Emperors and Armies, ad 235-395

Michael Whitby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter shows that the relationship of emperors and armies had always been intricate, with the realities conveniently concealed behind civilian fictions. In the later Empire military need dictated various changes in Roman military forces in terms of numbers, balance and disposition of forces, and recruitment; the imperial adoption of Christianity also affected the religious attachment of soldiers. These changes should not be seen in too negative a light: after the difficulties of the 3rd century, the Roman army operated as a powerfully effective fighting force throughout the 4th century, and it remained an essentially Roman institution throughout.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApproaching Late Antiquity: The Transformation from Early to Late Empire
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherSIPRI/Oxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191708978, 9780199297375
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Originally published 2004. Published in print 2006. Published online 2010.


  • Emperors
  • Roman army
  • Roman empire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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