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The Dona Militaria of the Roman Army

Maxfield, Valerie A. (1972) The Dona Militaria of the Roman Army. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The last comprehensive study of dona militaria was that of Steiner in 1906 (Bonner Jahrbűcher, 114/5), since when the amount of epigraphic evidence on the subject has increased by over fifty per-cent, casting doubts upon some of the hypotheses put forward by Steiner and largely accepted since his time. The object of the present study is to trace the developments of the system of award from its origins in the Republic till its disappearance or radical transformation in the Severan period. In the Republic each decoration had a specific meaning and was awarded with regard only to the nature of the deed it rewarded; much of this meaning was lost in the Principate when types of award received depended largely on rank. However, the system never became as hidebound and impersonal as has hitherto been believed, for although rules appear to have existed as to the types of award for which each rank was eligible, the quantity and combination thereof remained flexible, giving ample scope for the recognition of individual merit. The evidence for the Republic is largely literary and the information it yields deals more with the nature of the awards than with details of the recipient; the evidence for the Principate is almost wholly epigraphic, being concerned with specific awards to specific people. The treatment of the two periods differs, therefore, the one being approached from the standpoint of the decoration itself, the other from the standpoint of the recipient. Working from the specific to the general a detailed prosopographical study has been made of each individual case in order to determine what rules lay behind the granting of dona and the scale on which they were given, whether the practice changed over the years, who was eligible to be decorated and in what type of campaign.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1972
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:58

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