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Roman military documentation in the Light of Latin Papyri from Egypt

Salati Ornella
Articolo Immagine
Rivista Storica dell’Antichità
Rivista Storica dell'Antichità N. LI/2021

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This paper deals with the question of the composition of documents within the Roman army during the first three centuries AD. The starting point is the papyrological evidence: a full and updated framework of Latin military records will be offered according to typology, provenance, date, and units. In the second part, a specific typology of documents, namely morning reports (acta diurna), will be used as a case study, in order to show the method of work and habits of military clerks. The analysis will consider in detail their form (layout, script), as well as their content (general pattern, consistent entries, formulae). Comparison with materials from different forts (Dura Europos, Vindolanda) will help to interpret the Egyptian evidence. The conclusion will shed light on significant and standard features of the military documents and, therefore, on skills of the bureaucracy of the Roman army.

Keywords: Paperwork, Egyptian papyri, Morning Reports, Archive, Patterns.