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Armis et litteris: The military equipment of early Roman Palestine, in light of the archaeological and historical sources

Stiebel, GD; (2007) Armis et litteris: The military equipment of early Roman Palestine, in light of the archaeological and historical sources. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

To date, no systematic study o f the military equipment from the celebrated conflict sites of the Bella Jiudaica has been offered. Based on a large assemblage of military equipment that originated from over 70 sites throughout Palestine a typological database of the equipment was formed, the majority of which is hitherto unpublished. The arid conditions of the eastern sectors of Palestine have contributed to an excellent preservation of equipment made of perishable materials. Additionally, rare discoveries like the panoply of a Roman legionary enabled us to illustrate the images o f the Roman soldiers and their opponents in the Early Roman east. But this study draws beyond the narrow typological approach. The militaria of Roman Palestine is examined against its contextual background. This corpus enriches the archaeology of conflict, as the analysis of the material yielded indications for the tactics and types of weapons employ ed, among which are remnants of unique siege tools. The exploration of the spatial distribution of the militaria provided new data concerning the course of battles and revealed the identity of the participating forces and provides a platform for critical discussion about the credibility of historical sources. By reviewing the wider historical and social contexts through the spectacles of military equipment we obtain now a tool which extends and improves our understanding of the big picture, namely how the interrelations between the struggling societies were mediated and moulded by social, political and economic conditions and practices. Militaria appears to be a useful indicator for the status of warriors within their military society and in the eyes of the civil society which is manifested in the rabbinic literature. It further sheds light upon production and technological aspects, which appear to echo the complex Romano-Jewish interrelations and the resistance o f the oppressed side tothe cultural Romanisation process.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Armis et litteris: The military equipment of early Roman Palestine, in light of the archaeological and historical sources
Identifier: PQ ETD:593301
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445976
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