Senatorial province

A senatorial province (Latin: provincia populi Romani, province of the Roman people) was a Roman province during the Principate where the Roman Senate had the right to appoint the governor (proconsul). These provinces were away from the outer borders of the Roman Empire and free from the likelihood of rebellion, and so had few, if any, legions stationed in them (thus lessening the chance the Senate might try to seize power from the Emperor). Governors of Senatorial provinces only had civil powers.[1] They were often along the Mediterranean Sea. Whilst the Senate oversaw these provinces the Emperor still had the right to direct their affairs if he saw fit.

Roman Empire in 117 AD. Italy, governed directly by the senate, and the senatorial provinces are shown in pink.

The provinces were grouped into imperial provinces and senatorial provinces shortly after the accession of Augustus.

In AD 14, the following provinces were senatorial provinces (Strabo, book 17.3.25):

Italia was not a senatorial province, as it was not administered by a governor but rather by the Roman Senate directly.


  1. Roman Political Institutions; Leon Homo;2000; Routledge; New York. NY