GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-09 > 1158978835
From: "Steven Bird" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Roman genetic footprints
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 22:33:55 -0400
The problem with this premise (the four coloniae as the only places of
settlement for old soldiers) is that it ignores finds such as the Malpas
military diploma, dug out of a field in Malpas, Cheshire in 1812 and now in
the British museum, along with the extensive Roman villa digs around Saffron
Walden, Essex and Bartlow, Cambridgeshire. There is ample archaelogical
evidence of settlement by Roman citizens all over Britain south of Hadrian's
Anyway, we aren't just discussing the period of 43 A.D. to 103 A.D. The
Roman soldiers and their descendants lived in the Isles for 350 years before
the army withdrew. The archaelogical evidence points to a long period of
peaceful decline (well into the sixth century in Saffron Walden, for
example), not necessarily a sudden and abrupt withdrawal. Genetic input
throughout this entire period must have had a significant impact on the
entire region. A male line of descent in 400 A.D. is just as much of an E3b
as the in the first generation, as it would be today.
A Roman soldier who served in Britain either died in service, retired and
stayed, or retired and went home to whatever region he had originated from.
If he stayed in Britain, he either had children or he didn't. The children,
grandchildren and so on would have thought of themselves as Romano-British,
not Roman. Why would they have left?
>From: "brian quinn" <>
>Subject: [DNA] Roman genetic footprints
>Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 12:11:26 +1000
>I don't think that the superannuated troopers settled where they were
>stationed. They likely went to the coloniae of which there were only four
>Britain: Colchester, Gloucester, Lincoln and York.
>Around places like Lincoln nad other areas, the field boundaries the Romans
>laid out for their coloniae , called centuriations, can be traced.
>The surveyors cut right across the Bronze Age field boundaries, often
>NE SW orientation.
>For maps and info see
>And Carol for areas Aachen to Cologne see
>for centuriations around Aachen, Cologne etc. It is likely the natives were
>removed from that area and replaced with old soldiers.
>Below available at http://www.britannia.com/history/narromhist.html
>"temples, public squares and good houses." Many of these were built in
>former military garrisons that became the coloniae , the Roman chartered
>towns such as Colchester, Gloucester, Lincoln, and York (where Constantine
>was declared Emperor by his troops in 306 A.D.). Other towns, called
>municipia , included such foundations as St. Albans (Verulamium).
>Chartered towns were governed to a large extent on that of Rome. They were
>ruled by an ordo of 100 councillors (decurion ). who had to be local
>residents and own a certain amount of property. The ordo was run by two
>magistrates, rotated annually; they were responsible for collecting taxes,
>administering justice and undertaking public works. Outside the chartered
>town, the inhabitants were referred to as peregrini , or non-citizens. they
>were organized into local government areas known as civitates , largely
>based on pre-existing chiefdom boundaries. Canterbury and Chelmsford were
>two of the civitas capitals."
>I doubt very much any old soldier would have been left out on the edges of
>the empire. They set up Coloniae all over the Empire with big town in the
>middle with a decent garrison and forcibly removed the natives.
>But I wouldn't look for the Sarmatians around Ribchester, I would look for
>them south of the Humber/Mersey line, not actually in Lancs/Yorkshire.
>I suspect the soldiers had brothels near the forts, but that infanticide
>would certainly have been the norm, even amongst ladies that were more
>romantically attached. Soldiers maybe saved the start of a
>(acknowledged)family until they had their diploma and a farm o'land, and
>chidren whose paternity was more certain.
> >From above ref
>"Interestingly, Faerman et al.
>(1998) successfully sexed some of the Ashkelon babies
>and also found an excess of males. They connected this
>with the specific nature of that site: bathhouses often
>functioned as brothels, and courtesans may have selectively
>reared some offspring (mostly females) into their
>profession, discarding the others."
>Just as a matter of interest: Romano/British Cemeteries show a sex bias in
>"In this context it is of interest to note that
>most cemeteries in Britain, dating from the period
>when it was a province of the Roman Empire, show
>imbalanced adult sex ratios. Combined data from
>about 2400 adult burials from a number of large burial
>grounds reveal a sex ratio of 1.46:1 in favour of males
>And for those really really interested a paper on how the auxiliary units
>were often multi ethnic despite a particular ethnic start. Some units did
>have their families- however I suspect like an old time naval vessel
>to the Captains. http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/archive/00000261/01/haynes2.pdf
>Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 17:38:08 -0400
>From: ray <>
>Subject: Re: [DNA] Figuring Ancestrial Origin
>Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 18:04:38 -0400
>From: "Steven Bird" <>
>Subject: Re: [DNA] Roman genetic footprints
>Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
>Not at all. Sarmatians were from a part of the world (Black Sea region)
>that made their movement to the British isles, shall we say, more unlikely
>than if they lived in France. Since they are haplogroup G, then that
>haplogroup's appearance in a family found there prior to 1600 might have
>originated with these cavalry.
>Cassius Dio (Historiarum Romanorum quae Supersunt LXXI.xvi.2) records that
>5,500 Sarmatian cavalry were posted to Britain under the terms of the
>of AD175 with Sarmatia. If you want the real story of the Sarmatians, go
>Please don't conflate real history with imagined history, no matter what
>Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 18:11:31 -0400
>From: Carol Botteron <>
>There's quite a bit about Y haplogroup G and the Sarmatians at
>Also a link to the Haplogroup G mailing list.
>Is there anything similar to http://www.roman-britain.org
>for Roman Germany and Switzerland?
>My male relative is a G2*. Our paternal ancestors came from
>Switzerland, near the French border.
>Carol Botteron <>
>French Swiss and Hickson/Hixson/Hixon DNA projects
>To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
> with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
>quotes in the subject and the body of the message