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The Role of the Army in the Government of the Roman Near East between 64 BC-AD 285: State Building and Provincial Development

WATSON, GARY,THOMAS (2024) The Role of the Army in the Government of the Roman Near East between 64 BC-AD 285: State Building and Provincial Development. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 25 May 2027.


This thesis looks at Roman provincial government and the development of the provinces in the Near East strictly from the perspective of the army and its personnel. The thesis is based on the premise that Roman provincial government, and the provinces themselves, originated in, and were orientated around, military activity and that administrative practices evolved from this context. This has not been sufficiently emphasised in scholarship, nor has it been the primary focus of any academic study, and yet any study of the provinces, provincial government, or provincial development, must (and does) by necessity draw on the activity of, and evidence from, the army: whether it be soldiers or high-level officers and commanders, the latter of which also includes provincial governors. The thesis is split into two parts. The first half looks at the role of the army in establishing a provincial infrastructure (e.g. military bases, administrative centres, forts and roads etc.) that enabled it to carry out an effective occupation. This also includes the story of how each area of the Near East became a province as this nearly always went hand in hand with the establishment of infrastructure. The second part of the thesis looks at how this infrastructure was used by soldiers and officers to carry out administration. It assesses what the latter term really means and how this administration emerged from the context of a military occupation and how it may have changed over time. This thesis challenges terminology and conceptions concerning the army and its role in maintaining and sustaining the empire and elucidates its role and centrality in establishing and governing the provinces of the Near East.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Classics and Ancient History, Department of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 May 2024 10:34

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