Does PLRE actually cover "every" attested Roman, or just the "governing classes"? edit

There seems to be a contradiction between the leading sentence in this article, which describes the PLRE as "a set of three volumes collectively describing every person attested or claimed to have lived in the Roman world" (emphasis added) from AD 260-641, and the quoted description of the work in the 1950 issue of the Journal of Roman Studies stating that the purpose of the PLRE is to be "to provide the materials for the study of the governing class of the Empire," (emphasis added) and that the "majority of the entries will be persons holding official posts or rank together with their families, and the work will not include clerics except in so far as they come into the above categories." (emphasis added) So does the PLRE cover "every person" attested in records or just "the governing classes"? Did the projected scope of the work change in the decades between 1950 and its actual publication dates?

Thanks! Rinne na dTrosc (talk) 14:29, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply

A good question. Let me see whether anyone at the G&R project can answer it. "Every person attested" would include anyone who left an epitaph or votive dedication with name, wouldn't it? Cynwolfe (talk) 14:51, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply
According to the Preface of Vol 1. 260 - 395 (the only I have available),: We have endeavoured to include ... all senators ( ... ), equestrians ( ... ) , comites and holders of honores or dignitates down to provincial governors and tribunes, praefecti and praepositi of miltiary units, also officials of the palatine ministries and of PPOs, PVRs and MVMs, assessors of magistrates, lawyers, doctors, rhetors, grammarians and poets. We have excluded private soldiers and NCOs ( ... ) and decurions of cities. ... [T]he work includes wives and children of the men listed. Which seems to be in line with the 1950 article, except possibly the additions of grammarians and poets. Fornadan (t) 18:31, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply
I remember very well that one criticism often raised in reviews was that it didn't cover ecclesiastic figures, a lack that apparently was felt especially in vols. 2 and 3, so it certainly doesn't cover "every person", to confirm what has already been said.Aldux (talk) 19:00, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply
Was there any explanation as to why city decurions weren't included? Cynwolfe (talk) 19:53, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply
I unfortunately lack access currently to vol. 1, but in the intro. to vol. 2 it is stated thus: "Local personalities, whether local magnates or decurions, have been omitted, unlessspecifically attested as viri egregi or viri perfectissimi. This may have entailed the omissions of some persons of consequence, but a line had to be drawn somewhere or the work would have been overloaded with a multitude of persons of uncertain status but essentially local importance."Aldux (talk) 20:24, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply
Just like now, the middle managers who actually make everything run are disregarded as of "local" importance. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply