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Military chaplains in the roman imperial period from approximately 27 bc 500 ad

Everett L Wheeler H. Wheeler An investigation of the role of the gods in Roman military operations battles and campaigns, as opposed to divine protection of individual soldiers or religion as a cause of war raises many issues. What is the role of religion in Roman combat motivation? Did religion in the army, obliged to observe various official holidays and perform traditional rituals, only have real meaning for soldiers involved in new non-Roman cults? Was a confrontation of divinities on Roman battlefields, especially against exteri hostes, absent before Constantine or perhaps better, Eusebius of Caesarea made religion an issue?

Romans waged religious warfare on occasion and targeted enemy shrines and monuments. The rite of evocatio was not totally forgotten. Securing proper auspices constituted a standard feature of traditional Roman religion for both state and private undertakings.

  1. Other Protestants answered the call and preached to their soldiers, calling for sacrifice for the cause of Christ.
  2. The stone is lost and the text survives only from copies.
  3. Nevertheless, these three Severan-era texts of [[191]] haruspices do not prove that multiple haruspices one per cohort? Principes - 3rd class citizens, who could afford a full set of high-quality armor, a large shield and a bronze helmet in addition to their sword.
  4. By this point Christian clergy have invaded the ranks of the army.

Both the three-time consular Frontinus, an experienced general, writing his Strategemata under Domitian, and Polyaenus the rhetor, whose Strategika advised Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus about fighting Parthians in 161-166, understood the connection between religion and morale.

Other such experts e. Already under the Republic such divination specialists might find government employment in the apparitores, selected from panels decuriaeand serve on the staffs of provincial governors.

But of course under the Republic at least in theory no milites were professionals or careerists, so e. Quemadmodum incitandus sit ad proelium exercitus ; Polyaen. Die Frauen in den Strategemata des Polyainos, in E. Veturius Rufio [a]vispex, extispicus, [sac]erdos publicus [e]t privatus. His view runs counter to the tradition of the complexity and sophistication of the Etrusca disciplina and may betray his superficial understanding of the Roman army in this Greek treatise for Roman consumption dedicated to Q.

In the Principate the apparitores offered liberti a career path. Priests of non-Roman cults could be soldiers and a military unit qua an army corps could make dedications to non-Roman deities. Rival theories of von Domaszewski and Haensch11 both point to the Severan era for the introduction of priests qua priests in the army, but neither view is compelling in its details.

Military history of ancient Rome

If priest as a rank existed in the army by the first half of the third 4 A. Scipio Aemilianus expelled manteis and thutai along with other non-essential campfollowers, when he stiffened discipline at Numantia 134 B. Birley, The Religion of the Roman Army: Stoll, Zwischen Integration und Abgrenzung: Jahrhundert nach Christus, in L.

Marian reforms

Indeed the Christian Vegetius is, for the most part, curiously silent about religious aspects of the army. Religious functionaries in the army e. If the evidence largely belongs to the second and third centuries, the ranks of antistius and turranius [sic] occur already in an Egyptian legion XXII Deiotariana? Victimarii, for example, the butchers of the hostiae, indicate the performance of sacrifices and occur in the Praetorian Guard, the equites singulares, and the vigiles besides the legions.

I Perhaps some crispy conclusions can come from the rite of tripudium associated with the sacred chickens. Claudius Pulcher at Drepanum 249 B.

His deception of L.

Military chaplains in the roman imperial period from approximately 27 bc 500 ad

CIL VI 32533b; equites singulares: ILS 4833 dated 141 ; M. CIL VI 3255d; vigiles: Les cohortes de vigiles Rome 1996 231-32 with n. Minucius Felix also notes Oct. Aemilius Paullus rather than C. IV 1949 604; Y. A bronze tablet, found at Vindonissa in 1897, apparently records the dedication of a pullum to the genius of the XI Claudia after fulfillment of a vow. The tripudium, however, involves observance of fowl gluttony, not sacrificing the diners.

Valerius Tertius of this text cannot be a pullarius of that military chaplains in the roman imperial period from approximately 27 bc 500 ad. The monument, probably dating c. Norbanus Quietus served a consul 1st B. Aelius Agathoclianus, three times praefectus fabrum and a pullarius maior probably in the 150s, may have been in the apparitores, as Ti. Claudius Festus, member of a decuria pullaria and a lictor, surely was.

