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The recognition of Roman soldiers' mental impairment.

1. Introduction

This article focuses on the Roman awareness of mental repercussions of warfare and of the military life on soldiers and veterans, using source material from the Republic until Late Antiquity. This has not been examined by modern scholars, possibly because of a supposed shortage of references in the ancient source material. In order to become familiar with Roman views on health and the related terminology, we will start with a brief overview of a widely accepted medical model. After that, we will bring the results of our research into focus. The general argument is that Romans were very much aware of the mental toll military life took on soldiers and veterans. Various written testimonies suggest that Romans, or at least some authors, acknowledged and paid attention to this phenomenon. This raises the question of whether the military attempted to prevent or treat soldiers' mental sufferings.

Greatly influenced by modern psychological studies, the trauma experienced by Greek soldiers is a growing area of interest in modern historiography. (1) The most prominent study was conducted by Shay who drew a parallel between the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of Vietnam veterans and Achilles' war experience in Homer's Iliad. (2) The same methodology was soon applied to other case-studies by other scholars. (3) In a recent study, Tritle looked at the mental health of the 'battle-hardened veteran' Clearchus, described in Xenophon's Anabasis. According to Tritle's premise, Clearchus must have suffered from PTSD, and so he searched for references to PTSD in Xenophon's writing. (4)

The methodology applied in these studies has, however, met with criticism. The ancient authors almost never discuss the mental state of soldiers and of veterans in any detail and we lack personal testimonies of common soldiers. Therefore, on the basis that the emotional impact of warfare on soldiers has been the same throughout history, scholars have necessarily turned to sources from later periods to fill these gaps. (5) This assumption has been the target of criticism. For instance, critics emphasise the differences between Roman and current attitudes towards violence and death. In addition, the psychological stress factors that are responsible for PTSD symptoms have changed in the course of history. An obvious example is the introduction of explosives in modern warfare which has resulted in a high rate of concussive injuries, a type of injury that was less common for Roman soldiers. Recent psychological studies highlighted the correlation between concussive injuries and the occurrence of PTSD symptoms. (6) Moreover, supporters of an anthropological approach to psychological medicine suggest that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which lists the criteria to make a diagnosis, is a social construct based on modern western values such as individualism, and therefore not applicable to other cultures and societies. Nevertheless, these same scholars believe in the universality of PTSD as such, but they point to the differences in the expression and experience of symptoms across cultures and time eras. Thus, an anthropological approach should be combined with a modern psychological approach to get a better comprehension of the interior world of Roman soldiers. (7) A good understanding of the Roman terminology and the frame of reference is necessary to bridge the gap between Latin and Greek phraseology and a social-scientific equivalent. Previously, this was neglected and has led to mistranslations and misinterpretations of ancient terminology. (8) In this article, we will not turn to modern psychology, as our goal is to examine the Roman reactions to mental disorders in soldiers of the Roman army.

2. General view on health

We start with a brief discussion of Roman views on mental health. In antiquity the common medical model was the four humours theory. First attested in the Corpus Hippocraticum of the 5th and 4th centuries BC, it soon spread throughout the Mediterranean. Greek doctors practised in Rome from the late 3rd century BC. (9)

According to the four humours theory the body consists of four different fluids (blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm). The proportion between those four bodily fluids (humores) determines one's physical and mental condition. A person is considered healthy as long as the fluids are more or less in balance. However, if one of the humours dominates, it causes the development of a disease. One's mental condition is also influenced by excessive bodily fluid that starts rotting in the hypochondrium, affects the mind and results in hallucinations and delusions. Mental disorders, in turn, can inflict physical infirmities. Mind and body were thought to be strongly connected. (10) Thus, we can infer that Romans were aware of a distinction between physical and mental health. Although they used a different model than those derived from nineteenth-century psychology, they acknowledged different sorts of mental illnesses and they studied them in detail. For us modern readers, it is not always easy to translate and to find an appropriate equivalent for the ancient terminology, especially since most words have a very wide range of meanings.

3. Testimonies of mental impairment in the military

Did the Romans pay specific attention to mental illnesses in the military? Did they acknowledge the impact of warfare and of the military life upon soldiers' minds? If so, did the Roman jurists show any empathy by treating them differently? First, references in juristic documents will be discussed. In the second part, some passages in Roman literature will be analysed.

3.1 Juristic writings

A first allusion to mental problems in the military can be found in the definition of the missio causaria. In the 3rd century AD, Aemilius Macer, a jurist under Caracalla and Severus Alexander, states that early discharge from the army, introduced during the early imperial era, was granted only to a soldier who was no longer fit to serve due to some defect of mind or body (vitio animi vel corporis). (11) After the soldier in question was examined by multiple physicians (medici), a competent judge (iudex competens) made the final decision. (12) Although the exact number of physicians (two or three) is not clear, (13) they could each give an independent diagnosis, which means that the danger of corruption was reduced. (14)

The precise nature of the defects leading to the legally-granted early discharge is not given by Macer. Other sources, however, provide additional information on the nature of physical infirmities. In a juristic comment on soldiers' testamentary rights, Ulpian (c. AD 170-223) refers to deafness and dumbness as valid reasons for a missio causaria. (15) A papyrus of AD 401 found in Egypt provides a list of eleven soldiers who had been discharged early, each one of them justified by an ailment: colicus (suffering from colic), debilis (disabled, lame, crippled), senex (aged) and aegrotus (sick). (16) It is not entirely clear how serious the physical infirmities had to be before a medical discharge was given. The loss of a testicle, for example, seemed not to be a valid reason. (17) Any allusion to a legitimate mental defect for an early discharge is absent in the ancient sources. The definition of the missio causaria does, however, suggest the acknowledgement and awareness of mental problems by the Roman jurists and an equal judgement on bodily and psychological defects.

Four juristic commentaries confirm this statement. Two of them relate to soldiers' failed suicide attempts. Such deeds are usually considered an act of treason and are therefore punishable by death-a somewhat peculiar logic. The two juristic commentaries, however, do list extenuating circumstances for soldiers who have acted out of unbearable pain (inpatientia doloris), illness (morbus), sorrow (luctus), weariness of life (taedium vitae), madness (furor) or shame (pudor). (18) Instead of receiving the death penalty, these soldiers were punished by a dishonourable discharge, which means they were brought into ill repute (inter infames efficit) and they did not receive any of the privileges to which a veteran was entitled (a piece of land or a donation of money, citizenship and the right to marry). (19) Although the source material stays silent on who diagnosed the various disorders, it seems likely this was similar to the examination performed before granting a missio causaria, that is, it was done by multiple physicians and a competent judge. Of the six motives underlying the suicide attempt, only inpatientia doloris refers exclusively to a physical ailment, while morbus and taedium vitae can relate both to a bodily and a mental impairment. The three other extenuating circumstances (luctus, furor and pudor) certainly concern solely the soldiers' state of mind.

