The Circumstances


The Circumstances Essay, Research Paper


Diocletian and

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. ?

Julian exception

showed how unwise large scale aggressive war was, defeat Adrianople reinforced

a determination to avoid risks. ?

4th century

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. ?

Prevailing attitude

negative towards Barbarian ? even though many assimilate into Roman society ?

Stilicho is a Vandal ? Syneius of Cyrene 399 ? only place for Barbarian in

slavery. ?

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

family. ?

3rd century

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

subordination. ?

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. ?

Zoroastrian exerted

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

raiding. ?

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.

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