Thracians in the Roman Imperial Navy

  title={Thracians in the Roman Imperial Navy},
  author={T{\o}nnes Bekker-Nielsen},
  journal={International Journal of Maritime History},
  pages={479 - 494}
The Roman fleets of the imperial period were crewed by provincials, not by Italians. Of the sailors and soldiers whose names and geographical origin are attested epigraphically (on military diplomas or epitaphs) almost 15 per cent claim a Thracian origin; and among these, the majority identify themselves as Bessi, a tribe in the mountains of southern Thrace that is not known to have had a tradition of seafaring. The explanations proposed by earlier research include Theodor Mommsen’s contention… 

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