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In the Golden Age of the Five Emperors could anyone from outside the empire just enter through its borders?


Example: An Parthian Trader from Ctespoion crosses the border in Judea. Could he stay in the empie and cruise around and go to all the provinces? Were their special conditions, like registared immigrants? How were you identified as a citizen? Was their a special ring you wore? How free were you really to travel along the road if you were not a citizen of the empire.

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I don't know about 'free to travel'. As far as I know there were customs due on anyone bringing things into the empire, so certainly there were border checks, and probably further tolls to be paid at provincial boundaries. Even Roman subjects needed permission to travel to other provinces, or at least they did in some cases. In the rule of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius your Parthian merchant would also have been considered an enemy civilian and found his goods subject to arbitrary confiscation, even if he was let into the empire at all.


Roman citizens did not need special identification because people did not move around very much. So if you were Paul of Tarsus and claimed to be a Roman citizen, anyone in doubt would enquire from Tarsus whether this was in fact the case. Because it was a. relatively easy to check and b. very dangerous if you were caught lying, on the whole, you only said civus Romanus sum if you really were. If you wanted to make a point about being Roman you could wear a toga. Only Romans could do that, and even they didn't, much.

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