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. ?
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
Rome initiate war on
rational grounds 2.
consciously choosen by Rome 3.
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.
Roman strategy relies on physical evidence and deduce strategy or tactics from
locations etc. ?
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? ?
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