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Married to the Military. Soldiers’ Families in the Ancient World and Beyond -11-12/11/2016, London (England)



In societies where the threat of armed conflict was an ever-present element of the political and social experience, the impact of war was acutely felt by the immediate families of those whose role it was to train for and engage in combat. This conference aims to explore the roles and experiences of military families (defined here as the nuclear family of soldier, partner and children) in the ancient world and to situate these within the wider context of the history of such families. We therefore welcome offers of papers on any aspect of military families in the ancient world as well as comparative studies which consider more recent historical contexts.

The conference aims to commemorate Remembrance Day with a detailed discussion of a subject that is rarely broached in historical and cultural studies. It is true that there has been some headway made in understanding the role of women and children in Roman military forts, especially on the north-west frontier, but there has been very little joined-up thinking on the military family as a general phenomenon in antiquity and how it sits within the history of military families as a whole. The Greek model of standing armies who spent long periods of time away from home in combat – leaving behind wives and children – contrasts, for example, with the Roman practice of establishing permanent garrisons with ‘camp followers’ attached to military bases. The experiences of partners whose husbands were fighting a defensive war at home might differ considerably from those left behind or even joining their partners as they fought in territory far from home.


FECHA/DATE/DATA: 11-12/11/2016


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: The Open University in London (London, England)


ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Department of Classical Studies at The Open University


INFO: web 



un día / one day / un giorno: £20


dos días / two days / due giorni: £30 


Debe enviarse un correo a /please contact/ si prega di conttatare






10.00           Coffee and registration

10.30           Welcome

10.40 - 12.40   Session 1: Challenges Faced by Military Families
                Chair: Emma Bridges
                Adrienne White (Australian National University): Families at war: glimpses of military families in the Athenian law courts
                Sophie Raudnitz (OU): The singing of 'old songs': trauma and testimony in Euripides' Trojan Women and Begley's Wartime Lies
                Owen Rees (MMU): Challenging a seamless transition: ideological incongruence between the classical Greek oikos and the military
                Emma Long (Lancaster): How has the changing perception of the 'military family' affected the support available to partners, wives and husbands of military personnel?

12.40 - 13.30   Lunch

13.30 - 15.00   Session 2: Daily Lives of Military Families
                Chair: Ursula Rothe
                Jennifer Martinez Morales (Liverpool): A coward's oikos: female relatives of wartime 'tremblers' in ancient Sparta
                Annie Truetzel (Princeton): A different 'Scipionic circle': a case study of a family in the Second Punic War
                Sofie Waebens (Leuven): Soldiers and their families in Roman Egypt: legal issues and daily life

15.00 - 15.30   Tea

15.30 - 17.30   Session 3: The Role of Soldiers' Wives
                Chair: Edith Hall
                Alexander Hardwick (Cambridge): Women in battle? Reassessing the military wives of Troy
                Helen Tank (Birmingham): Women's perspective on war: a view from Herodotus
                Carol Atack (Oxford): Xenophon's military wives & the embodiment of virtue
                Emma Bridges (OU): The Homeric Penelope: a model 'military wife'?

18.30           Drinks reception sponsored by the Hellenic Centre       Hellenic Centre

19.15           Keynote Lecture (public event): Edith Hall (KCL): Warriors' wives in the Chicago 'hood: Rapping with Lysistrata in Spike Lee's Chi-Raq  Hellenic Centre

20.30           Conference Dinner: Opso Restaurant, Marylebone  10 Paddington St, W1U 5QL


9.00 - 10.00    Keynote Lecture: Penelope Allison (Leicester): Changing Attitudes to Women and Families inside Roman Military Bases

10.00 - 10.20   Coffee

10.20 - 12.20   Session 4: Socio-familial Networks
                Chair: Penelope Allison
                George Cupcea, Rada Varga (Babes-Bolyai University): An inquiry on the typology and structure of the military families in Roman Dacia
                Elizabeth Greene (University of Western Ontario): What's in a name? Tribal memory and acculturation on display in the Roman military diplomas
                Claire Millington (KCL): Testing the stones: inscriptions as a source for the households of Roman auxiliary commanders under the Principate
                Ornella Salati (Naples): The soldiers' partners in Latin papyri and tablets from Egypt: a survey

12.20 - 13.20   Lunch

13.20 - 14.20   Session 5: Families a Long Way from Home
                Chair: Myles Lavan
                Niels Bargfeldt (Aarhus): Tagging along and blending in? The families of Roman marines stationed in Rome
                Ursula Rothe (OU): Military families in Pannonia

14.20 - 14.50   Tea

14.50 - 16.50   Session 6: Military Children and Orphanhood
                Chair: Carol Atack
                Helen Roche (Cambridge): Spartan pedagogy, German style? Prussian military education and the Spartan paradigm
                Fayah Haussker (Tel Aviv/OU Israel): Between innocence and precocity: battle heritage and orphanhood in Sophocles' Ajax
                Myles Lavan (St. Andrews): Roman auxiliaries' missing children
                Jeroen Wijnendaele (Ghent): 'Won't somebody please think of the children?' Marriage alliances in the western Roman military aristocracy (c. 400-470 CE)

16.50 - 17.00   Closing comments


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