Professor Elizabeth Greene looks at shoes differently than most people. At the recent 2013 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, she presented research on how Roman children's shoes reflected their family status, especially in military familities.
“For a really long time, until the 1990s, really, no one thought about or studied families in the Roman army because soldiers weren’t legally allowed to marry,” Greene said. “It was a bastion of masculinity – this masculine, male-dominated environment and no one placed women and children there. But when you look at the material and historical record, there’s a lot of evidence of women and children there. One piece of evidence is these children’s shoes, and we have shoes from the very beginning.”