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The Social Life of Roman Soldiers: The role of wives, children and families in Roman military communities

November 14, 2019 @ 7:30 pm EST

Semans Auditorium (Room 117), Belk Visual Arts Center
315 N. Main Street
Davidson, NC 28036 United States

Lecturer: Elizabeth M. Greene

Research over the past few decades has shown quite clearly that women and children were part of life in the Roman army far more than had ever been considered before. The evidence and spatial patterning of material within and outside Roman forts makes this clear, but still research on the social role of these individuals lags behind. This presentation concentrates on Dr. Greene’s current research into this aspect of the Roman army, considering the evidence that illuminates the varied roles of non-combatants within these somewhat unique settlements. The presentation highlights the very different realities for the wives and children of officers and the family members of, for instance, a foot soldier, who was paid far less and was not legally allowed to contract a marriage while serving. This lecture follows on past talks I have given that present the archaeological evidence for the presence of women at Vindolanda and pushes the argument toward women’s social roles within military communities and the intersectional identities of those living in the Roman provinces and in military communities on the frontiers.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Greene, E.M. 2016. “Identities and Social Roles of Women in Military Communities of the Roman West,” in S. Budin and J. Turfa (eds.), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World (Routledge) 942-953.

Greene, E.M. 2015. “Conubium cum uxoribus: Wives and Children in the Roman Military Diplomas,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 28, 125-159.

Greene, E.M. 2014. “If the shoe fits: Style and function of children’s shoes from Vindolanda” in R. Collins and F. McIntosh (eds.), Life in the Limes: Studies of the People and Objects of the Roman Frontiers. Oxford: Oxbow. 29-36.

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November 14, 2019
7:30 pm EST
Event Categories:


Susan Walker


Semans Auditorium (Room 117), Belk Visual Arts Center
315 N. Main Street
Davidson, NC 28036 United States
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