Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power: The Batavians in the by Nico Roymans

By Nico Roymans

This probing case learn examines the evolution of the ethnic id of the Batavians, a decrease Rhineland tribe within the western marches of the Roman Empire. Drawing on huge historic and archaeological information, Nico Roymans examines how among 50 BCE and 70 CE, the Romans cultivated the Batavians as an ethnic ''other'' through intensively recruiting them to the Roman military whereas concurrently conducting extermination campaigns opposed to different tribes within the area. Roymans additionally considers how the prestige of the Batavian payment unearths interesting insights into Roman definitions of ''civilization'' and ''barbarism.'' Ethnic identification and Imperial energy is an engaging anthropological learn on how old frontier peoples negotiated their self-image.

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Central to this chapter are gold staters of the Scheers 31 type, with a triskeles or whorl on the obverse and a horse facing left on the reverse. This coinage is interesting for several reasons: 1. It represents the most northerly Late La Tène gold emission on the European continent. Pre-Roman coin circulation was a peripheral phenomenon in the Lower Rhine region, which raises the question as to what factors determined the slow acceptance of coins in this area. 2. The relatively late date and limited distribution of the coinage offers various possibilities for historical interpretation.

Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven) and Colin Haselgrove (University of Durham) for discussing with me sev- 120 By ‘Lower Rhine region’ or ‘Lower Rhineland’, I mean eral topics relevant to this study. I also wish to thank all the region encompassing the Central and South Nether- the amateur archaeologists and museum curators who lands, North Belgium (as far as the river Demer) and the allowed me to examine the triskeles coins in their col- neighbouring German Rhineland north of Bonn.  � � � � � � � � � � �� � �� �� �� � �� � � �� �� �� �� �� �� �� �� �� � �� �� �� �� �� �� � �� �� �� �� �� �� �� �� �� �� � �� �� � �� ����� Fig.

67 Each of these groups retained their own cults. In view of this, we can best interpret the regional sanctuaries from the Rhine/Meuse delta as central cult places, not of the larger civitates that Caesar refers to, but of smaller polities which go almost unmentioned in the historical sources. In addition, we should understand that the political geography of the Lower Rhineland described by Caesar was subject to constant change, which may have affected the ability of the civitates he mentions to establish any degree of permanence.

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