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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 7 (1) 2009

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J. Bennett

The cohortes Augustae Cyrenaicae

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 7 (1), 2009, pages 107-121, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10127

Abstract
The auxiliary regiments of the Imperial Roman army were as vital to the defensive and offensive capabilities of the Roman Empire as the better-known Roman legions. Initially raised on an ethnic basis through the levy from among Rome's subject peoples, and then maintained at or near their full strength by conscription and voluntary recruitment, these units of auxilia were often deployed far from their original 'home'. As such, by analysing where these units were recruited and in what numbers, and then studying their subsequent history and deployment, it is possible to begin an assessment of their full value to Rome and to better comprehend overall developments in Roman strategic thinking. This paper contributes to such an appraisal by reviewing the evidence for the history and deployment of the three cohortes Augustae Cyrenaicae, among the least well-known auxiliary units in the entire Roman army.

Résumé
L'Empire Romain dépendait tout autant, pour sa capacité à se défendre et attaquer, des régiments d'auxiliaires de l'armée Impériale que des légions qui sont mieux connues. Ces contingents d'auxilia furent constituées d'abord de troupes ethniquement homogènes recrutés parmi les divers peuples soumis à Rome et dont les effectifs étaient, par la suite, maintenus à un niveau plus ou moins maximum par voie de conscription ou d'engagement volontaire. Ils étaient souvent déployés loin de leur lieu d'origine. Ainsi, il est possible, en analysant l'origine et les niveaux d'effectifs de ces bataillons, ainsi que par l'étude de leur histoire et de leur déploiement ultérieurs, d'arriver à un début d'évaluation de leur importance pour Rome et à mieux comprendre le développement global de la pensée stratégique Romaine. Le présent article contribue à une telle évaluation par un examen des données de l'histoire et du déploiement de trois cohortes Augustae Cyrenaicae, qui comptent parmi les moins connues des détachements d'auxiliaires de l'armée Romaine.




Keywords: auxiliary unit deployment, auxiliary unit history, auxiliary unit names, auxiliary unit recruitment, Roman auxiliary cohorts


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Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
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Savino di Lernia, Italy
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David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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