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female soldiers in a roman unit?
#1
Does anyone gave info regarding the remains found of three women supposedly belonging to a Roman unit from the third century AD?---John
John Dos
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#2
Where did you hear about this? It might help to know more about your source!

(this should be in a different section too - could a moderator move it?)
Nathan Ross
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#3
It's more likely that [strike]Limitanei[/strike] Foederati units in the northern region of Europe had female soldiers, but even then, only if they were led by barbaric warlords, not Roman ones and it would be too rare of an occurance. They could be "Roman" in that they were at service of the Roman Empire, but that's it. There's also the dubious point of proving archeological findings of burials of female skeletons with spear and shield, because it could be probable they were simply keeping them for their family, and were buried with them.

Never heard or saw in any book a clue about a Roman Mulan, neither.
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#4
John,

Are you sure they were soldiers and not gladiatrixes? I have heard of one of them being found in Britain.

Also Alan,

I do not know where you got info on barbarian warlord and women in the Limitanei. The Limitanei were the border garrison troops under Roman commanders. I think you are confusing Foederati with Limitanei. Foederati would be under barbarian warlords but would not have female soldiers.
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#5
Yes, I meant Foederati, not Limitanei.

Yes, Foederati could have employed women soldiers in their ranks because they would be under those barbarian warlords, who would choose which people to bring in warfare, and yes, he was not restricted by any means to bring women to the ranks.

As I said before, it's dubious, and lacks hard evidence, but plausible under very rare circunstances.
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#6
The Foederati were soldiers under command of their warlords, but Rome employed them and gave them land and selected them so women would not be in there. As camp followers yes but as warriors no.
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#7
How about this? Are there tribes, nations, or states that are known to have had female warriors, whether noble or of the ranker variety, that were also allied to Rome in the 3rd century?
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#8
Only the Scythians and Sarmatians allowed women in military roles, and they didn't fight in the front lines.

Foederati would not have seen women in the ranks because they were not considered able bodied soldiers under the Foedus.
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#9
Hi

I think this link might answer the original question.

http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba80/feat3.shtml

Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#10
Thanks Graham very interesting article ;-)

here's the Data but not the monograph:

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/arch...gham_2003/
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#11
Quote:The Foederati were soldiers under command of their warlords, but Rome employed them and gave them land and selected them so women would not be in there. As camp followers yes but as warriors no.

That's not entirely accurate.
Yes, foederati could be non-citizens who were settled within the Empire under the condition that they had to supply troops for the army. However, these would serve within regular units.
After Adrianople we see such groups fighting under their own leaders for the first time, as foederati and not as part of the regular army. these groups gained strength whereas the regular army dwindled 9especially in the West).
However, foederati could also be any number of part-time soldiers from outside the Empire, who fought a campain and then returned home.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#12
Quote:foederati could be non-citizens who were settled within the Empire under the condition that they had to supply troops for the army.

Wouldn't they be laeti, strictly speaking? Foederati surely served under a foedus, which would presumably prevent their being integrated into standing Roman formations.

As for these women in Brougham, the military equipment on their funeral pyres might have meant they were warriors, but we shouldn't jump to this conclusion, of course. Military equipment was valuable, and valuable things were sacrificed in funerals of both men and women, soldiers and civilians.

The horses on their pyres, though, would imply they weren't, strictly speaking, Romans. Or at least that they were from some ethnic group within the empire that customarily immolated horses... The suggestion in the article of Danubian or even Gothic origin for at least some of the dead in the cemetery is interesting, and might be significant in this case too.
Nathan Ross
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#13
how much of what you guys write is based on fact and how much on modern prejudice against female soldiers? :wink:

When we look at viking age graves you often find the idea that weapons = male. And male = warrior
(more normal in older books then newer ones) Problem is that it do not make much sense.

Weapons in a grave only prove that there is weapons in the grave.
And if we can say anything, it is about the economic status of the person... it do not in anyway tell us that the person is a warrior... male or female.
Thomas Aagaard
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#14
Quote:how much of what you guys write is based on fact and how much on modern prejudice against female soldiers? :wink:

What is relevant is whether the Romans were prejudiced against female soldiers. The available evidence seems to suggest that they were.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#15
An interesting article in BA but very, very tenuous IMO as proof for female soldiers.
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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