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Approaching Late AntiquityThe Transformation from Early to Late Empire$
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Simon Swain and Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297375.001.0001

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Emperors and Armies, ad 235–395

Emperors and Armies, ad 235–395

(p.156) 7 Emperors and Armies, AD 235–395
Approaching Late Antiquity

Michael Whitby

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the relationship of emperors and armies had always been intricate, with the realities conveniently concealed behind civilian fictions. In the later Empire military need dictated various changes in Roman military forces in terms of numbers, balance and disposition of forces, and recruitment; the imperial adoption of Christianity also affected the religious attachment of soldiers. These changes should not be seen in too negative a light: after the difficulties of the 3rd century, the Roman army operated as a powerfully effective fighting force throughout the 4th century, and it remained an essentially Roman institution throughout.

Keywords:   Roman Empire, Roman army, emperors

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