Gord Zaroski

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Evan W. Haley




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Despite the large corpus of scholarly writing about the Roman army, the military address to the troops, or adlocutio, has not been studied at length. In an age lacking means of mass communication, the ceremony of adlocutio served as an important tool of the emperors, providing them with the opportunity to convey messages directly to large groups of army personnel in a single speech. The first chapter focuses on the setting, audience, and occasions for the speeches, as well as the important concept of the emperor as commilito or fellow-soldier. In order to better discuss the only substantial surviving text of an imperial speech to the army, chapter two examines Hadrian's early military career before looking at the setting for the address at Lambaesis and then the content of the emperor's speech. The conventions of the adlocutio including the use of gestures and body language, major themes, and common trends in vocabulary are explored in chapter three. Conclusions about the importance, frequency, and common features of the adlocutio complete this study ofthe imperial speeches to the Roman army.

McMaster University Library

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