Roman military community and personal identity: an ambivalent intention? - Holger Skorupa - E-Book

Roman military community and personal identity: an ambivalent intention? E-Book

Holger Skorupa

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Essay from the year 2009 in the subject History - World History - Early and Ancient History, The University of Liverpool, course: Research Skills - Identity, language: English, abstract: "A la Guerre, les trois quarts sont des affaires morales, la balance des forces réalles n’est que pour un autre quart." "(...) hostes vero notis omnibus vadis, ubi ex litore aliquos singulars ex navi egredientes conspexerant, incitatis equis impeditos adoriebantur, plures paucos circumsistebant, alii ab latere aperto in universos tela coniciebant. Quod cum animadvertisset Caesar, scaphas longarum navium, item speculatoria navigia militibus compleri iussit et, quos laborantes conspexerat, his subsidia submittebat. Nostri, simul in arido constiterunt, suis omnibus consecutis in hostes impetum fecerunt atque eos in fugam dederunt; neque longius prosequi potuerunt, quod equites cursum tenere atque insulam capere non potuerant. Hoc unum ad pristinam fortunam Caesari defuit." While Napoleon stresses the morality of a soldier during and particularly after a battle, Caesar (emphasizing the landing of the Roman army in Britain 55 B.C.), on the other hand, underlines the necessity of a skilled and tactical well educated commander to reach an army’s main target – being successful in any campaign. Both the army as a community and the soldier as an individual within the fighting unit have been heavily significant over all periods of battleship regarding a campaign’s success. Consequently, it seems to be important to investigate the level of identification of a warrior with the orders of the unit’s commander as well as the role of personal identity reflecting on the state that is fought for, and especially due to the comradeship in any army throughout military history. Highlighting the theory of identification, it might be also momentous to interpret the recognition of the fighting forces after a succeeded campaign and possible results like the existence of respect, honour, and an increased social status. The reflection of any of these influences on a soldier’s identity – thereby it is important to underscore the significant differences between ancient and modern types of identification with reference to morality and discipline in general - are elucidated by a large number of historiographic, philosophical, and ancient literary sources. Additionally, recent studies of historians, anthropologists, and sociologists underline the substance of soldiers’ identification in ancient Rome, either.

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