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Title: The “Romanness of the Soldiers” : Barbarized Periphery or Imperial Core?
Authors: James, Simon Timothy
First Published: 1-Oct-2014
Publisher: University of Chicago Press for MacMullen Museum of Art
Citation: James, S. T., The “Romanness of the Soldiers” : Barbarized Periphery or Imperial Core?, ed. Brody, L;Hoffman, G, 'Roman in the Provinces : Art on the Periphery of Empire', MacMullen Museum of Art, 2014, pp. 91-107
Abstract: Surviving historical accounts record some striking instances of what happened when imperial Rome’s soldiers (milites), overwhelmingly born and recruited in distant provinces, came into contact for the first time with the people of Italy. In 69 CE, during the civil wars following the death of Nero, Vitellius brought soldiers from Germany to secure the capital. His Rhineland troops were swaggering and aggressive, even fighting amongst themselves, and terrorized the civil population to whom they all, legionaries as well as provincial auxiliaries, appeared dangerous aliens. To the people of the city, Vitellius’s strangely garbed milites became targets of ridicule and, in an instant, figures of terror: some soldiers responded to mocking and attempted robbery with lethal violence. Soon after, when Vespasian’s eastern legions fought the Vitellians in the Po Valley, they proved themselves equally alien to Italy, manifesting the oriental custom of hailing the rising sun, and showing no empathy for their fellow Roman citizens when they savagely sacked Cremona as though it were a barbarian stronghold.
ISBN: 978-1892850225
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2014, MacMullen Museum of Art.
Description: The file associated with this record is embargoed while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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