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Roman Military Service


  • Page extent: 334 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.41 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 355.00937
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: U35 .P53 2008
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Rome--Army--History
    • Rome--Army--Military life
    • Rome--Army--Organization
    • Rome--History, Military

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521882699)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published January 2008

In stock

$103.00 (C)

In this book, Sara Phang explores the ideals and realities of Roman military discipline, which regulated the behavior 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 behavior 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.


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.


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

"… a welcome contribution to our understanding of the important subject of discipline in the Roman army."

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