Lixae calonesque : reconsidering non-combatant forces in the Roman army
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
A group of non-combatants within the Roman army known as the lixae have long been assumed to play a commercial role similar to the sutlers of later armies, but this interpretation is far from certain and many details of their identity are unclear. This thesis sets out to provide a new analysis of the lixae, making use of the existing scholarship and reconsidering sources from the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE. I investigate the social status, duties, and military standing of the lixae, additionally considering their relationships with other groups, especially their interactions with the military slaves known as calones. I argue that the lixae were a force of craftsmen working within the military structure, producing and repairing basic goods for the military both on the march and in permanent camps and forts. The presence of craftsmen is attested by physical evidence in Roman camps, but they have not previously been identified with a specific terminology. This reconsideration maintains the lixae’s ties to commercial behavior but fills a gap in our understanding of the known support units of the Roman military, while encouraging possibilities for further investigation into Roman non-combatant military personnel.