Of the six excusable motives for suicide, pudor needs further explanation. Roman society as a whole and the military specifically can be regarded as a shame-society where pudor was considered a negative emotion. (20) In a military context, it relates to soldiers and commanding officers who suffered a loss of face and preferred to take their own lives in order to restore their reputation. This could have been the case when a commanding officer had been defeated in battle or when a soldier had acted cowardly on the battlefield. Pudor is often ascribed to soldiers wavering, retreating or fleeing in the face of danger. The sources suggest that soldiers were committed to preserve a self-image based on the heroic ideal of bravery. For instance, in the Second War with the Gauls (361-348 BC) the Roman soldiers wavering to enter the battle are confronted by the vigorous and brave stance of their commander and dictator, Gaius Sulpicius, who advanced to the forefront of the battle. After hearing his speech and being afflicted with shame, the soldiers rushed against the enemy to restore their reputation. (21) This episode shows that shame could also be a strong incentive to right a wrong. Suicide, however, was preferred when there was no other option left to restore the self-image. Also, soldiers who had been imprisoned sometimes chose death rather than depend on the mercy of the enemy, a course of action frequently praised in ancient literature. (22) It was mostly not fear or despair that drove them to suicide, but the avoidance of disgrace. (23) Soldiers who attempted to kill themselves through wine (per vinum) or debauchery (per lasciviam), which could be the result of the wine, were punished by a demotion. They were probably also sentenced to a reduced penalty because they were not able to think clearly at the time. (24)

Two further juristic commentaries indicate an awareness of soldiers' mental problems. Both of them determine the testamentary rights of soldiers who have taken their own lives. As opposed to civilians, men serving the military could write a lawful testament free from any formal instruction (libera testamenti factio). After an honourable discharge or a missio causaria veterans would get one more year to seek the advice of a jurist to adjust their testaments to civil legal standards. (25) According to the two juristic commentaries, last wills lost all legal validity when soldiers had committed suicide: they were considered deserters and therefore they no longer enjoyed any military privilege. Military law, however, provides a few exceptions to this rule. Again, extenuating circumstances prevent the testament from being legally void, that is when soldiers had taken their lives because of a weariness of life (taedium vitae), an unbearable ailment (valetudo adversae inpatientia), sorrow (dolor) or a remarkable deed (iactatio). (26) In the context of extenuating circumstances, we prefer the emended translation of the term iactatio (a deed) because suicide was usually committed in public with great ostentation. (27) Since this deed is set in a military context, it is closely related to a military virtue, the devotio (dedication) of a soldier who willingly sacrifices his own life in order to keep his country, its citizens or his fellow combatants safe. Fully aware of his inevitable death following the action he is about to take (and therefore regarded as suicide), he would face the superior enemy forces with determination. Such self-sacrifice is often depicted as a crucial turning point in unresolved and unfavourable battles, as it seems to have great impact on the morale of fellow soldiers who became free of fears as opposed to the overwhelmed enemy who were left in a state of consternation. (28)

It was probably difficult to account for a soldier's suicide and to decide whether there were any extenuating circumstances. The most obvious avenue for the physicians was to base their judgement on witnesses of fellow combatants. The latter were the seven soldiers from the same contubernium (the smallest unit in the army consisting of eight soldiers) as the suicide victim, since they lived close to each other and shared the same sleeping quarters. (29)

Since the juristic documents mentioned above are reactions to actual individual cases (Roman law was gradually established by the jurists' interpretation and generation of formal opinions on abstract rules drawn from specific cases), (30) they prove that multiple Roman soldiers suffered mental consequences from military life, which could eventually result in a suicide attempt. These soldiers were not simply labelled as 'mad' or 'crazy'. On the contrary, the juristic commentaries list a wide range of mental problems soldiers endured, which indicates that the Romans were able to distinguish various mental deficiencies and to make individual diagnoses. The fact that all these different diagnoses were established in juristic documents prevented arbitrary judgements on mentally impaired soldiers. Rather than turning a blind eye to the mentally afflicted soldiers, professional attitudes led to empathy towards them and finally resulted into the granting of special privileges. What these juristic documents, albeit not explicitly, prove is an awareness of the mental toll military service could take on soldiers. The jurists acknowledge the existence of mentally affected soldiers, but nowhere in their commentaries do they mention the cause of the deficiencies. This is not surprising because the jurists were primarily concerned with the simple fact of the infirmity and the decisions deriving from this. The same is true for their concern of the physically disabled soldiers. Various forms of disability are given for the rewarding of a medical discharge (dumbness, deafness, colicus, debilis, aegrotus). Also the definition of missio causaria specifies no factors responsible for the invalidity, although numerous factors which could occur both in peacetime and wartime were obviously known. (31) In conclusion, though it might be compelling to ascribe an awareness of the mental consequences of military service to the jurists, the evidence is not decisive.

3.2 Literary writings

The expansion of the Empire, brave generals and soldiers, and the suspense of the battlefield are vividly described by various authors. These authors also pay attention to the less pleasant side of warfare, and more specifically, to the victims of war. In spite of the equipment (shield, helmet and armour) soldiers wore, the tumult of battle was the main factor responsible for injuries. (32) Military equipment was not always effective, as the body of one particular fallen Roman soldier shows. The skeleton belongs to a fourth-century soldier who died in battle around the age of 24 to 28 years old in Viminacium. An anthropological study of the bones and the archaeological reconstruction of the events suggest that he was wearing armour when he was hit by two arrows. (33) Furthermore, the treatment of wounds was not without risk, as there were neither anaesthetics nor disinfectants at hand and the physicians had an inadequate knowledge of the human anatomy. Many soldiers would die from their injuries due to these miserable circumstances. (34) A good illustration of the horror on the battleground is given by Livy in a passage concerning a surprise attack of the Volsci on the Romans in 431 BC:

Multa utrimque volnera, multa passim caedes est; iam ne duces quidem Romani incruenti pugnant. Unus Postumius ictus saxo, perfracto capite acie excessit; non dictatorem umerus volneratus, non Fabium prope adfixum equo femur, non brachium abscisum consulem ex tam ancipiti proelio submovit.

