corrupting Sea

Law, Violence and Compulsory Professions in Late Antiquity

(p.49) 3 The Corrupting Sea
Anti-corruption in History

Sarah E. Bond

Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on a period that has often been described in terms of a moral and institutional decline. It interrogates both legal and literary sources pertaining to imperial Roman administration, and asks to what extent do they offer evidence of increasing corruption or merely greater awareness of its debilitating effects. In addition, it also explores the extent to which the rhetoric of corruption itself can be seen as an anticorruption tactic on the part of some elites, with the power to shape norms outside the formal remit of the law. Ultimately, what it shows is that, though corruption may not have been a problem unique to the later Roman Empire, the array and severity of anticorruption tactics introduced during this period do distinguish it from previous eras of Roman history.

Keywords:   corruption, anticorruption, Diocletian, violence, Roman Empire, elites, Tetrarchy

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