Roman Military Service: Ideologies of Discipline in the Late Republic and Early Principate

Roman Military Service: Ideologies of Discipline in the Late Republic and Early Principate


By (author) Sara Elise Phang


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Paperback $40.48
  • Format: Hardback | 334 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 25mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 14 January 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521882699
  • ISBN 13: 9780521882699
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,604,068

Product description

In this book, Sara Phang explores the ideals and realities of Roman military discipline, which regulated the behaviour of soldiers in combat and their punishment, as well as economic aspects of their service, including compensation and other benefits, work and consumption. This thematically-organized study analyzes these aspects of discipline, using both literary and documentary sources. Phang emphasizes social and cultural conflicts in the Roman army. Contrary to the impression that Roman emperors 'bought' their soldiers and indulged them, discipline restrained such behaviour and legitimized and stabilized the imperial power. Phang argues that emperors and aristocratic commanders gained prestige from imposing discipline, while displaying leadership in person and a willingness to compromise with a restive soldiery.

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Author information

Sara Elise Phang is a scholar of Roman history and author of The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 BC-AD 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army, which won the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities in Classical Studies.

Review quote

"...Roman Military Service is an innovative and often very insightful look at Roman military practices." -- New York Military Affairs Symposium Review

Table of contents

1. Theorizing discipline: social conflict, legitimation, and power; 2. Combat training and discipline; 3. Viri militares: habitus and discipline; 4. Disciplina and punishment; 5. Disciplining wealth: the ideologies of stipendia and donativa; 6. Labor militaris: work as discipline; 7. Feasts of mass destruction: disciplina and austerity.