(Livy 4.28.7-8)

Many were wounded on both sides, many were killed, scattered about far and wide. Now not even the Roman leaders fought without bleeding. Only Postumius withdrew from the battlefield after his skull was fractured when struck by a stone. A wounded shoulder could not drive the dictator from the dangerous battle, nor Fabius whose thigh was nearly pierced to his horse, nor the consul whose lower arm was cut off. (35)

Although archaeological evidence of slain combatants is scarce, some skeletons that have been identified corroborate the gruesome characteristics of warfare. Around AD 256 the Persian army besieged and conquered Dura-Europos, a Roman city on the right bank of the Euphrates. No written record of this assault has been preserved and so the reconstruction of the battle is based solely on archaeological evidence. The remains of nineteen Roman soldiers and one Persian soldier were found at the walls of the city. The reconstruction shows that the Persian army dug a tunnel under the wall to enter the city and in the meantime the Romans constructed a countermine. Based on the disposition of the remains, the details of the events that followed can be reconstructed. When the Persians realised the Romans were digging a countermine, they released choking fumes into the tunnel as the Romans broke into the Persian mine. The result was the death of twenty soldiers by asphyxiation, nineteen Romans and one Persian, who is believed to have released the fumes but was not able to escape in time. The archaeologist Simon James concludes: 'the gruesome deposits from the struggle around Tower 19 bring us as close as archaeology ever has to the immediate experience, and the real horror, of ancient combat.' (36)

In addition to the dangers on the battlefield, the hardship of daily military life had a profound impact on health. The physical and mental problems military life could cause in peacetime are especially noteworthy because, throughout history, the Roman army was not often in battle. (37) During times of peace soldiers had little time to relax; instead, they went out on different jobs or they were busy training and exercising. They learned to swim, march, handle different kinds of arms, haul heavy weights and dig strategic trenches around the army camp. (38) As time went by, these activities took a toll on the physical health of soldiers, such as causing rheumatic disorders which could result in lameness. (39) In AD 14, for example, during a mutiny of Roman troops in Germany, a few soldiers showed their bent limbs as they were protesting against the bad living conditions. (40) The skeletal remains of the Roman soldier in Viminacium confirm the occurrence of damage inflicted on the bones and joints because of prolonged wearing of armour, belts and equipment. Despite his young age of 24 to 28 years old, pressure marks are clearly visible on the shoulder blades, the pelvis, ankles and knees. (41)

In fact, the conditions of military life were not always ideal. This resulted in occcasional frustration among the Roman troops. Percennius,

At hercule verbera et vulnera, duram hiemem, exercitas aestates, bellum atrox: aut sterilem pacem sempiterna.

(Tac. Ann. 1.17.4)

By Hercules, there is no end to floggings and wounds, severe winters, extortion during the summers, violent wars or fruitless peace. (42)

The climate also played a crucial part in the soldiers' well-being. Extremely cold and hot temperatures were an additional burden to soldiers fulfilling their duties and should not be underestimated. An episode in Tacitus tells about Corbulo's troops coping with a severe winter in AD 58. Corbulo tried to discipline his army by making them spend the winter encamped under canvas on a plateau more than 6 000 feet above sea level instead of erecting winter quarters. As there was a sharp frost, they could barely pitch their tents and hammer the stakes into the ground. Moreover, the heavy cold struck the limbs of the soldiers and some of them froze to death while they kept watch. Tacitus also mentions a particular case of a soldier whose hands fell off when he went for a bundle of wood. (43) Though the mention of frozen limbs may be an exaggeration, as this episode has a clear moralising purpose, the severity and danger of cold winters for the Roman army were real, as many other sources mention. (44) Wearied out by hardship and angered by frustration, mutinous soldiers were, in fact, a recurring threat with which commanders were confronted. (45)

Finally, from time to time, the Roman army was afflicted by diseases and epidemics affecting a large part of the military force. (46) This can be partly attributed to the high density of population in the castra. Everybody lived very close to each other and soldiers slept eight to a tent, which provided the ideal conditions for contamination to spread. (47) Frequent complaints were abdominal complaints and eye troubles. (48) Galen distinguished 124 different eye diseases. (49) Considering both war-related and daily risks in the military, Scheidel has estimated that the average life expectancy of Roman soldiers was very low. According to his calculations, only 45-50% would reach the age of 45, which was approximately the retirement age for a soldier. (50)

The above mentioned difficulties soldiers had to cope with took a mental toll on them, as will be demonstrated. The search for references of soldiers' mental suffering in literary writings, however, encounters its own methodological problems. Ambiguous expressions by the ancient authors leave room for debate and carry the risk for misinterpretations. This can be demonstrated by Appian's portrait of Cestius. The latter is a retired soldier characterised as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], (somewhat out of his mind). After he had completed his service in Macedonia, he moved as a civilian to Perusia where he set his house on fire and plunged into the flames. (51) This act is recorded starkly by Velleius Paterculus who writes that Cestius first ran himself through with his sword and then leaped into the flames. (52) It is not clear what drove him to do this, since Appian provides no further information. A possible interpretation suggests that Cestius was affected mentally during his military service, which resulted in a desperate suicide attempt on his return to civilian life. Appian does not, however, refer to any cause of his state of mind. If we place this passage in context, it seems more likely that Cestius wanted to avoid the cruelty of Octavian's soldiers plundering Perusia (40 BC) and, therefore, he preferred to take his own life. The episode on Cestius, nevertheless, shows that the author pays attention to the destructive consequences of war for a person's mental health.

The following two episodes in Livy are less ambiguous. They both focus on the chaos and horror in battle and its emotional effect on the combatants. The first episode is set in 189 BC when the Romans were involved in a war against the Galateans who lost the battle, experiencing total despair. Livy gives an insight into the Galatean perspective:

Sagittis glande iaculis incauti [et] ab omni parte configebantur nec, quid agerent, ira et pavore occaecatis animis cernebant, et erant deprensi genere pugnae, in quod minime apti sunt. Nam quemadmodum comminus, ubi in vicem pati et inferre vulnera licet, accendit ira animos eorum, ita, ubi ex occulto et procul levibus telis vulnerantur, nec, quo ruant caeco impetu, habent, velut ferae transfixae in suos temere incurrunt. (Livy 38.21.7-8)

Due to their recklessness, they (the Galateans) were hit from all sides by arrows, leaden bullets and javelins. As their minds were blinded by rage and fear, they did not know what to do. They were involved in a kind of battle for which they were least fitted. For, as in close contest, where they receive and inflict wounds in turn, rage inflames their minds. So when they are wounded by light missile weapons, flung from a far distance by unseen opponents, and when they have no object on which they can make a blind assault, they run thoughtlessly into each other like wild animals that have been wounded.

