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Archaeology of Identity and DissonanceContexts for a Brave New World$
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Diane F. George  and Bernice Kurchin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056197

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056197.001.0001

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date: 01 April 2020

Soldiers on the Wall

Soldiers on the Wall

Space and Identity on the Romano-British Frontier

(p.133) 7 Soldiers on the Wall
Archaeology of Identity and Dissonance

Bernice Kurchin

Judith Bianciardi

University Press of Florida

Historically, literature dealing with the Roman military occupation in Britannia over the first four centuries AD did not address the experiences of individuals or communities. This chapter joins a growing body of scholarship that has turned to theories of identity—incorporating notions of agency, structure, practice, materiality, and the use and transformation of space/landscape—which assert that identity is a very complex and realistic concept with which to understand human interaction as it changes over time. The authors trace the long recursive trajectory of the identities of the original “barbarian” auxiliary soldiers who were permanently stationed in Hadrian’s wall forts along the northern frontier of Britannia, as their practices and interactions with native Britons in the vici transformed and in turn helped to transform the army and wider landscape. No longer the lowest-class soldiers, they became privileged Roman citizens with new identities that drew on Roman, British, and other genealogies.

Keywords:   Hadrian’s wall, Roman military occupation, Britannia

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