Benjamin Issac The Limits Of Empire


Benjamin Issac ? The Limits Of Empire Essay, Research Paper


Frontier policy until

Diocletian expansionist persistently.?

Some frontiers more policing than anything else.? Saracens took over some of thee duties in

the Byzantine period. ?

Post Julian Emperors

no longer hoped to destroy the Persian empire ? but sill no spirit of

cooperation when need with Huns in north. ?

Most fighting

Mesopotamia no functioning system of defence even in this area during the

period ? were forces whose function to prevent nomadic raids, but major

expeditions came in easily.? Had to

attack heavily fortified cities ? defence responsibility of local population. ?

Common idea Rome clear

ideas of which boundaries would guarantee safety and security.? Trajan?s campaigns often see as search for

defensible boundaries. ?

Historians often think

of constant pressure of borders. ?

Common approach ?

under Principate establishment of secure boundaries first concern of Romans ?

security of inhabitants prime importance, clear ideology ? was as an evil,

sometimes necessary to protect integrity of state ? based on a number of

assumptions: 1.

Rome initiate war on

rational grounds 2.

Frontier lines

consciously choosen by Rome 3.

Geographical factors

decide position ? implies some kind of planning 4.

Use of natural

features as well as artificial features for defence. 5.

Only went to war to

secure peace in provinces. 6.

Reconstruction of

Roman strategy relies on physical evidence and deduce strategy or tactics from

locations etc. ?

Contemporary authors

did not think strategy, may well have had strategy but no systems

analysis.? We can try and piece it

together.? Did understand subtleties of

deterrence etc.? Luttwak thinks they

knew about subtleties of defence etc, but why didn?t they talk about it? ?

Interpretation of

distribution of troops based on logical assumptions.? If all we are told went to war to subdue and annex, how do we

tell whether unexpressed doctrine of economy of force?? Not just chasing a chimera but a Utopia.? Yes well organised army and values, led to

frontier management? ?

Luttwak talks of

logical well-defined system ? insightful, but did it exist? ?

Hypothesis ? system

existed to defend and enhance the security of the empire.? Based on modern military and modern

literature not on archaeological or written sources.? Cannot prove or disprove ? test basic assumptions

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