The depiction of disordered and confused Galateans (Gauls) in battle is part of the Roman topoi about Gauls. Aside from the fact that Roman authors, including Livy, tend to exaggerate the undisciplined nature of the Gauls by contrast with the determined Roman army, the extensive attention paid to the psychology of the Galateans is striking. Livy provides vivid detail of their anguished and manic behaviour. (53) Their behaviour can possibly be explained by furor (a sudden outburst or being in a state out of mind), an expression we have encountered in the legal terminology. Instead of describing the Galateans with one word, as Appian does Cestius, Livy elaborates on the different phases of the Galateans' mental process. First, a combination of anger (ira) and fear (pavor) prevented the Gallic warriors from reasoning with logic. Rage in battle increased their bravery (accendit ira animos eorum) which prepared them to make a blind rush (ruant caeco impetu). Chaos and despair, however, prevailed because the Galateans could not see the enemies whom they wanted to attack. As a result, in a last desperate effort, they ended up running into each other, blinded by anger and fear. Although Livy does not describe the Romans, he is able to depict aptly the ambiguous emotions of the anxious, desperate and simultaneously determined and courageous Gaulish warriors. It can thereby be shown that Livy had a good insight into the emotional impact of war on its participants. The fact that the Galateans are the subject instead of the Romans does not detract from it in any way.

The second episode in Livy's writings takes place at the beginning of the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). The consul Publius Cornelius Scipio was wounded in the battle of Ticinus (218 BC), but he was also clearly mentally affected by it.

Restitutos ac refectos militibus animos nec quemquam esse praeter collegam qui dilatam dimicationem vellet; eum, animo magis quam corpore aegrum memoria volneris aciem ac tela horrere. (Livy 21.53.2)

After the minds of the soldiers were refreshed and restored, nobody other than his colleague (Scipio) wanted to delay the battle. He (Tiberius Sempronius Longus) believed that Scipio was more sick in mind than in body, and that the recollection of his wound made him afraid of the battle and its missiles.

After Scipio had sustained an injury in battle, he was in low fighting spirits. What is more, the war frightened him and he showed signs of some sort of battle fatigue. In addition to this, it is striking that Livy mentions that Scipio's physical injury was of secondary importance in comparison with his mental suffering (animo magis quam corpore aegrum). This reaction of Scipio to his wounding and his subsequent anxiety contrast sharply with the initially brave and nearly reckless attitude of the besieged Galateans in the previous episode. The memory of his wound and the turmoil of battle made Scipio shudder with fear (memoria volneris aciem ac tela horrere). Once again, Livy has the ability to pin down the complexity of warfare's mental impact on a soldier in just a few words.

It is true that this passage can be interpreted as a literary device to set up the rash Longus who wished to proceed into battle and gain personal glory. With the upcoming elections for new consuls and with his colleague Scipio on the sick list, Longus had only a short period of time to monopolise the credits of the following battle. Later, he is punished for his impatience and ambition by his subsequent defeat against the Carthaginians in the battle of Trebia. (54) Livy's moralising intentions are, however, a matter of lesser concern in our argumentation. Likewise, whether Longus' thoughts about Scipio's suffering are true is of secondary importance. What is more important is that Livy is aware of the heavy toll war injuries could take on a combatant's state of mind.

Something analogous to Livy's description above may be found in a papyrus from the 3rd century AD. At the beginning of the letter to his mother, Marcus, a physician, sums up the Roman military casualties fallen in battle against the Anoteritae. The list contains fifteen killed soldiers of the singulares, legionaries, evocati, wounded ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). (55) Hirt Raj has translated the latter term as 'ceux qui sont sans force' (those who are without strength), referring to both the physical and mental weakness of the Roman soldiers. (56) Davies, however, gives a narrower interpretation of the Greek term and writes 'battle-fatigue'. (57) It closely relates to the war-weariness of Scipio and it exclusively refers to the soldiers' state of mind. The more general translation by Hirt Raj is to be preferred as there are no parallels of this term available in other sources. An analogy between Scipio's mental suffering and the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the papyrus can neither be confirmed nor denied.

Another interesting passage is found in Appian's work on the Civil War. He manages to provide a striking portrait of the mixed and ambivalent feelings of Caesar's and Pompeius' troops who were about to fight each other in the battle of Pharsalus (48 BC). Before the outbreak of the Civil War soldiers of both armies used to be friends and even were related by marriage. At first, neither of the two parties considered these former relationships as a hindrance to waging war because they were inflamed and blinded by ambition [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and a mad passion for glory ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Both troops, however, waited for some time in profound silence, and grew more and more desperate as reason prevailed. Eventually, their irrational passions made room for fear, compassion for each other and moral awareness. After some reflection on the situation, both armies were struck by repentance and they were said to be weeping because they had been close to impiety ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Shortly afterwards, the commanders drew the same conclusions and ended the battle. In this way, the legionaries were no longer torn apart by their moral conscience and by their duty as soldiers to obey the leader's command. (58) The emotions experienced by both armies can possibly be classified in the juridical categories of the extenuating circumstances of pudor (shame) and luctus (sorrow). The soldiers' refusal to fight is reminiscent also of later conscientious Christian objectors to military service who refused to harm other people due to their religious beliefs and ethical values. (59)

Finally, Plutarch offers an application of the humour theory in a military context. In his Aratus, he characterises the leader of the Achaean League as someone who had cramps in the bowels and palpitations of the heart when the battle was imminent. The colour of his skin would change in the presence of approaching danger. Carried away by dizziness and torpor, he often decided to await the outcome of the battle from a safe distance even though he was the general of the Achaean League. Plutarch explains Aratus' conduct in terms of his bad temper ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and the cold condition ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of his body. (60) According to the humour theory, the coldness is indeed closely related to fear and cowardice.61

The different literary passages demonstrate that Roman authors were aware of the psychological consequences of war; they show insight into the complexity of various psychological mechanisms instead of confining themselves to a stereotypical dichotomy between brave and cowardly soldiers. 'Traumatised' soldiers and mental difficulties in the military were definitely not unfamiliar to Roman society.

