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Title: Roman votive inscriptions in their societal framework : religious practice on the frontier : the societal framework of votive inscriptions on the frontiers of Upper Germany and Britain in the second and third centuries A.D.
Author: Hubbard, J. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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The purpose of this thesis was to examine religion on the western frontier as expressed through votive inscriptions with a view to understanding the context of religious practice in these areas. Specifically, it was hoped to discover the extent to which religion reflected societal structures and inter-personal relationships. The sites chosen were Stockstadt, Mogontiacum (Mainz) and Nida-Heddernheim in Germany and Eboracum (York), Isca (Caerleon) and Deva (Chester) in Britain. These sites represent, respectively, a front-line fort, a legionary and provincial capital, a garrison town which reverted to quasi-civilian status and the three British legionary centres. Selection was dictated by the need to avoid local anomalies, the wish to examine both legionary and auxiliary sites and the basic requirements of a statistically valid number of inscriptions at each location. The relative poverty of epigraphic evidence at British auxiliary forts, in comparison with Germany, eliminated them from consideration as primary data. However, the conclusions drawn from the selected sites may justifiably be applied to any other fort; that at Magnis (Carvoran) is taken as an example in the Conclusion. Analysis of the inscriptions demonstrates that religious practice as expressed in epigraphic form illustrates a number of the features by which frontier society was defined. They are, firstly, evidence of the importance of rank, status and wealth. On a more complex conceptual level they reveal the existence of associative networks of social power (as described by Mann, in The Sources of Social Power); implied or explicit matrices of influence linking groups and individuals with common interests or positions. They also illustrate a dichotomy between groups which is analogous to Tonnies' concept of Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft ('community and association').
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available