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Client Kings Armies Under Augustus: The Case Of Herod

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Chapter Summary

After defeating Antony in the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Augustus inherited a swollen army in urgent need of pruning and reform. At the time the Romans still tended to think of their legions as regiments called up for comparatively short periods of time for particular wars. Unlike Hellenistic monarchies they did not resort to mercenaries for this, but relied on men supplied on an ad hoc basis by their subjects or allies in nearby provinces. Client kings were not exempt from supplying troops when called upon to do so. What steps did Augustus take to reduce the Roman forces to an affordable size and fit them for his concept of empire? This chapter examines the role that was assigned to the armies of allied kings and, in particular, the place occupied by Herod in the military situation in the Near East at the time.

Keywords: Augustus; Herod; Roman army



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