As the juristic documents have already shown, the mental toll of military life could lead soldiers to their own destruction by committing suicide. Another common phenomenon amongst the Roman military was self-mutilation. Studies by Wierschowski and Kissel have shown that this occurred often during the recruitment of new soldiers who wanted to avoid military service. These men would chop off their own thumbs, or sometimes it was done by their fathers, so that they could no longer handle a sword or shield. Consequently, they would be declared unfit for military service. Various instances can be dated from 90 BC until 400 AD. (62) For the time span between Augustus and Trajan and between the latter and the 3rd century AD no record of self-mutilation can be found in the sources. This is probably because there were sufficient volunteers for military service, and so the Roman state did not have to enforce military conscriptions. Though conscriptions still occurred in times of crisis, it was only a small part of the Roman army that actually faced the enemy forces. (63)

However, from the 3rd century AD onwards the evidence suggests an increased number of cases of self-mutilation. In the same period, the profession of soldier became determined by heredity and the strict enforcement of this caused great resistance in military families. A consequence of this was that the major part of the Roman army no longer consisted of volunteers, a factor which probably had a negative impact on the morale. Another motive for the restraint of recruits can be attributed to the rising forces of the enemy at the borders of the Roman Empire and the end of the pax Romana. Wars were fought on three fronts (the Rhine, Danube and in the East) with an army that had insufficient manpower and that was not mobile enough to cope properly with these invasions. In the long term, the chance of a Roman military victory dwindled rapidly. This situation probably frightened young men from risking their lives. Considering the fact that they chose mutilation over military service, they must have suffered a deep-rooted anxiety. In addition, the rapid alternations of soldier-emperors and the wars fought between armies of usurping military commanders attributed to the military crisis of the 3rd century. These civil wars enhanced the risks for soldiers of being engaged in battle, and the rapid change of usurpers provided an unstable future which demoralised the troops. (64)

A last factor may be found in Christianity which had become the state religion. Some faithful Christians questioned their personal convictions in relation to the military life, and, more particularly, to the killing of other people. (65) A good example is found in the words of the martyr Maximilianus, son of a veteran:
   Non possum militare. Non possum malefacere. Christianus sum.
   I cannot serve in the military. I can do no harm. I am a Christian.

A remark must, however, be made on the Christian pacifist attitude. After Constantine, the emperors were officially considered as Christians though they took severe measures against Romans who, based on moral or religious objections, refused to enter military service. The attitude of Maximilianus was not shared by all Christians. In fact, numerous Christians served in the army during the late Roman Empire. Nevertheless, it is plausible that some of them objected against enrolment in the military. (67) The role of Christianity in the refusal of military service can therefore be considered as a secondary factor in contrast to the other two reasons. Nonetheless, all three arguments are convincing and do not necessarily exclude one another.

Some sources indicate that self-mutilation also occurred during a soldier's military career. A fragment of a rhetorical manual of the 4th century AD states the following:
   Ten soldiers have cut off their thumbs in times of war. They are
   found guilty for causing harm to the state. (68)

In his Ars Rhetorica, C. Chirius Fortunatianus explicitly mentions soldiers (milites) instead of recruits. He judges these soldiers as 'colourless' (achromos/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), which means he leaves no room for another interpretation or opinion on the soldiers' self-mutilation. (69) The fact that the statement appears in a rhetorical handbook suggests that self-mutilation was not uncommon amongst the Roman troops. In view of the many testimonies of recruits' self-mutilation and soldiers' suicide, recurrent acts of self-mutilation during military service as a whole seem, however, to be a reasonable assumption. A rescript of Hadrian confirms this theory. It explicitly denounces soldiers wounding themselves and it states that they deserve capital punishment. Hadrian, however, acknowledges the same extenuating circumstances for these soldiers as for soldiers committing suicide, namely personal motives such as unbearable pain (inpatientia doloris), weariness of life (taedium vitae), illness (morbus), madness (furor) or shame (pudor). (70) These personal motives and the more general explanations we have seen for recruits' refusal of military service should both be considered to account for self-mutilation. The reason these soldiers did not simply run away from the army was because they hoped to benefit from their wounding. If they were able to attribute their injury to an 'accident on the job', the emperor would grant them a missio causaria with privileges (a piece of land or a donation of money, citizenship and the right to marry) similar to the honourable discharge until AD 213. (71) From this year on, the Emperor Caracalla attached more conditions (e.g. a minimum of twenty years of service) to the allowance of an early medical discharge for financial reasons and to prevent soldiers' malpractice. (72) Constantine issued even stricter regulations concerning grants for medically discharged ripenses, soldiers who were stationed at the frontiers of the Empire. In AD 325 he decided to reward, with the exemption of the poll tax, only ripenses who had been wounded in battle. (73)

4. Prevention and treatment in the army

Now that we have seen that the Romans were aware of the mental toll military life could take on soldiers, the following question presents itself: did the army take any precautionary measures and provide treatment to ensure the morale and mental health of its troops? We will only briefly highlight a few measures that were implemented from higher up as many studies have already been devoted to this subject matter. (74) The commanding officers of the Roman army had the important duty of maintaining morale. This was not a simple task according to Vegetius, especially since inexperienced soldiers became victims of anxiety at the beginning of battle. With advice and encouragement the commanding officers tried to impart confidence and stimulate the men's bravery (exercitui virtus adcrescit et animus). Officers should depict the upcoming battle as an easy victory and the enemy as cowardly opponents. While the officers talked to the soldiers, the latter would become moved by hatred, rage and indignation against the adversaries (in odium adversariorum ira et indignatione moveantur). These guidelines of Vegetius clearly exemplify the importance of the troops' mental well-being. Moreover, it can be shown that Romans believed in the possibility of altering a person's mental status, in this case anxiety of soldiers, by using the proper remedy (sed hoc remedio formido lenitur). (75) In addition, bravery was stimulated with the prospect of rewards in the form of military decorations, for example, crowns. Other rewards like donatives, promotion in rank and booties in battle attributed to the encouragement of the troops. (76) In contrast with the positive encouragements of the officers, military law also provided deterrents for anxious soldiers. In case the latter pretended to be sick, or deserted from battle, for fear of the enemy, they would suffer capital punishment. As a warning against similar future misconduct, the death sentence was performed in front of their fellow soldiers' very eyes. (77) Various other forms of punishment to uphold the discipline included corporal punishment like flogging, demotion in rank, fines and a dishonorable discharge. (78)

