The Circumstances Essay, Research Paper
Constantine reformed administrative and military structures of the state ?
strength of 4th century empire and survival through 5th. ?
Diocletian work on
border ? reorganisation of provinces, rebuilding creation of forts, need for
permanent garrisons orientated Roman Empire toward defence.? Multiple field armies by Constantine
increased specialisation? – limited
capacity offensive wars beyond border ? cost of maintaining expanded force.
Avoid costs and losses restrict army to defensive duties. ?
showed how unwise large scale aggressive war was, defeat Adrianople reinforced
a determination to avoid risks. ?
string sense of alienation? from the
military ? part in fact due to barbarians in army, soldiers dangerous to
civilian population? -worth great sums
of tax payers money. ?
Yes Diocletian sets up
admin systems for setting up tax, tax reap good compared to declining
base.? Frequent shortages of pay and
supplies for troops.? Corruption and
difficulties raising money 360 ? Ursulus comessacrarum largitionum ?Look
with what spirt the cities are defended by the soldiers, who are enriched by
the depletion of the Empire?s wealth? ?
Views like this extend
sympathy non-military approach to foreign relations ? head on and defeat
tradition.? History fourth and fifth
centuries attempts in tension with this tradition, to develop new approaches to
foreign relations ? reconceptualise outside / Barbarian a necessary exercise if
relation to be modified. ?
Rokman attitudes to
Barbarians still sub-human despite so many in the army and Priscus less so ?The
Barbarian?- Barbarians ability to coordinate actions, form confederacies,
appreciation and utilisation of skills ? or Attila?s diplomacy etc, or entry
into society via marriage etc. ?
negative towards Barbarian ? even though many assimilate into Roman society ?
Stilicho is a Vandal ? Syneius of Cyrene 399 ? only place for Barbarian in
Nbarbarians settle in
west and despite Ostrogoths leaving for Italy under Theoderic ? despite purge
399 ? continued demand for Barbarians in army. ?
Persia under Ardashir
I and ShapurI heroic warrior kingdom ? aggression driven by desire for glory
and booty.? War like impulses driven
from social structure ? not medieval Europe feudalism, rested on hereditary
personal relationships between various groups that made up the population ? top
was, inc Sasanid House, ruling nobility derive from inherited control of the land
and its resources, heroic descent + wars.?
King of Kings simply kings in different regions that made up
geographical whole. ?
Persian Kingdom – Eran
and Aneran ? Iran and Non-Iran ? Iran regarded as main deal, others as
extrinsic.? Armenia may have fluctuated
between status and most regions tend to resist attempts to bind them further
into centralised state ? Kawad and Khosro I ?
7 major offices in SE
from 7 great families ? including Sasan family ? eroded away in Roman Empire ?
elite of service military and civil.?
Long-service family Anici could come no where near relative status of S
Persian rulers ? no imperial aggrandisement Shapur I when captured cities did
not attempt to hold on to what he had taken ? marched inhabitants off to Persian
as loot. Not expansionist but need of Persian Kings for honours and spoils of
war maintain position with Persia.?
Skills carried off in skill low Persia more important that territory.? Beyond this most useful thing is payment
from Emperor, or they saw it tribute, which can be seen as political
Sasanian age of heroic
war ended with Shapur I ? 6 rules 40 years post him ? internal difficulties
that distract them from war ? dissentions amongst nobility, opposition with
Sasanid house, efforts by Magian priesthood unified Zoroastrian church. ?
great control of law etc.? Secular
counter balance of RE lacking in SE.?
Although Z said war against non-believers a virtue, failure of
large-scale conversion outside confines of border losses political tool of
evangelisation beyond border. ?
Death of Shapur I to
grand invasion Kawad 502 ? very constraint in their dealings.? Significant military penetrations shows
restraint:? invasions of south
Mesopotamia Armenia by Nersh in 296 and Galerius reposted 298,invasions of
northern Mesopotamia, invasions north M by Shapur II in 359 and 360,
hostilities initiated by Romans 421-2 ? yes Roman defences may have stopped
them 337 ? 350 ? large-scale efforts were comparatively rare balance of large scale
aggression Roman side ? Persian limit themselves to threats and cross-border
Despite Dio Cassius
and Herodian Persian harboured no desire Achaemenid holdings up to Thrace ? not
solely imperialist mindset, but no indication of a Persian will to world
dominion such as wars fostered by a Roman and Christian universalism. Shapur II
real aim overturning settlement of 299 ? no evidence harboured broader
territorial ambitions ? desire at most for hegemony taking the form of Cesar
tributary boasts. ?
Ate 3rd and
4th centuries internal and external distractions for Persians ?
improved defensive capacity of Romans developed under Diocletian and
Constantine from 350 raiding of Kidarites in NE – paralleled, not equalled,
pressures Roman suffer on Northern border ? drew off attention and resources ?
Internally ? King
could be distracted by attempts from priesthood and nobility to limit power and
control use ? polygamy and no primogeniture encouraged and obscured succession
problems. Distracted Western frontier as it seems initiative from King
necessary for anything other than minor undertakings. ?
King faces difficulty
in marshalling resources for full-scale campaign against Romans ? or even
enough to maintain a strong defensive position ? King only small standing army
needed nobility support and release, makes it a slow process to raise an army ?
inhibited development of Romanesque infrastructure for supply and maintenance ?
King effort to have
more manpower and skill under his direct control ? same looting, extortion or
agreement had aim of raising money so King could have direct control..? If Romans refused go on booty and loot raids
which would get the required funds, stability and honour and glory for the
King.? When defences weakened in 502 ?
penetrations increased King?s position; direct control, finance and power with
no corresponding increase ins security for Persian empire. ?
Factors positively add
for search for military compromise, lessen need for military action.? Southern Mesopotamia with Jewish influence
and Babylonia ? cultivated and sued in administration.? Admin and legalistic tradition counter
balance heroic Iranian tradition, alternatives to the glory of war. History
bring heighten tradition of diplomatic contact and peaceful communication.? King exploited communication and movement
through the borderlands ? various levels of contact with the Roman side.? Association and use of the image of
Babylonia ? respectfully incorporated into Graeco-Roman historical tradition. ?
gave Persia face of stable, enduring, civilised polity with which to deal on
more than military basis.