The experience of the imperial government after the army revolts of A.D. 69 convinced it that maintaining the Roman character of the legions and fostering loyalty among their ranks was particularly important. This importance was not considered so great, however, as to convince the Italians to continue manning the legions themselves. The inculcation of Roman values within the legions became an even more pressing task as the legionary recruits came increasingly to be drawn from, the provinces and the frontier districts themselves. The prominence given to religious ritual within the legions has led many to believe that religious observances were among the chosen vehicles for impressing the men of the legions with government-approved attitudes and values. 1 We will examine two aspects of this feature of army life on the frontier: whether the rituals were such as to inculcate Roman values among an increasingly Celtic and German military force, and whether the goal of military religious ritual was in fact political.
It must be remembered that the troops of the Roman army of the frontier were drawn from subject peoples whose traditions were under attack by various forms of Roman cultural imperialism, and whose dignity was constantly wounded by the general contempt shown the by their Roman rulers. Historians have found that subject peoples in such circumstances often adopt the forms and symbols of the dominant culture but translate them into their own traditional terms. Many slave owners of the American South heard their slaves singing about a chariot coming to carry them home and indulgently believed that "home" was a Caucasian-dominated heaven. On the Roman frontier, the Romans were generally content with the outward appearance of things,