In the late 1970’s, at Vindolanda, a fort near Hadrian’s wall on the northern frontier of Roman Britain, archaeologists first discovered a series of tablets with writing dating to the first and second centuries C.E. Since the initial discoveries, more tablets have been discovered at the same site; the current body of writing from Vindolanda now numbers upwards of one thousand tablets. These documents, now called the Vindolanda tablets, are an extremely rare example of primary source documents from the Roman Empire, and scholars have used them to determine everything from the ethnic makeup of the Roman army to early trade practices in Britain. I would like to investigate the Vindolanda tablets to gain insight into what life would have been like for Roman soldiers during the occupation of Britain. After this, I will attempt evaluate whether or not extreme conditions presented by being abroad could have caused PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms in the soldiers, or otherwise how they may have been mentally affected by their deployment.
Connections 377: Caesar in Vietnam: PTSD in the Ancient World?