When a battle was fought, the commanding officers were still charged with preserving the high morale of the troops. Special attention was paid to injured soldiers because they were most prone to dejection, as Livy shows in the portrayal of Scipio. There are many instances known in the literary sources of a Roman general visiting his wounded men, which, while representing a literary topos, also reflect actual practice. (79) On the one hand, the general inspected them in order to draw up a balance of the military strength; on the other hand, he encouraged his men and expressed his admiration for their sacrifice. For an example we turn to an episode described by Livy. After a defeat of the Samnites (325 BC), the dictator Lucius Papirius Cursor, accompanied by his staff, went around the camp and paid a visit to the wounded Roman soldiers. He called each of them by name, inquired after the men's health and commended them to the care of his officers. With these words he made himself popular amongst the troops and won their hearts. In the end, the soldiers' gratitude for the dictator's concern contributed to their recovery (nec quicquam ad salubritatem efficacius fuerit quam quod grato animo ea cura accepta est). (80)

Sound mental health was essential for the healing process of the soldiers, as Plutarch also indicates. After M. Antonius' invasion of Parthia (36 BC) more than three thousand men fell in battle and five thousand soldiers were injured. The latter were brought back from the conflict into tents for medical care:


Gallus did not recover from his wounds and Antonius, who was deeply moved and had tears in his eyes, passed around, visited all his wounded men and encouraged them. Beaming with joy, they grabbed his right hand and asked him to leave and take care for himself, and not to be in distress. They called him imperator ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and they told him that they would be safe if only he was in good health.

Only when the mental condition of a soldier could no longer be cured was he declared unsound of mind (vitio animis) and received the missio causaria. (81) A soldier was discharged because he was no longer of any use to the military and because he constituted a possible threat to the morale of the troops. Scipio's colleague Tiberius Sempronius Longus points out this threat when Scipio took a mental blow after his battle wound. He said:
   But we must not grow weak along with the sick man. (82)

Other incentives that were not exclusively related to warfare contributed to the maintenance of the troops' morale. During peacetime, the soldiers were kept occupied with training which included marching, constructing military camps and acquiring skills such as weapons training. These exercises prepared soldiers for their future engagement in battle and prevented boredom and a lowered morale. (83) The quality of life in the Roman army was, especially in times of peace, probably much higher than that of the common civilian. A career in the army secured one's daily necessities. Soldiers received a salary, medical care, good clothing and a varied and rich diet. Junkelmann's archaeological study has shown that soldiers even had access to costly and nutritious food like meat. Evidence of malnutrition is less in the army than in the lower classes of civil society. (84) With the introduction of an honourable or medical discharge at the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Imperial era, soldiers had the prospect of a prosperous future after their military service if they complied with military discipline and law. Until AD 213 owners of both diplomas enjoyed the same privileges: a piece of land or a donation of money, an exemption of taxes and the right to contract a legal marriage with a foreign woman. Non-citizen soldiers who served in the auxilia obtained the Roman citizenship for themselves and their children. A military career also provided many soldiers with chances of upward social mobility. After their dismissal, veterans often achieved promotion in politics, be it only on a municipal level. (85)

5. Conclusion

Rather than applying sociological and psychological insights, this article has discussed the recognition of mental disorders in the Roman army from the perspective of the ancient sources. It is important to note that the material used stems mainly from the end of the Republic until the late Roman Empire. By that time, Greek medical science had already had an effect on Roman perceptions of health. Influenced by the peculiar humoral view on medical health care, the Romans made a clear distinction between the physical and mental aspects. This distinction was applied to their perspective on the soldiers' well-being as well. Moreover, Roman jurists laid down specific laws concerning 'mentally ill' soldiers. It is noteworthy that our view of the 'official' attitude towards mentally disordered soldiers derives exclusively from juristic commentaries of the late Roman Empire, where jurists record different official diagnoses, a reduction of their sentence in the case of a misconduct and the granting of an early retirement. It can thereby be shown that Roman juristic commentaries recognise the category of, and even empathise with, mentally impaired soldiers.

By contrast, passages in the literary sources reveal a detailed understanding and recognition of the emotional and mental consequences of army-service, and of different mental stages suffered by soldiers. Some soldiers were so affected mentally during military service that they were driven to self-mutilation and even suicide attempts. The army leadership took various measures to prevent and treat mental problems. On and off the battlefield commanding officers encouraged their men by means of positive stimulation and deterrents. The number or proportion of soldiers who suffered mental impairment is not known. Judging from the literary and especially the juristic evidence, they were, however, not an unfamiliar nor a rare phenomenon in Roman society. Therefore, this section of the Roman population calls for the modern historians' attention.


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Korneel van Lommel

Catholic University of Leuven

* I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their useful remarks and suggestions. I would also like to express my gratitude to Katelijn Vandorpe who read several versions of this article and provided valuable comments. I am also indebted to Elisah van Lommel who helped me to improve my English.

(1) In some ways the search for ancient PTSD is an offshoot of the 'face-of-battle' historiography, a phenomenon of the individual's experience in battle popularised by John Keegan 1978. The same analytical techniques were applied to the Greeks in various works by Victor Hanson 1989 and 1991; and to the Romans by Adrian Goldsworthy 1996. Other scholars soon followed this trend: see Sabin 1996:59-79 and 2000:1-17; Lee 1996:199-217; Zhmodikov 2000:67-78; Daly 2002. Multiple contributions in Campbell & Tritle 2013. For the criticisms of this approach, see Wheeler 1998:644-51, 2001:169-84, 2011:64-75; Kagan 2006.

(2) Shay 1994. Shay 2002 compared the war experiences in the Odyssey with those of modern war veterans.

(3) For a list of references, see Melchior 2011:210 n. 5.

(4) Tritle 2004:325-39. See also Tritle 2000; 2013:279-93.

(5) This supposition is apparent in the subtitle of the documentary 'Odysseus in America' (2005) based on the book of the same name written by Shay (2002). It says 'The heart of a soldier hasn't changed in 3000 years'; see the website

(6) Melchior 2011:209-23; Lendon 2004:447. Theoretical studies like Gardner's on violence as a crucial part of Roman soldiers' identity might help us to avoid anachronistic comparisons with evidence from later eras; see Gardner 2007:93103.

(7) Therefore, we do not dismiss studies with a psychological approach a priori, because they are of value to our understanding of how the Roman soldiers themselves experienced mental problems, though caution is required. Psychology may provide insights into the mental processes of soldiers and help to explain their behaviour and certain difficulties they experienced on their return to society. For supporters of an anthropological approach to psychological medicine, see Asmal & Stein 2009:657-64; Friedman 2009:65-74; see also Young 1995 who argues that the etiology of PTSD is not a universal phenomenon, but rather a culturally and historically defined product; cf. Summerfield 1998:1580-581.

