AbstractThis article attempts to read the phenomenon of collective resistance in the Roman army of the Late Republic as political action. Taking my inspiration from post-colonial theories of popular power, I contend that we should not understand acts of collective resistance in military settings as simple events activated by a singular cause, but rather as expressions of individual and collective grievances with the status quo. Indeed, the variant practices of military recruitment in the Late Republic, and the exploitative nature of Rome’s imperial rule put oppressed groups – Italians, provincials, and former slaves – in constant contact with the state apparatus. Thus, military service offered an essential space for political action in the first century BC. These findings help us to better understand how popular power could be realized beyond traditional institutional settings in this period.
Journal of Ancient History – de Gruyter
Published: Nov 27, 2020