Ben Angell

Dissertation title: Combat Motivation and the Experience of Roman Legionary Service (c. 107 B.C. - 117 A.D.)

My DPhil examines life in the Roman legions through a framework drawn from modern military sociological studies of combat motivation. In this sociological framework, I explore the relationship between the soldier and the army, which I treat not only as an institution, but as a micro-culture with its own values and norms. This approach enhances our understanding of the ‘face of battle’, but the framework also sheds light on the economic and political preoccupations of soldiers and legions, and aspects of everyday life. As such, this project is as much a piece of social history as military history.

I am also an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow, and in this capacity I teach undergraduates through object handling sessions at the museum. In recent sessions, I have made use of my previous research on the grotesque, and the monstrous races in ancient thought.