Abstract: Women, Children and Families in the Military Communities of the Western Roman Empire

This presentation addresses the social role of women and family in Roman military communities primarily in the western Roman provinces. The topic is approached from various perspectives, using archaeology, epigraphy and text to illuminate the presence and daily lives of non-combatants in military communities. The Roman army has been a topic of scholarly interest for centuries with inquiries focusing on State-level concerns such as the organization of units, battle tactics, details of armour and especially the hierarchy of officer corps and placement of the units they commanded around the empire. These are all topics important to any investigation of the Roman army, but their focus has been to the detriment of an understanding of the social side of life in the military. This presentation shows that women and children were a significant part of military settlements and focuses on the social identification of the families of Roman auxiliary soldiers living in military communities in the provinces of the empire.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Allason-Jones, L. 1999a. “Women and the Roman Army in Britain,” in A. Goldsworthy and I. Haynes (eds.), The Roman Army as a Community (Portsmouth RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology) 41-51.

Allison, P.M. 2011. “Soldiers’ Families in the Early Roman Empire,” in B. Rawson (ed.) A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell) 161-82.

Driel-Murray, C. van. 1998. “A question of gender in a military context,” Helinium 34 [1994], 342-62.

Greene, E.M. 2013. “Before Hadrian’s Wall: Early military communities on the Roman frontier in Britain,” in R. Collins and M.F.A. Symonds (eds.), Breaking Down Boundaries: Hadrian’s Wall in the 21st Century, JRA. 17-32.

Maxfield, V.A. 1995. “Soldier and Civilian: Life Beyond the Ramparts,” in The Eighth Annual Caerleon Lecture (Caerleon). Reproduced in R.J. Brewer (ed.) 2002. The Second Augustan Legion and the Roman Military Machine (Cardiff) 145-63.

Phang, S.E. 2002b. “The Families of Roman Soldiers (First and Second Centuries A.D.): Culture, Law and Practice,” Journal of Family History 27, 352-73.

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