Full Version: Veteran Settlement Epigraphy
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I am in the midst of investigating veteran settlement throughout the empire and the extent of familial relationships formed.

Concerning the tombstones of legionary veterans, many state that they have been erected by the deceased's heirs (hereds[/i or [i]H.F.C] without naming their names. Were these anonimus heirs more likly to have been family members (sons and daughters) or individual beneficaries with no relation to the deceased's family (friends and former comrades).
Any advice is greatly appriciated!
It depends on the time period. The first century AD saw more from comrades or parents or siblings. As time progressed into the second and third centuries, commemoration by wives(legally so after 197 AD) and children increases. Some were commemorated by their freed slaves, too. As part of The Marriage of Roman Soldiers by Sara Elise Phang (2001), considerable effort is spent comparing commemoration patterns for deceased soldiers and veterans. She looks at the first three centuries AD and at various locations, making charts and noting the changes over time and from place to place (Rhine/Danube/Africa). In all cases, unfortunately, the sample we have is small.
Further to the reference posted above, I'd highly recommend having a look at:

Saller and Shaw 1984 who look into several thousand tombstones of various periods to assess familial relations and includes a fairly large chapter on assessing the identity of these mysterious heirs

Hope, V. Trophies and tombstones: commemorating the Roman soldier’ in R. Gilchrist (ed.) The Social Commemoration of Warfare. World Archaeology Vol. N: 35.1 (2003), 79-97.

Hope, V.‘Inscription and Sculpture: the Construction of Identity in the Military Tombstones of Roman Mainz’ in G. Oliver (ed.), Funerary Inscriptions: Problems and Prospects. Liverpool Classical Press (2000), 155-186.

The various bibliogrpahies of these three works will also be unendingly useful.