By Francois Verlinden
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Extra info for M113 (Part 2)
71 Caesar himself was personally acquainted with the qualities of the Germanic comitatus. His retinue included a band of 400 picked Germanic horsemen who functioned as his bodyguard. 72 Even if the numbers were sometimes exaggerated, this historical information suggests a marked rise in horsemanship in the Lower Rhine region during the Late Iron Age. It also seems to indicate that the widespread fame of the Lower Rhine cavalry, and especially the Batavian cavalry, in the early Roman period was founded upon pre-Roman developments.
Nevertheless, he interprets this development not in terms of social disintegration or individualisation, but of a growing diversification of an individual’s social identities. This term perhaps suggests too readily that a new set of identities was being created during this phase. It would be more appropriate to speak of major shifts in the relative importance of the various identities that individuals took on. There seems to have been a greater emphasis on the expression of supra-local identities.
The few bracelets in the latter two areas may indicate incidental marriage relationships. . . The changes in the Lower Rhineland suggest a considerable social dynamic in the Late Iron Age, involving processes of hierarchisation and increasing complexity. The issuing of coins, the rise of regional sanctuaries that were linked to the realm of warfare, and the emergence of specialised crafts, all point to the growing power of elite groups.