Classical Archaeology seminar | Athens Fratres Romani in Dalmatia – School of Humanities Classical Archaeology seminar | Athens Fratres Romani in Dalmatia – School of Humanities

Classical Archaeology seminar | Athens Fratres Romani in Dalmatia

Ewan Coopey | Macquarie University


Athens Fratres Romani in Dalmatia: The Social Dynamics of Legio VII and the Construction of Community and Identity through Roman Funerary Monuments

The Imperial Roman ‘military’ consisted of a vast collection of armies and overlapping sub-communities, causing it to be a multi-layered socio-cultural entity. Scholars have explored its social dynamics since the 1980s, with epigraphic material – particularly of a funerary nature – providing some of the best insight into the social ‘reality’ of members of the ‘Roman military community’.

The Roman provinces of southeastern Europe, such as Dalmatia, are home to a great deal of well-catalogued archaeological and epigraphical material which could contribute to these studies, however it is often left unconsidered. As such, this thesis conducts an epigraphical and archaeological analysis of the 1st century CE Romano-Dalmatian inscribed funerary monuments of the Seventh Legion (Legio VII Claudia pia fidelis) in order to study the social dynamics of the unit, as well as the construction of identity and community.

This is done by applying a theoretically underpinned and historically contextualised approach to studying community and identity onto the detailed epigraphic corpus. It is demonstrated that Legio VII was home to a complex social network of servicemen – one which was intersected by various social, familial, legal, and military roles, relations, and symbols, and which was rejuvenated and negotiated through the textual, sculptural, and spatial dimensions of the soldiers’ funerary monuments. Moreover, these very funerary monuments were socially agential within the network, acting as a medium through which servicemen could symbolically and relationally (re)construct military identities and (re)define the nature of their community.

Not only does this shed light on the social dynamics of a Roman unit-based community, but it also reinforces the image of funerary monuments as socially constructive mediums that has emerged in recent classical scholarship. Finally, this thesis demonstrates the value of theoretically engaged analyses of the detailed datasets collated by local scholarship on Romano-Dalmatia.

On the big screen in the CCANESA Boardroom and streaming via zoom.


This is a hybrid event
In person or via zoom.  Limited on-campus seating available for those with swipe-card access only.  Registration is essential.

For more information please and to register please contact Yvonne Inall:


Everyone is welcome to attend the Classical Archaeology Seminar Series.

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 3:00pm

The Department of Archaeology and AAIA are part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).


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Mar 23 2021


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm



Location 2

Madsen Building F09


Classical Archaeology

Other Organizers

Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens
Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens
+61 2 9351 4759

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