The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 BC-AD 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army

By Sara Elise Phang | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
LITERARY SOURCES

This chapter will briefly examine the Greek and Roman literary authors (historians, poets, rhetoricians, and Christian apologists) who attest the marriage ban. No surviving literary author discusses the marriage policy of the Roman army in any detail. This is not surprising: the policy seems to have pertained only to common soldiers and to have been an administrative directive. Elite literary authors were not concerned with the family life of common soldiers; such authors are more likely to focus on details of administration that concerned the upper orders and the city of Rome. Ancient military history, furthermore, focused on the conduct of the generals and on the course of campaigns; non-combatants were mentioned only incidentally.

Some literary passages attest only the existence of soldiers’ illegitimate unions. Tacitus says that the veterans settled at Tarentum and Antium around 59/60 A.D. were “unaccustomed to marrying and bringing up children,” veterani… neque coniugiis suscipiendis neque alendis liberis sueti (Tac. Ann. 14.27). This does not indicate that they were unable to marry, only that they were accustomed not to; suscipere coniuges does not necessitate a legal union, as coniux is often used by slave partners in epitaphs even though slaves could not marry. Elsewhere, the soldiers in Syria mingled with the civilian population: provinciales sueto militum contubernio gaudebant, plerique necessitudinibus et propinquitatibus mixti, et militibus vetustate stipendiorum nota et familiaria castra in modum penatium diligebantur (Tac. Hist. 2.80). “The provincials took particular pleasure in the accustomed companionship of the soldiers, and many were connected to them as family members and friends, and because of the length of their service the soldiers loved their well-known and familiar camps like homes.”1 This passage would seem to refer to the social relationships of the soldiers and does not inform us whether they were legally able to marry.

The marriage ban is usually attributed to Augustus.2 There is no

1 Pollard (1992), 2–3; the Syrian troops’ family formation, 180–190.

2 G. Watson (1969), 134; Jung, “Eherecht” (1982), 335; Campbell (1978), 153–54;
Campbell (1984), 301; Wells (1998), 180–190.

-16-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 BC-AD 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 471

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.