Batavians on the Move: Emigrants, Immigrants and Returnees – C. van Driel Murray, Amsterdam Archaeological Centre, University of Amsterdam

Quite apart from the actual troop movements during times of conflict, military society was always highly mobile, and the officer class, especially, multi-ethnic. Officers changed posts every few years, accompanied by their complete households, and, contrary to general belief, for certain units, ethnic recruitment remained the norm till well into the 3rd century. Soldiers’ dependents formed part of this mobility. ‘Diaspora’ is perhaps a misleading term, since movement was not necessarily one way, nor was it involuntary or irreversible. Evidence of movement, the choices available to recruits and the effects on civil society both at home and the place of service will be explored, focusing amongst others, on the well-researched example of the Batavian ethnic units.


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