Congratulations to Alastair Lumsden


Congratulations to Alastair Lumsden on the outcome of his PhD examination!

Alastair’s thesis explored Cisalpine masculinity and warfare over the period c. 400-50 BC by skilfully combining literary, iconographic and artefactual evidence with new sociological models. A statistical analysis was undertaken of the composition of weapon burials from the largest and best-documented Gallic necropoleis in Cispadane and Transpadane Gaul. This employed a holistic treatment of all grave goods, not just weaponry but toilet items and other classes of artefacts, thus facilitating interpretations of specific combinations of La Tène, Golaseccan, and Italic mortuary goods, and their role in status display. These ancient strategies differed between Cisalpine Gallic groups in chronological, regional and intra-regional contexts. Comparisons were drawn with how elite masculinity was expressed amongst other contemporary tribal groups from Transalpine Gaul, and the Italian and Iberian peninsulas. Research into contemporary Samnite and Scandinavian societies was also brought to bear using recently developed models of elite masculinity and hierarchical positioning. The second half of the thesis combined these findings with an examination of Graeco-Roman battle narratives involving Cisalpine Gallic forces, thereby constructing the first in-depth analysis of organisational and tactical capabilities of these warrior bodies. Ultimately, this thesis demonstrated that the Cisalpine Gallic tribes experienced significant 3rdcentury socio-political development which greatly increased the sophistication of their warcraft and military forces. 

We wish Alastair all the best in his next career moves, and we hope to hear from him soon!

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