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Courses / Modules / HIST1168 The Roman Army in Britain: life on the northern frontier

The Roman Army in Britain: life on the northern frontier

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 4
Module lead
Louise Revell
Academic year

Module overview

In this module, you will examine one of the greatest armies in European history. The Roman army has long excited interest, whether out of an interest in the past, or as a model for more recent military powers. The far-flung province of Britain hosted the largest contingent of Roman military units of any province, with 3-4 citizen legions and up to 50 non-citizen auxiliary units. From the end of the first century AD, conquest ceased, and a frontier was established in the north of England, at first an informal frontier and then the fixed frontier of Hadrian’s Wall. This area has been one of the most important sources of evidence for the Roman army, both textual and material, in particular, the fort of Vindolanda and the Vindolanda Tablets, a unique repository of written evidence from letters to daily manpower reports. What do we know about life on this frontier? Where were the soldiers from? What were their daily routines? How was such a large force supplied? Who else formed part of the military community? Addressing these and other questions, you will study the Vindolanda Tablets and other evidence to reconstruct the lives of this fascinating community.