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The New Frontiers Of Late Antiquity In The Near East. From Diocletian To Justinian

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses a more general issue: is it methodologically correct to argue that all late antique near-eastern frontiers stretching from the Euphrates to the Red Sea must be seen as a more or less coherent system having the same demographic, economic and military features in all its sections? One main point must be stressed in order to understand the history of the late-antique frontier. The renovation of the whole near-eastern military system, as accomplished by Diocletian after the crisis of the third century, had an extraordinarily deep impact. The first example is the section of the frontier running from Sura to Palmyra, stretching for a length of something less than 200km. The Notitia Dignitatum lists three legions deployed along it, the XVI Flavia Firma at Sura, the IV Scythica at Oriza, and the I Illyricorum at Palmyra.

Keywords: Diocletian; late antique frontiers; Palmyra; Sura



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