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Blood of the ProvincesThe Roman Auxilia and the Making of Provincial Society from Augustus to the Severans$
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Ian Haynes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655342.001.0001

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The Spoken Word

The Spoken Word

Chapter:
(p.300) (p.301) Chapter 19 The Spoken Word
Source:
Blood of the Provinces
Author(s):

Ian Haynes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655342.003.0019

The spoken word in Rome’s armies was, as it has been throughout history, a most sensitive barometer of social change and exchange. In the auxilia, as elsewhere in the Roman Empire, this was not just a matter of Latin and Greek, but of different forms of these two great classical languages and use of a multiplicity of other indigenous tongues. A particular challenge lies in the fact that our knowledge of daily speech is wholly dependent on archaeologically recoverable data and literary sources. It is nonetheless possible to examine within the context of the auxilia, two key themes of vital importance to the making of provincial society. These themes are the use of new technical vocabularies vital to the operation of Roman law and status divisions, and the evolution of local colloquialisms to allow communication between speakers of widely differing languages.

Keywords:   bilingualism, sermo castrensis, Vulgar Latin, Roman legal terminology, Bu Njem, Vindolanda

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