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War in Late Antiquity: A Social History

War in Late Antiquity: A Social History

A. D. Lee

ISBN: 978-0-631-22926-1

Sep 2007, Wiley-Blackwell

308 pages

In Stock

$52.95

Description

The first book to focus on the social impact of warfare and the Roman army in Late Antiquity.

  • Explores the implications of war and the army in a broad range of areas encompassing politics, the economy, and social life
  • Pays particular attention to the experience of war from the perspective of
    non-combatants
  • Investigates the religious dimension of military life and the role of the army in implementing religious policy
  • Approaches familiar subjects from new perspectives, offering novel insights into the many facets of late Roman history

List of Figures ix

List of Maps x

List of Tables xi

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xv

Selected Roman Emperors during Late Antiquity xvi

Selected Persian Kings during Late Antiquity xviii

Table of Significant Events xix

Glossary xxi

List of Abbreviations xxiv

Introduction 1

1. War and its Causes in Late Antiquity: An Overview 3

2. The Evolution of the Late Roman Army: An Outline 9

3. Ancient Sources for War and the Army in Late Antiquity: A Guide 14

1 Emperors and Warfare 21

1.1. Changing Patterns of Imperial Involvement in Warfare 21

1.2. The Unchanging Ideology of Victory 37

2 Military Loyalties and Civil War 51

2.1. Retaining Soldiers’ Loyalties 51

2.2. Civil War and Military Unrest 66

3 The Infrastructure of War 74

3.1. Manpower 74

3.2. Supplying the Army 85

3.3. Fortifications 98

4 The Economic Impact of War 101

4.1. Economic Benefits of War 101

4.2. Economic Costs of War 105

5 The Experience of War 123

5.1. Soldiers 125

5.2. Urban Communities 133

5.3. Rural Communities 138

5.4. Women 141

6 Soldiers and Society 147

6.1. Soldiers and their Families 147

6.2. Interaction between Military and Non-Military Elites 153

6.3. Military–Civilian Interaction at Non-Elite Levels 163

7 Army, Warfare, and Religion 176

7.1. The Changing Religious Complexion of the Army 176

7.2. The Army and Religious Policy 193

7.3. A Christian Empire at War 205

Notes 212

Bibliography of Ancient Sources 234

Bibliography of Modern Works 240

Index of Ancient Sources 263

General Index 270

"This is a fascinating study offering a different perspective on warfare in the late Roman empire … . Extremely user-friendly and contains a wealth of useful sources and resources." (Journal of Classics Teaching, Autumn 2008)

“A very useful contribution to the study of Roman military … precise organization and ample references will make it easy to return to the book again and again.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

“Lee provides a detailed analysis … .An excellent scholar, [he] cleverly exploits the ancient historians … .His writing style is lucid …. .Recommended.” (Choice)


  • Focuses on the wider context and impact of warfare and the army in Late Antiquity, from the third to the early seventh century AD
  • Explores the implications of war and the army in a broad range of areas encompassing politics, the economy, and social life
  • Pays particular attention to the experience of war from the perspective of non-combatants
  • Investigates the religious dimension of military life and the role of the army in implementing religious policy
  • Approaches familiar subjects from new perspectives, offering novel insights into the many facets of late Roman history