The Western Frontiers of Imperial Rome

By Steven K. Drummond; Lynn H. Nelson | Go to book overview

bound together in priestly brotherhoods, the Benedictine monks conceived of themselves as priests bound together in military brotherhoods. 40 In this sense, the medieval monks were the legitimate heirs of the traditions of the army of the frontier, and it was they who were able to achieve what the army of the frontier had been unable to accomplish: the conquest of the Germans.


Notes
1.
Certainly religious ritual within the legions was an ancient practice, with many of the traditions apparently dating back to republican days. It is questionable, however, when these rituals were systematized for the permanent army and what the function of these activities were. Arthur D. Nock, "The Roman Army and the Religious Year," Harvard Theological Review 45 ( October 1952): 194- 195, considers the assumption that it was Augustus who established the military calendar of religious observances as being totally consistent with his entire policy of creating a decent Roman order in which every segment of society had its function, status, and duty. Augustus was convinced that the old virtues, one of which was piety, had to be restored.
2.
Robert O. Fink, Allan S. Hoey, and Walter F. Snyder, "The Feriale Duranum," Yale Classical Studies, vol. 7: pp. 11, 28, describe the Feriale Duranum as one of the Latin papyri from the archives of the Roman garrison at Dura that were discovered in 1931-1932. It represents the only surviving military festival list, and its place of discovery and contents substantiate its military connection. Although derived from an eastern post, it is most likely that the festivals and observances listed in the Feriale Duranum were standard throughout the army (see Fink et al., p. 31). The Feriale contains forty-one entries, covering more than nine months of the year, not one of which bears any relationship to the religions of the region in which the unit at Dura was stationed.

The festival list is somewhat late. The editors date it with certainty to the years from 224 to 235 and with some probability to the period from 225 to 227 (pp. 23-24).

3.
Eric Birley, "Religion of the Roman Army," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (hereafter cited as ANRW), ed. Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase , 2:16.2, p. 1509.
4.
Pliny, Epistolae. Epistolae ad Trianum Epistolarum Libri Decem 10:100, mentions a ceremony in which both the troops and the provincials joined.
5.
The oath bound the individual soldier in loyalty to the emperor by both legal and sacred sanctions. Anyone breaking the oath was cursed, and liable to punishment by men and gods.
6.
Pliny, Epistolae 68:2-4. Michael Grant, The Army of the Caesars, p. 79, notes coins of the late first and early second centuries A.D. that commemorate the oath-swearing scene. The emperor, clad in a toga, is shown clasping hands over an altar with an officer in military uniform. A soldier in the background appears holding a standard while another is armed with a spear and shield.
7.
Grant, The Army of the Caesars, pp. 165-167. Among the celebrations were those of the birthdays of Julius Caesar, Germanicus, and various deified

-212-

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The Western Frontiers of Imperial Rome
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vii
  • Preface ix
  • I- The Edge of Empire 3
  • II- The Frontier Takes Shape 13
  • Notes 35
  • III- Feeding the Army- The Agrarian Settlement 42
  • Notes 70
  • IV- Pastoral Pursuits- Ranching and Grazing on the Frontier 77
  • Notes 96
  • V- Trading on and beyond the Frontier 101
  • Notes 122
  • VI- The Towns and Cities of the Frontier 127
  • Notes 147
  • VII- The Growth of Industry 152
  • Notes 169
  • VIII- The "Romanization" of the Frontier 172
  • Notes 191
  • IX- The Gods and Goddesses of the Frontier 196
  • Notes 212
  • X- Final Thoughts 216
  • Notes 224
  • Chronology of the Roman Frontier 225
  • Glossary 235
  • Selected Bibliography 249
  • Index 267
  • About the Authors 277
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