(8) Melchior 2011:216.

(9) Scarborough 1968:255-56; Jacob 1933:322; Wilmanns 1995:11; Salazar 2000:76-77. On the migration of Greek physicians to the western parts of the Roman Empire, see Nutton 2012:534-42.

(10) For an extended study on the humour theory, see Godderis 1999:155-82 and 712-94. For a specific study on the use of the humour theory to explain different personalities, see Stelmack & Stalikas 1999:255-63.

(11) Dig. (Macer); Keubler 1961:147-48. For a discussion on the introduction of the missio causaria, see Neumann 1962:1599; Watson 1969:123-24; Schneider 1977:5; Grassl 1985:282; Davies 1989:227; Wolff 2007:354; and more recently, Van Lommel 2013:66-70.

(12) Cod. Iust. 12.25.6; Grassl 1985:285. It is not clear who performed the role of the competent judge. The problem is discussed in the following studies: Wolff 1981:416; Wesch-Klein 1998:88-89.

(13) Some historians suggest there were two physicians: see Jung 1982:913 and Wesch-Klein 1998:88-89; but a controversial papyrus with possibly an exemption from military service suggests there were three physicians: P.Oxy. 1.39 and 2.317. However, not everyone agrees that the papyrus refers to an exemption from military service: e.g. Wessely 1900:2-5; Hirt Raj 2006:145-47. Watson does not exclude that the papyrus is an exemption of military service; see Watson 1969:41.

(14) The bribing of public servants to avoid military service seems to have been a problem; see Cod. Theod. 7.13.9; Rea 1984:87 and Wesch-Klein 1998:89-90. A thorough medical examination (non temere, Cod. Iust. 12.35.6) was needed because some soldiers pretended to be wounded to avoid military service; see e.g. Polyb. 35.4.6; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 9.50.5; Dig.; Scarborough 1969:67; Campbell 1984:303.

(15) Renz 1972:99; Grassl 1989:49-57.

(16) P Rain. Cent. 165; Rea 1984:79-88.

(17) This a citation of Trajan's rescript, Dig. 49.16.4; Jung 1982:912-13; Saldern 2006:301. A centurion with bad hearing is allowed to serve in the army; see HA, Heliogab. 16.2-3; Davies 1989:227. Grassl has suggested that the criteria for a medical discharge may have become more demanding over time; see M. Aur. Med. 7.7; Grassl 1989:51.

(18) One commentary is from the hand of the jurist Paulus (c. 150-230 AD), Dig. The other is a citation of Hadrian's ruling, Dig.; Wesch-Klein 1998:146-49. Similar motives for committing suicide are present in civil law. These motives are also considered as extenuating circumstances; see Dig. 3.2.11;;; Griffin 1986a:68, 1986b:198.

(19) Dig. (Ulpianus); (Macer); Renz 1972:313-14.

(20) On pudor and the Roman shame-society, see Kaster 2005:28-65.

(21) Livy 7.15; a similar narrative is told at 6.24.

(22) For example, the exemplary anecdotes written by Valerius Maximus De Constantia 3.8.7-8; see also Suet. Iul. 68. Unwillingness to surrender and to be taken captive is well demonstrated in Polyb. 3.117; Lendon 2004:447. For further references to soldiers preferring suicide over surrendering out of fear of enslavement, torture or death, see Goldsworthy 1996:262-63.

(23) Numerous references and an extended discussion on the different motives for suicide in civil and military context can be found in Van Hooff 1990:79-132.

(24) Dig.; the legitimacy of this last regulation is, however, highly uncertain. It may not originally have belonged to this section of the legal commentary (, but rather to the section above ( that concerns the wounding of a fellow soldier; see Spruit 1997:6.812.

(25) Dig. 29.1.1, 4 (Ulpian); 29.1.26 (Macer); Campbell 1984:210-15.

(26) Dig. (Ulpian). The other juristic commentary is written by the jurist Papinian (c. 142-212 AD), Dig. 29.1.34.

(27) Spruit 1997:4.255.

(28) Livy 5.41; 8.9; 10.28-29. The virtue of dedication is also celebrated in Vergil, Aen. 11.434-45; see Alessio 1993:95; Verg. Aen. 12.234-35. On devotio in Livy, see Feldherr 1998:84-93.

(29) Neumann 1964a:1298 on 'contubernium'; Goldsworthy 2003:51-54 emphasises the close bond between its members.

(30) Spruit 1997:2.xi-xiv; Stein 1992:1595.

(31) Supra notes 11, 15 and 16. Only in the case of a criminal offence was the factor responsible for the infirmity of importance to the jurists. Self-inflicted wounding, the cause being the soldier himself, is explicitly mentioned and denounced because it was considered treason. In this context fits the rescript of Constantine (AD 325) in which he explicitly refers to war injuries as a precondition for the reward of the poll tax exemption to the soldiers at the frontiers of the empire. This precondition was probably added as a reaction against the self-mutilation of soldiers (infra pages 172-75). Soldiers, however, seemed not to be held accountable for mental deficiencies.

(32) On Roman military equipment, see Bishop & Coulston 1993. For a study of the different injuries soldiers sustained in battle, see Campbell 2002:65-68.

(33) Mrdic, Golubovic & Speal 2009:55-64. For the effectiveness of Roman armour, see also Campbell 2013:419-37.

(34) Jacob 1933:321; Jackson 1988:112-13; De Franchis 2010:72-73. For a recent overview of medical care in the Greek and Roman army, see Salazar 2013:294311.

(35) All translations are my own.

(37) Dobson 1986:10-25.

(38) Veg. Mil. 1.9-27; Scheidel 1995:237.

(39) De Libero 2002a:87.

(40) Tac. Ann. 1.34.

(41) Mrdic et al. 2009:55-64. Similarly, the remains of a Roman soldier aged 25 to 30 of the 1st century AD found in Castellum Flevum in Velsen show articular degeneration of the spine and the right arm caused by the heavy equipment and military tasks; see Junkelmann 1997:18-19.

(42) Davies 1989:225; Keppie 2000:239.

(43) Tac. Ann. 13.35.3.

(44) George C. Kariofillis kindly suggested some literary sources which he will discuss in his forthcoming study BIBAOS TAKTIKH encompassing aspects of land warfare in Antiquity. For soldiers suffering mutilation of the hands and feet from the cold winter with a subsequent lowering of the morale, see Herodian 6.6.3; Nobilior's soldiers died from the cold during heavy falls of snow and frost (App. Hisp. 197; see Richardson 2000:144; App. Hisp. 336). For other literary evidence, Ash refers to Curt. 8.4.14; Xen. An. 4.5; Tac. Ann. 4.56; Plut. Vit. Luc. 33.4; Sall. Hist. 5.10 Maurenbrecher (= 4.70 McGushin); see Ash 2006:366-67. For a critical evaluation of the anecdotal evidence provided by Tacitus, see Wheeler 1996:265-71; Gilmartin 1973:591-93; and also Koestermann 1967:303-04. The exhausting effect of hot temperatures could equally take its toll on the Roman soldiers' health and morale. For example, Ammianus holds the boiling summer heat partially responsible for the defeat against the Goths (miles fervore calefactus aestivo), Amm. Marc. 31.12.10-31.13.19; cf. Strabo, Geography 17.3.20; Plut. Vit. Pomp. 35.2; Plut. Vit. Ant. 46.4-47.4.

(45) Keaveney 1982:88-89.

(46) Caes. BCiv. 3.87.

(47) Scheidel 1995:237.

(48) Wesch-Klein 2007:441; Jackson 1988:82.

(49) Boon 1983:10.

(50) Scheidel 2007:426-27.

(51) App. B Civ. 5.49.

(52) Vell. Pat. 2.74.4; De Libero 2002b:180.

(53) Walsh 1993:10-11. On Roman topoi about barbarians in general, see Wells 1999:99-121.

(54) Livy 21.53.6. For a similar narrative, see Polyb. 3.70.

(55) Literally, on line 7 of the papyrus: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], P.Ross.Georg. 3.1. The translation of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is uncertain. LSJ translates [chi]a[lambda]a[sigma][tau]o[zeta] as 'relaxed', an interpretation that cannot be applied to this context. The term [chi]a[lambda]a[sigma][mu]a has multiple interpretations, including 'slackened condition', 'relaxation' and 'low tension of blood-vessels'. Roberts prefers not to translate and writes: 'some mysteriously named [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Roberts 1950:113.

(56) Hirt Raj 2006:338.

(57) Davies 1969:94.

(58) App. BC 2.77.

(59) Wierschowski 1995:226.

(60) Plut. Vit. Arat. 29.5-6. The portrait of Aratus by Plutarchus is derived from sources unsympathetic to him. For a more positive description of Aratus and his qualities as a strategist, see Polybius' account. But here Aratus is also characterised as devoid of personal courage in field operations; see Polyb. 4.8.

(61) Lloyd 1964:101; Evans 1969:26-27.

(62) Val. Max. 6.3.3; Suet. Aug. 24.1; Dig.; Amm. Marc. 15.12.3; Cod. Theod. 7.22.1; 7.13.4, 5, 10.

(63) Wesch-Klein 2007:436-37.

(64) Le Bohec 2004:9-27 and especially 25-26.

(65) Wierschowski 1995:205-39; Kissel 1996:286-96.

(66) For references, see Wesch-Klein 1998:162; for a similar testimony, see Paul. Nol. Ep. 18.7.

(67) Wesch-Klein 2004:486 and n. 80.

(68) C. Chirius F. Ars Rhetorica, 1.4.

(69) Montefusco 2003:115-16.

(70) Dig. Wesch-Klein suggested that capital punishment was not often enforced in reality because soldiers were too valuable; see Wesch-Klein 2004:48384.

(71) Dig.; Davies 1989:227 and 1970:100; Campbell 1984:312-13; Grassl 1985:282-84; Wesch-Klein 2004:485.

(72) Cod. Iust. 5.65.1; 12.35.2; Campbell 1984:175; Wesch-Klein 2007:440. For the further evolution of the missio causaria throughout the Roman imperial era, see Grassl 1985:281-89.

(73) Cod. Iust.

(74) Recently, scholars have studied the morale of the Roman army and the personal experience of soldiers in battle (references in note 1); see especially Goldsworthy 1996:248-82; Lee 1996:199-217. See also Macmullen 1984:440-56. Very recently, Coulston 2013:7-31; Chrissanthos 2013:320-28. We will not discuss other factors that may have contributed to the morale of the troops, like the competitive drive to display virtus (suggested by Lendon 2005) nor the role of unit-cohesion and the so-called post World War II 'buddy theory'; see, for example, Goldsworthy 1996:252-57 and Hanson 1989, 1991; for criticisms of this theory, see Wheeler 2011:64-75; Lendon 2004:445-46.

(75) Veg. Mil. 3.12. Although Vegetius gave his advice in the late 4th and early 5th century AD, a lot of his ideas derive from earlier sources like Frontinus who wrote in the 1st century AD; see Frontin. Str. 1.11; 2.8. For the discussion on the date of Vegetius' work, see Barnes 1979:254-57; Goffart 1977:69-88; Parker 1932:13749. Recently, Charles has convincingly substantiated that the anonymous emperor to whom Vegetius has devoted his book on recruitment is Valentinianus III and, thus, the work can be dated after AD 425; see Charles 2007:13-16 and the review by Wheeler 2008 at

(76) Neumann 1964b:1322-323 on 'corona'. See Maxfield 1981:67-100. For rewards in battle, see also Goldsworthy 1996:259-61 and 276-79.

(77) Dig. and 5; Campbell 1984:303.

(78) For a detailed study of military punishments, see Phang 2008:111-52.

(79) SHA, Hadr. 10.6 = Cass. Dio, 69.9.1-2; SHA, Alex. Sev. 47; Plin. Pan. 13; Fronto, Ep. 13; Arr. Peripl. M. Eux. 6.2, 10.3; Vell. Pat. 2.114.1-2; Suet. Tib. 11.2; Plut. Vit. Ant. 43.1; Davies 1989:225-26.

(80) Livy 8.36.6-7.

(81) Dig.;

(82) Livy 21.53.2.

(83) Coulston 2013:19-20.

(84) Junkelmann 1997; see also Coulston 2013:17-18. Goldsworthy's reference to Greek soldiers getting drunk before battle does not apply the Roman practice; Goldsworthy 1996:261-62; Coulston 2013:18. For an overview of the medical care in the army, see Wilmanns 1995; Baker 2004.

(85) Chrissanthos 2013:320-28. On the privileges of the veterans and their integration into society, see Wesch-Klein 2007:439-49; Devijver 1984:121-22. On the privileges of the medical discharge, see Grassl 1985:281-89.
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Date:Jan 1, 2013
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