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at any rate in his

It was not until it was obvious that the Principate was permanent and the Princeps was the executive chief, whose agents wielded a formidable power, that men of birth became eager to join his civil service. It was not until Hadrian's reign that the knights literally became the civil service. Nevertheless they were commonly used from the earliest days of the Principate, especially as financial officials, for which their experience obviously qualified them.