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The 2013 Roman Army School will be held at St. Chad's College, Durham, commencing on Saturday, 23rd March and, if the format of former years is followed, ending at lunchtime on Wednesday, 27th March. There follows an updated version of the introduction to the School that I posted last year.

The Roman Army School is a course on the Roman army held annually in Durham, England, at around Easter-time. The first was in 1970 and it has been held virtually every year since then. Originally, it was conducted under the auspices of the Extra-Mural Department of Durham University but now it is run by the Hadrianic Society. It was formerly organised by the late Dr Brian Dobson, a highly respected scholar of the Roman army and an authority on Hadrian's Wall. Dr Dobson died in July this year but we hope to continue the tradition in his memory. The School is open to anyone with an interest in the army and consists of a series of lectures, mostly by recognised professionals. I say "mostly" because unusually, if not uniquely, for many years ordinary members of the course have been encouraged to deliver lectures on aspects of the subject that interest them. I have done so on a number of occasions. Many students, like me, return year after year. Adrian Goldsworthy, who has been one of the regular lecturers for some years, regards the School as unique for its longevity and the degree of knowledge accumulated by those attending, and speaks highly of it in his blog. Not that anyone should feel intimidated from attending; some knowledge is assumed but no more than can be obtained from reading a general book on the subject.

The School is held over five days, beginning on Saturday evening and ending at lunchtime on Wednesday. There are two lectures in the morning, two in the afternoon and one in the evening. Monday afternoon is generally free, allowing students to go into Durham to visit the bookshops or the cathedral, to travel up to Hadrian's Wall or to conduct research in the University library, which will admit those not studying at the University upon production of ID. There is a social gathering on the Tuesday evening, misleadingly called a "wild party". There is ample opportunity to discuss points of interest with the lecturers at mealtimes, between lectures or in the bar in the evening, although other commitments mean that some lecturers are not there for the whole time. Inevitably, most of those attending are from the UK but one long-standing student comes over from the States each year and another comes from Germany, while one of the professional lecturers also comes over from Germany.

When full details are announced, I will post them. In the meantime, anyone interested will find such information as is currently available, as well as information about the Hadrianic Society itself, on the Society's website ( I hope that this post has aroused the interest of those who may not have heard of the School before and that they and those who expressed an interest in the 2012 School but were unable to attend will be able to attend in 2013. I am sure that you will find it a stimulating experience. New blood is always welcome and it would be interesting to be able to put faces to the noms-de-plume.
An application form for those interested in attending next year's Roman Army School can be downloaded from the Hadrianic Society's website here:

For the first time, those attending the School can arrange to go on the Hadrianic Society all-day excursion on the Saturday. This will be to the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle and the site of the recent excavations at Maryport.
Attached below is a poster for next year's School:[attachment=5634]RASPoster2013.pdf[/attachment]
Just a note to remind those contemplating attending this year’s Roman Army School but who have either not yet applied or have just paid a deposit that the full payment should be made by the end of the month. As I have said before, this should not deter latecomers from applying but it obviously helps the organisers to have numbers and money as early as possible.

The format this year is slightly different from usual in that the School will take the form of a tribute to the late Brian Dobson reflecting his research interests, the Roman Army and Navy and Roman frontiers. It consists of full-length lectures and shorter pieces to allow all who wish to contribute to do so. The speakers include distinguished scholars (at least four professors!), as well as ordinary members of Brian’s various courses (including me). A provisional programme will be posted as soon as possible.
Here is the provisional programme as promised:

The programme has been added to the Hadrianic Society website and is clearer than the version posted above. It can be seen here:
I understand that there are a limited number of places still available and, accordingly, booking has been extended to 28th February. I do hope that some of you can make it.
A revised programme has been posted on the Hadrianic Society website. Adrian Goldsworthy and Mark Hassall will now be speaking. The ‘wild party’ has been dropped but there will be plenty of opportunity to socialise.
Another good program and a nice tribute to Prof Dobson.
My favorite was Jonathan Eaton's paper on the political
role of centurions. I suddenly want to learn much more
about them!
I've already set aside next April 4th-9th.
The weather has to be better next year, right??

It was great to finally get there after digging through a load of snow!

Sadly it meant I missed many of the talks but managed to give mine after it was re-arranged form the Sunday evening to the Wednesday morning.

Will certainly look forward to next year. In the meantime the RAT conference is fast approaching. I hope there is no snow in Germany!!!

Quote:Sadly it meant I missed many of the talks but managed to give mine after it was re-arranged form the Sunday evening to the Wednesday morning.
And very entertaining it was, too! The intention is to publish the papers presented to the School as a memorial volume to Brian Dobson, so those who could not attend will have a flavour of what took place. I will post details of this as I get them.
Quote: The intention is to publish the papers presented to the School as a memorial volume to Brian Dobson, so those who could not attend will have a flavour of what took place. I will post details of this as I get them.

I like the sound of that -- looking forward to your information on this. Thanks!


The latest that I have is that the volume is to be published by Archaeopress and should appear in 12 to 18 months' time. I will post further information as I hear it.
The position with this is that the list of contributions has been finalised and any queries on individual papers will be raised shortly. It is expected that the manuscript will be ready for submission to the publishers by the end of this year or early next, after which page proofs will be sent to the contributors for approval. Details of the contributions are as follows:

Ad Vallum: Papers in Celebration of Dr. Brian Dobson

The Roman Army
• David Breeze - Paper and papyrus: A comparison of Roman and modern bureaucracies
• Jonathan Eaton - The political role of Legionary Centurions
• Stefanie Hoss - On making honour visible

Frontiers and Installations
• David Woolliscroft - The Elginhaugh coin hoard and the date of the first Roman invasion of Scotland
• Ray Hunneysett - The consequences of 'Priority Milecastles'
• Matthew Symonds - A tale of two systems: early fortlet groups along the Danube and Bristol Channel
• Paulo Trezzi - Trading at Inchtuthil
• Christopher Young - Management of Roman Frontiers in the 21st Century

Sculpture, Text and Epigraphy
• Birgitta Hoffmann - Belisarius' triumph and Justinian’s Equestrian statue - Justinian as a new Augustus?
• Lawrence Keppie - Hadrian's Wall: The work of Emperor Hadrian?
• Richard Bridgland - The Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius: a comparison of Structure, Intent and Image
• Michael King Macdona - Vegetius and the Bucinator
• Adam Parker - Protecting the troops? Phallic Carvings in the North of Roman Britain
This volume has now been published. Details can be found on the BAR website: