Thursday, September 23, 2010
Follow the Leaders
The town of Wroxeter contained a forum, a classical Roman temple, baths, aqueduct supply, a fortress and its defenses, and a lot of houses. There is a suggestion that a large municipal stone quarry was active just outside of town. Glass production was done. Access to multiple mining areas (lead, zinc, and cooper) were just northwest, into the mountains through the only land bridge available. It must have been a very active place. The key to participation in this new Roman way of life was of course Latin. It was essential to speak it to get around in this new and different complex world. The spread of Latin (practical Latin) must have been due to the army. Over time, legionary recruits tended to come from wherever citizens were found. This would be especially true around the civil settlements that were located near the legionary bases. Since our Jones family seemed to survive, some must have become "citizens" and certainly some joined the army. Thus at least part of our family would become "Romanized". You can imagine what it must have been like with more than 5,000 men spending their money (or free time) in the only town close by. It was not until around 200 AD that Roman soldiers (other than officers) were allowed to marry. Under Roman law, illegitimate children followed the social status of their mother. Thus, serving soldiers' children were citizens or non-citizens according to their mother's status. The grant of citizenship to retiring solders included the right to full legal marriage with the wives that they had at the time of their discharge from the army. The children, now being legitimate sons or daughters of Roman fathers, were Roman citizens. Thus for around 400 years our family would have gone through this type of social arrangement.