Eastern Frontier Essay, Research Paper
Luttwak suggests grand
strategy? – military installations
result grand planning and second from Diocletian onwards defence in depth with
mobile field army units. ?
announcements ? gap between alleged motivation and practice – stated aims and
actual practice ? studies show claims of huge defensive system wrong.? Could they have carried out the work?? ?
Trajan?s Persian war
106 ? marked ?beginning of an obsession??
3r century faced with Sasanian strong military force. ?Shapur and Chosros I and II damaging
Natural to think
military installation were defensive against Persians and Tribes, but most of
period neither empires seriously thought of trying to defeat the other or
occupy territory ? system far more concerned with internal security, prestige
and policing border areas.? Legionary
fortresses housed much smaller units ? Roman Persian warfare more to do with
sieges of towns than fortles, soldiers may have been staying in the towns
Equal power, aggressive,
ruthless and capable – helplessness Eastern cities when faced army Chosroes I
and financial cost to empire ? peace treaty 562 ? Justinian?s successors still
engaged with problem of war ? reforms of Chosroes I led to strengthening
military aristocracy ?
Chosroes II despite
owing place to Maurice ? signs of Christian attachment, ruthless as CI. ?
Roman conquest out of
question bur in early 7th century Persians depart from this attitude
? near fatal blows to Roman cities in Asia Minor ? stimulated flight among
Christians.? Ruled for 15 years in
Byzantine East, yes through proxy but combo of this and decades of warfare
played a large role in explaining the ease of Islamic conquests. ?
Question of defence
system at all, many may have been there on an ad hoc basis and may not have
housed garrisons. ?
was Rome?s dealing with Arab tribes 4th century onwards both used as
military allies.? From 328 inscription
at Namara ?partial acculturation of Arab tribes and rulers living along the
edge of areas of Graeco Roman settlement? ?
Both empires relied
heavily on their tribal clientele – even fought whole battles for them.? Phylarchs increasingly important role in
security of border lands ? paid to d ? federates suspected of helping them when
moved north. ? old policy of clientage at expense of Roman army ? similar
policy to those employed earlier in the west ? could rebound to government?s
disadvantage.? Not even consistent ?
Justinian gave al-Harith titles of phylarch, patrician, and king to
counterbalance Lakhmids ? Justin II cut off subsidies and turned against
Mundhir son of al-Hairth 0 leaves Dara ad Apamea undefended. ?
Sparsity of Byzantine
forces at time of invasion ? linked to Justinian?s problems of manpower and
finance in west ? reliance on Arab federates, effects intensified 6th
century.? Limitanei not being paid,
records chaos and evidence withdrawal of troops from SE Palestine ? weakening
resistance to Islamic groups ? this with effects 7th century Persian
invasion explains surrender Udruh and Aila and opening up of route north ?
fateful consequences,? Heraclius
problems in recruiting and supplying adequate army against Persians suggest
military weakness a reality by 7th century. ?
Eastern provinces in 7th
century shared with West external threats and internal fragmentation: changes
in settlement, Christianisation, impact of military and fiscal needs all
evident before Persian invasion and arrival of Muhammed.? When Muslims left Arabia and encountered
Roman troops in Palestine and Syria found Roman Near East in ferment of change.