Two other lists of 211-212 yield M. Pontennius Victor, veteranus ex marso, who had enlisted in 197, and T. Flavius Ianuarius, a mar sus from Thamugadi in cohort I. The term derives from the Marsi of central Italy, known for snake charming and an ability to cure by incantations and herbal juices.

Davies, Service in the Roman Army, edd. Maxfield New York 1989 9-11. Stuttgart 2005 I, 611; II, 722 no. Calpetanus Cryphius ILS 1926881 no. Norbanus Quietus ILS 4961. Birley, Garrison Life at Vindolanda: A Band of Brothers Stroud 2002 130- 35.

ILS 470 ; Y. The apparent concentration of marsi at Lambaesis, if not simply a matter of chance survival of texts, is duplicated for haruspices. Caesar and other generals still practiced this type of sacrifice in the period before 31 B. Constantine consulted an haruspex before his invasion of Italy in 312 and, like Caesar in 47 B. He banned private use of haruspices in 313, but retained them for public purposes. Nevertheless, collectors of stratagems like Frontinus and Polyaenus thought Greek exempla of this type of divination valuable for morale.

At issue is when and to what extent. A reorganization of haruspices took place at some point at the end of the Republic or the beginning of the Principate, when an ordo haruspicum LX emerged, featuring one or more members with the title of haruspex maximus CIL VI 32439. But this ordo is civilian, not military. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius Cambridge, Mass.

Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Haack, Les haruspices dans le monde romain Bordeaux 2003. A votum of L.

Last of the Romans

Similarly, the funerary text of Cn. Iulius Theagenes for his son Cn. Iulius Picens of the cohortes urbanae notes him as arespici ordinato, perhaps his occupation before military service, as seems clear in other texts: Valerius Bassus attained the post of tribunus militum in the III Cyrenaica at the peak of a cursus that included being haruspex maximus, just as his brother M.

Valerius Saturninus, likewise a tribunus militum in the III Cyrenaica, was also an haruspex maximus, although his inscription omits a cursus. Another supposed haruspex on the Danube is also dubious.

Flavia Gemelina celebrated her dead husband L. Antonius Saturus as harus pici leg ionis in a text, which Haack dates to the second half of the second century on the basis of the formula D. Firmer footing comes from three lists at Lambaesis. Helvius Calvus cas tris har uspexin a list of 61 soldiers found at the Praetorium and dated c.

An harus pex Antonius Decembe r occurs last in a list 34 Tac. ILS 4951 Rome ; anonymous: Caecilius Martialis as an har uspexis now better read as kar cerarius or kar ceris custos. Near the same temple, S. Iulius Felix of Theveste harusp ex is the final name in a list of principales under the centurion C. Memmius Victor, who dedicated imagines sacras to the domus divina at some point 218-235. They rank at or near the bottom of the principales and belong the officium of the legate of the III Augusta, who simultaneously served as the governor of Numidia.

The texts of Antonius December and Iulius Felix clearly indicate members of an officium. Nevertheless, these three Severan-era texts of [[191]] haruspices do not prove that multiple haruspices one per cohort? As the governor of Numidia simultaneously functioned as the military chaplains in the roman imperial period from approximately 27 bc 500 ad of the III Augusta, were these haruspices really in the army? Further, a supposed haruspex in 210 among the vigiles surely indicated an haruspex in all the other urban corps Praetorians, etc.

Indeed the three known texts of Valerius all come from Lambaesis and refer to his command in Lower Germany. Eck, Die Statthalter der germanischen Provinzen vom 1. The simultaneity of the three lists is far from certain. The African Emperor2 New Haven 1989 156-60 with bibliography; vigiles: CIL VI 1058, 31234. Recently, Haensch has employed his masterful command of the documentary evidence to propose a different view for the introduction of priests as rank in the army.

Rather than Septimius Severus, Haensch prefers Elagabalus, whose title of sacerdos amplissimus dei invicti Solis Elagabali led to the creation of priesthoods of this cult in the army as a means of tightening bonds between the Imperator and the milites. Elimination of Elagabalus and his favored sun cult did not remove the rank of priest from the army.

Indeed even fourth- century vexillationes appear to show a hierarchy of priests with the presence of an archiereus for the combined unit, a precedent for the later hierarchy of Christian chaplains in the Late Roman army.