David Benjamin Cuff
published on 11 June 2012
This thesis examines the cultural and social relationships cultivated by ethnically diverse auxiliary soldiers in the western Roman empire. These soldiers were enrolled in the Roman auxilia, military units that drew primarily on the non-Roman subjects of the empire for their recruits in numbers that equaled the legionaries. I argue that auxiliary soldiers could and did maintain large families, and demonstrate, from epigraphic data collected and presented in my dissertation, how foreign ethnic and religious identities were variously integrated into Roman military culture by both individual auxiliaries and the Roman state.
The history of the auxilia in Germany from the time of Augustus and in Britain from the time of Claudius is discussed, with extensive reference to epigraphic material provided in appendices to this work. Analysis of military diplomas from across the Roman empire demonstrates a significant phenomenon of auxiliary family creation that helps to contextualize the diploma data from Germania and Britannia. Research on further epigraphic evidence from Germania and Britannia demonstrates a marked diversity in religious dedications by auxiliary soldiers and further evidence for auxiliary families. From a discussion of the history of the concept of “Romanization‟ and other theoretical models that can be applied to the study of the auxilia, the continued usefulness of the evolving concept of “Romanization‟ to our understanding of auxiliary cultural integration is assessed. Auxiliary service is shown to have provided many non-Roman ethnic groups avenues of cultural and legal inclusion that each soldier, surely in his own way, could exploit.
PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto, 2010