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The De aquis of Sextus Julius Frontinus is usually interpreted as either an administrative guide for the curator aquarum, or as a work of praise. It can be demonstrated, however, that Frontinus had another goal in writing. The book is more likely what we would call a political pamphlet, explaining a particular administrative reform, and encouraging those affected by that reform to cooperate with it. Frontinus wants to be sure that all concessions of aqueduct water to private individuals be made as proper grants by the emperor. In short, this curator aquarum is interested in regulating the flow of a particular beneficium, namely, aqueduct water, from the emperor to his elite subjects.
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