Barry McNamara  |   Published February 22, 2022

Archaeology Lecture on March 2

March 2 lecture to reveal role of women, children in the Roman military.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Life in the Roman army was often a family affair, and the next archaeology lecture at Monmouth College will explore that dynamic.

ELIZABETH GREENE: University of Western Ontario professor to present Monmouth's next archaeol... ELIZABETH GREENE: University of Western Ontario professor to present Monmouth's next archaeology lecture on March 2.Elizabeth Greene, associate professor and Canada research chair in Roman archaeology at the University of Western Ontario, will deliver the lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 2 via Zoom at this link.

(An earlier version of this story reported that the talk would be on campus, but it will be held virtually.)

Titled “The Social Life of Roman Soldiers: The Role of Wives, Children and Families in Roman Military Communities,” her talk is free and open to the public. Monmouth’s classics department, in cooperation with the Western Illinois Society of Archaeological Institute of America, sponsors the archaeology lecture series.

“Research over the past few decades has shown quite clearly that women and children were part of life in the Roman army far more than had ever been considered before,” said Greene. “The evidence and spatial patterning of material within and outside Roman forts makes this clear, but still research on the social role of these individuals lags behind.”

“Research over the past few decades has shown quite clearly that women and children were part of life in the Roman army far more than had ever been considered before.” Elizabeth Greene

Greene’s excavation and research specializes in the Roman provinces and frontiers, with particular focus on Roman Britain and the dynamic military communities that inhabited the frontiers of the northwest provinces. Since 2002, Greene has been part of the archaeological team at Vindolanda, and she led the excavations in the North Field area of the site for a decade.

Greene is currently the principal investigator of the Vindolanda Archaeological Leather Project and co-director of the Vindolanda Field School. Her research has been published in international venues since 2012, much of which focuses on the social role of women, children and families in Roman military communities.

“This lecture follows on past talks I have given that present the archaeological evidence for the presence of women at Vindolanda and pushes the argument toward women’s social roles within military communities and the intersectional identities of those living in the Roman provinces and in military communities on the frontiers,” said Greene.

Her presentation will highlight the very different realities for the wives and children of officers and the family members of, for instance, a foot soldier, who was paid far less and was not legally allowed to contract a marriage while serving.

Greene has been a national lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America since 2014 and has given talks to local societies across the United States and Canada.

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