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François Jacques (5 February 1946 – 3 May 1992) was a 20th-century French historian, a specialist of ancient Rome. His work focused on municipal life of the Roman Empire and profoundly contributed to a renewal of the historical perspectives on this issue.

François Jacques
Born5 February 1946
Died3 May 1992(1992-05-03) (aged 46)


After he obtained the agregation of history, he taught at the University of Reims as lecturer and then he was appointed professor at the University of Nantes in 1981 and Lille in 1985.

His State doctoral thesis was defended in 1980 under the direction of André Chastagnol. François Jacques was also a student of Hans-Georg Pflaum. His analyzes on municipal life, especially the book based on his State doctorate, Le privilège de liberté (1984), helped establish the idea of the vitality of the municipal civilization under the Roman Empire, by stressing the maintaining of cities autonomy, challenging a historiography which emphasized primarily the interference of the central government.



  • 1983: Les curateurs des cités dans l'Occident romain de Trajan à Gallien, Paris, Nouvelles éditions latines, BNF 34915687f Read online.
  • 1984: Le privilège de liberté. Politique impériale et autonomie municipale dans les cités de l'occident romain (161-244), Collection de l'École française de Rome, 916 pages, Read online.
  • 1990: Les cités de l'occident romain, Paris
  • 1990: in collaboration with John Scheid, Rome et l'intégration de l'empire. Volume I : Les structures de l'Empire romain

Articles onlineEdit


  • André Chastagnol, Ségolène Demougin, Claude Lepelley, Avant-propos, in André Chastagnol, Ségolène Demougin, Claude Lepelley éd., Splendidissima civitas. Études d'histoire romaine en hommage à François Jacques, Paris, 1996. pp. 3–6 (with bibliography by François Jacques at pp. 8–11).

External linksEdit