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Grant number: FT-249101-16

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Jessica Homan Clark
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL 32306-0001)

Subordinated Heroes: Junior Officers in the Roman Army

A book-length study on the literature and history of junior officers (military tribunes) in the Roman army.

Political success and military success went hand in hand in the Roman Republic: great leaders fought, won, and then advertised how they fought and why they won. This generalization is well supported by ancient evidence and modern analyses. It is often coupled with an untested assertion, however — that young men who aspired to political heights sought glory and distinction as junior officers in the Roman army. That might seem likely, but ancient evidence contradicts this representation of young men’s service. A position as a junior officer was not a stage on which to perform one’s exceptionalism, but rather a complicated proving ground for a host of civic virtues or their opposites. In a broader sense, Rome’s young officers united enlisted men with commanders, allied auxiliaries with legions, and service in war with its corollary at home. They captured the imagination of poets and historians, but left us no concrete definitions for their roles in the Roman army. They deserve a book.

Project fields:
Classical History; Classical Literature; Military History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016