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Roman military papers presented at CIEGL 2007
Dear All

As some of you will know, the 13 International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy was held in Oxford on 2-7 September. There were a number of interesting new papers presented. Here's a summary.

I promised Jasper, and Michael Ng (Praefectus Urbi), that I'd do this. Work pressures have meant that I've only now got time. My apologies for the delay.

I should also add that there was a panel session on British Military Epigraphy that I did not attend. Anyone who was there and cares to add their thoughts is very welcome indeed. To keep the length down, I'll do this session by session.

Session 1. Roman Military Epigraphy I

Rankov, B. (Royal Holloway, London) "Trajan and the peregrini: the career of Q. Geminus Sabinus"

Rankov presented a paper on a late 1st century individual, Q. Geminus Sabinus (ILTun 778 = AE 1923, 28; ILTun 779), who rose from the centurionate to become princeps peregrinus and, later, the praefectus of Legio X Fretensis. Rankov's paper argued, convincingly, that Geminus was probably the first princeps peregrinus; but was also notable for his discussion of one part of the inscription, where he argued that the text "Leg. I. Adiut. P.P." was mistranscribed. This part of his paper was an object lesson in demonstrating that an error has probably been made on the stone itself. In doing so, he demonstrated exactly how difficult it is to argue this, and the sort of problems which caution against a casual assertion that an error has been made.

Ng, M. (Royal Holloway, London) "Birth of the Urban Cohorts"

RAT's own praefectus urbi presented a paper in which he argued that the urban cohorts should be dated ot no earlier than AD13. In doing so, he argued, convincingly, that the 3 urban cohorts were originally intended to parallel the three praetorian cohorts in Rome at the time. He also discussed an inscription from the Early Tiberian era (Letta (1978) 3-4), arguing that this individual, a "tribuno militum in praetorio divi Augusti et Tiberii Caesaris Augusti cohortium XI et III praetorianum" [very unusual phraseology there, especially for a tribunus cohortis, but I digress...] was in charge of a praetorian cohort that was later redesignated as one of the cohortes urbani.

Saddington, D. "Career grade variations and nomenclature patterns used in the inscriptions of fleet personnel in the early Roman Empire".

Saddington, one of the foremost authorities on auxilliary forces, presented a paper on the descriptions given in military diplomas, tombstones, as well as literary sources, of fleet personnel. Most notably, he discussed the use of terms used to describe legionnaries in the diplomas of fleet personnel; demonstrating, for example, that the term "miles" did not mean "marine", but was a term used to describe ordinary sailors.
Tom Wrobel
email = [email protected]
Roman Military Epigraphy II

Schmitdt, C "Les cultes orientaux dans les camps militaires du Haut-Empire romain"

Schmidt presented a paper on the role and status of oriental cults in the life of roman camps. He concentrated particularly on the cult of Jupiter Dolichenus (e.g. RIB 1725), which is the best epigraphically attested cult, as well as others, including mithraism. Schmidt demonstrated that such cults did have a important, and acknowledged, role in the religious life of the camps, but that certain cults and practices, while acknowledged, where placed outside of the camp itself.

Zahariade, M "Recruitment and Veternas in the 'Auxillia Thracum.' Romanization or Resistence?

Zaharide's paper looked at the settlement patterns for Thracian veterans. In doing so, he showed that a clear pattern emerges over time: initially (1st C. AD) Thracian veterans returned to Thrace or to nearby provinces after retirement; over time (mid 2nd C. AD onwards), and as communities developed, they began to settle in the Rhine provinces. He linked this change to a tension between the initially strong tribal ties which existed within Thrace, and the growing Thracian communities which established themselves around the legion bases where the men had served.

Onur, F. "The military edict of Anastasius I from Perge"

Onur presented an extremely interesting and significant new inscription. He has been working with around 850 fragments of an edict from c.AD491-495 which was set up in Perge, the capital of Pamphylia, inscribed upon three plaques. The edict concerns corrput promotions within the army at the time, and the first two plaques are a translation into Greek of the original speech made by Anastasius, the second a translation of the formal order relating to it. The final, and perhaps most interesting, plaque, appears to list the number of individuals of each rank in a legion, and what they were to be paid. Such a text is obviously without parallel for the period, and a full text of the inscription is eagerly awaited.
Tom Wrobel
email = [email protected]
Thank you! Lauds awarded
Caius Fabius Maior
Charles Foxtrot
moderator, Roman Army Talk
link to the rules for posting
Thanks Tom! I'd be interested in more details of Saddington's paper. The example you mention (miles != marine) is hardly new.

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
notes, but they're very raw:

1) That marines did serve in the fleet, but belonged to a separate command structure.

2) That a number of sailors are actually described as miles, and even as immunis, principalis or duplicarius.

Sorry, I don't have too much more. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I was very nervous before the talk, as I thought it might relate directly to junior officer commands. I may have relaxed a touch when I realised that it wasn't Smile
Tom Wrobel
email = [email protected]
Oh, ok. Well, that relaxes me. That's exactly what I'd argue (and it's been published this Summer, yay!)

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine

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