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Army Life. Life in and around the camps. Remains at Vindolanda in Britain. Reconstruction of a wooden tower/gate. Vindolanda, occupation period. Military Fort in Britain; occupied between AD 85 to c. AD 130

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Army Life

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    1. Army Life Life in and around the camps

    2. Remains at Vindolanda in Britain

    3. Reconstruction of a wooden tower/gate

    4. Vindolanda, occupation period • Military Fort in Britain; occupied between AD 85 to c. AD 130 • Presence of 3 cohorts: the First Cohort of Tungrians, the Third Cohort of Batavians and the Ninth Cohort of Batavians • the Tungrian cohort will have garrisoned Vindolanda after the enlargement of the fort. The strength report shows that its nominal strength was 752, including 6 centurions, but of these only 296 were present at Vindolanda when the report was compiled.

    5. Vindulanda, dedication to Roman legions • Dedication to Roman legions stationed at Vindulanda • S.P.Q.R. • Senatus populusque Romanorum • The senate and the people of the Romans

    6. The Impact of Roman Military Forts and the local economy • Canabae: Temporary settlements around camps; as they grew became permanent settlements; many turned into colony • Roman military camps provided many opportunities for locals: farmers, merchants (local and Romans), shopkeepers, builders, artisans, women • Attracted also many Roman merchants and artisans – excellent opportunities

    7. Vindulanda, (reconstructed) civilian house in canaba

    8. Canabae growing up at legionary camp at Vetera (made a colony by Trajan) • “In response to these threats of concentrated war, the legionary commanders Munius Lupercus and Numisius Rufus strengthened the rampart and walls. They demolished the buildings which because of the long peace had grown up close to the camp and had assumed virtually the proportions of a town, in case they proved of assistance to the enemy.” (Tacitus, Histories 4.22, Campbell # 240)

    9. Inscriptions from Moguntiacum (Mainz) in Upper Germany • “To Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, chief priest, in the third year of his tribunician power, imperator for the fourth time, father of the fatherland, consul for the third time, the Roman citizen businessmen engaged in bag manufacture (set this up)when Gaius Vibius Rufinus was legate with propraetorian power.” (CIL 13.6797, Campbell # 241)

    10. Buying Power of Roman soldier in the Provinces • Imperial soldiers were relatively well paid • Large part spent on food and clothing ; much buying power in provinces • Good portion of pay left for deposit • Many stayed in province; able to purchase substantial area of land; some also inherited from fellow comrades • By AD 218 soldiers received free food and other goods (some payments still in oil and salt) • In 3rd century also donativa as source of income: payments to celebrate significant events (accession of emperor, victory.

    11. Life and Community in the Military Fort The Vindolanda Evidence

    12. The Vindolanda Tablets • Documents written on thin wooden leaf-tablets with carbon-based ink • Fragmentary remains but still much information • Tablets date to the 1st and 2nd centuries • Include acquisitions for food and supplies; petitions; private letters providing insight into life of occupants at the Fort

    13. Vindolanda Tablet 302: a letter to slave of Verecundus (prefect of Vindolanda ) • "... bruised beans, two modii, chickens, twenty, a hundred apples, if you can find nice ones, a hundred or two hundred eggs, if they are for sale there at a fair price. ... 8 sextarii of fish-sauce ... a modius of olives ... (Back) To ... slave (?) of Verecundus."

    14. Vindolanda tablet 302, letter of acquisitions

    15. Vindolanda Tablet 344 • "... he beat (?) me all the more ... goods ... or pour them down the drain (?). As befits an honest man (?) I implore your majesty not to allow me, an innocent man, to have been beaten with rods and, my lord, inasmuch as (?) I was unable to complain to the prefect because he was detained by ill-health I have complained in vain (?) to the beneficiarius and the rest (?) of the centurions of his (?) unit. Accordingly (?) I implore your mercifulness not to allow me, a man from overseas and an innocent one, about whose good faith you may inquire, to have been bloodied by rods as if I had committed some crime." • (most likely the complaint of a trader, probably to the provincial governor (your majesty) who had been punished by perhaps a centurion and now asks for redress for what he considered an injustice

    16. VindolandaTablet 291an invitation to a birthday party • "Claudia Severa to her Lepidina greetings. On 11 September, sister, for the day of the celebration of my birthday, I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, to make the day more enjoyable for me by your arrival, if you are present (?). Give my greetings to your Cerialis. My Aelius and my little son send him (?) their greetings. (2nd hand) I shall expect you, sister. Farewell, sister, my dearest soul, as I hope to prosper, and hail. (Back, 1st hand) To Sulpicia Lepidina, wife of Cerialis, from Severa."

    17. Women at the Fort • Tablets reflect presence of women: tablet 291: at least one in the letter was wife of an officer; also evidence of officers’ children • Soldiers below equestrian officer level were prohibited from contracting legal marriage while in service • Soldiers contracted ‘military concubinage’ in place of legal marriage; such women could not inherit from their spouses, children were illegitimate; Unions often legalized at end of service;

    18. Vindolanda’s ground plan

    19. Vindolanda, the praetorium

    20. funerary relief of a Roman soldier named Ares, dead at age 29; Roman, 160-80 CEdetail of the two male figures—one wears a toga and rests his hand on a military helmet, and the other wears a long-sleeved tunic and a lacerna (a military style cloak fastened at the shoulder with a fibula); both figures may represent the deceased.The Greek inscription reads “His military service completed, Ares dedicated his weapons and his period of service to Ares [the god of war]. Having left these things, he was taken to a world without order, where nothing but darkness exists.”(at Vroma)