“The Social Life of Roman Soldiers: The Role of Wives, Children and Families in Roman Military Communities"

Research over the past few decades has shown that women and children were part of life in the Roman army far more than had ever been considered before, as the evidence and spatial patterning of material within and outside Roman forts such as Vindolanda makes clear. This lecture will concentrate on current research into the social role of these women and children, considering the evidence that illuminates the varied roles of non-combatants within these somewhat unique settlements. The presentation highlights the very different realities for the wives and children of officers and the family members of, for instance, a foot soldier, who was paid far less and was not legally allowed to contract a marriage while serving.