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Blood of the ProvincesThe Roman Auxilia and the Making of Provincial Society from Augustus to the Severans$
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Ian Haynes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655342.001.0001

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Status, Competition, and Military Adornment

Status, Competition, and Military Adornment

Chapter:
(p.250) (p.251) Chapter 16 Status, Competition, and Military Adornment
Source:
Blood of the Provinces
Author(s):

Ian Haynes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655342.003.0016

The Augustan Revolution that gave birth to the alae and cohorts generated profound changes in Roman society. Unprecedented social stratification coexisted alongside unparalleled social mobility. Into such an environment, where status symbols were constantly being redefined and usurped, came new types of professional soldier with money to spend and power to wield. Analysis of the ways in which military identities were defined is only fruitful when their evolution is reviewed against this wider background. Such identities also reflect the role of individual competition stimulating and responding to the rise and fall of fashions. As noted in Chapter 15, sweeping empire-wide reforms of military equipment are nowhere described in the ancient literature and nowhere apparent in the archaeological evidence. This chapter examines how dress, arms, and other military equipment were used by auxiliary soldiers and their dependants to articulate their status in the changing societies of the provinces.

Keywords:   masked helmets, sports armour, Lex Iulia de Vi Publica, weapons burials, swords, Gladiusähnliche Kurzschwerter, Treveri, sword belts, Reitergrabsteine, Totenmahlszene

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