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A.H.M. Jones and the army of the fourth century

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Chapter Summary

In the Later Roman Empire A.H.M. Jones gives the army, like other institutions, just one chapter, two-thirds of it to the well-documented army of the fourth century, the army of Ammianus Marcellinus, the Notitia Dignitatum and the Theodosian Code. Jones? sources for the army ranged far more widely than this trinity: over inscriptions and papyri, notably from Oxyrhynchus and Panopolis to the Fayyûm , as well as technical writers such as the anonymous De Rebus Bellicis and Vegetius? Epitoma rei militaris. In this chapter, Jones comments ,?Constantine appears to have been the innovator who created the army of the fourth century.? The use of detachments is the key to understanding the evolution of the late-Roman mobile army. Jones may have exaggerated the contrast between Diocletian and Constantine, and played down the third-century evolution, but these are questions of emphasis where scholars will differ.

Keywords: A.H.M. Jones; Ammianus Marcellinus; Constantine; Diocletian; late-Roman mobile army; Later Roman Empire; legionary detachment; Notitia Dignitatum; Theodosian Code; third-century evolution



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