chapter  IX
The Gods and Goddesses of the Frontier
Pages 20

The experience of the imperial government after the army revolts of A.D. 69 convinced it that maintaining the Roman character of the legions and fostering loyalty among their ranks was particularly important. This importance was not considered so great, however, as to convince the Italians to continue manning the legions themselves. The inculcation of Roman values within the legions became an even more pressing task as the legionary recruits came increasingly to be drawn from the provinces and the frontier districts themselves. The prominence given to religious ritual within the legions has led many to believe that religious observances were among the chosen vehicles for impressing the men of the legions with government-approved attitudes and values.1 We will examine two aspects of this feature of army life on the frontier: whether the rituals were such as to inculcate Roman values among an increasingly Celtic and German military force, and whether the goal of military religious ritual was in fact political.