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Military Communities and Temple Patronage: A Case Study of Britain and Pannonia

Walsh, David (2020) Military Communities and Temple Patronage: A Case Study of Britain and Pannonia. The American Journal of Archaeology, 124 (2). ISSN ‎‎0002-9114. (doi:10.3764/aja.124.2.0275) (KAR id:78824)


Much has been written on the religious aspects of life in the Roman military community, but the role of soldiers as temple patrons has rarely been discussed. Yet temples and shrines have been found at military settlements across the Roman Empire, and many temples situated in urban areas have produced evidence of financial support from soldiers. Thus, exploring the relationship between military communities and temples is important for our understanding of the religious dimension of these communities and, moreover, of wider developments in temple-based worship in the Roman Empire. Indeed, the emperors of the late third century came from this social milieu, and their disposition towards temples would have been affected by their experiences in military life. I will demonstrate here, for the first time, how and why support for temple construction and repair among the military communities in two of the most militarized provinces, Britain and Pannonia, decreased dramatically after the early third century, and why certain temples (mithraea and dolichena) did not adhere to this decline. In doing so, I shall illustrate how the changing relationship between military communities and temples influenced the attitudes of late third-century emperors towards temple construction and repair.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3764/aja.124.2.0275
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DE The Greco-Roman World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: David Walsh
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 09:45 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 02:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Walsh, David.

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