Marriage | The Roman Military


Marriage was banned in the early years of the army, and tolerated but not encouraged after Claudius. Still, many (probably over 60%) soldiers posted to frontier areas married local women by the common law, judging from the inscriptions of epitaphs. These marriages were usually respected by the unit the soldier was attached to, but not by the Roman government. However, the sons of a soldier would often join their father's legion, and thus the legion's forces were replenished with the offspring of its own men. This was very advantageous because it gave the son Roman citizenship, which he would otherwise have been denied, because of his unofficial parentage.

Roman Women
Roman women. Image courtesy of Legio XX.