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Stratum plus. 2020. No6

E. A. Mekhamadiev (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)

Movements of the Expeditionary Troops of comitatenses within the Later Roman Empire at the turn of the 4th and 5th Centuries: on the changing of functions and rank of military units

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Pages: 241-252

During all the 4th and at the turn of the 4th and 5th centuries, the central government of the Later Roman Empire constantly moved expeditionary troops from one region to another, and these movements generated essential changes of rank and functions of the old detachments, which already existed to the moment of those displacements. Meanwhile, we may question how territorial movements of large and massive forces made new detachments, or, to be more precise, how these movements filled up and reinforced expeditionary armies by new military units. The special case of the turn of the 4th and 5th centuries was that during those times the central government had settled many barbarian tribes inside the Empire in order to convert them into military allies of the Empire (the so-called federates). The author turned his attention to narrative sources (the letters of Ambrosius Mediolanensis, the world chronicle of Paulus Orosius and the prominent “New History” of Zosimus) and epigraphic data to trace three cases from military history of that period. All the three points are related to territorial movements of expeditionary troops, the author means 1) a military campaign against the Alamannic tribe of the Iuthungi held in 384 in Raetia by the Huns, who were the allies of the Empire, then 2) a status of military detachments of Cimbriani and Honoriaci = Honoriani, more precisely, their participation in internal political disorders during the first quarter of the 5th century, and finally, 3) the ninth vexillation of the Dalmatians (a detachment of Dalmatian cavalry) and its functions during 368—371 AD.

Keywords: Roman Empire, territorial movements, expeditionary troops, frontier garrisons, the Huns, the Federates, Pannonia, Raetia, usurpations, the Dalmatian cavalry, Arabia Petreaea

Information about author:

Evgeniy Mekhamadiev (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Saint Petersburg State University. Universitetskaya Emb., 7/9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]

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