Talk:Roman Empire/History of the Roman Empire

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Augustus and the early emperors[edit]

Octavian, the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar, had made himself a central military figure during the chaotic period following Caesar's assassination. In 43 BC at the age of twenty he became one of the three members of the Second Triumvirate, a political alliance with Marcus Lepidus, and Mark Antony.[1] Octavian and Antony defeated the last of Caesar's assassins in 42 BC at the Battle of Philippi, although after this point, tensions began to rise between the two. The triumvirate ended in 32 BC, torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members: Lepidus was forced into exile and Antony, who had allied himself with his lover Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, committed suicide in 30 BC following his defeat at the Battle of Actium (31 BC) by the fleet of Octavian. Octavian subsequently annexed Egypt to the empire.[2] Now sole ruler of Rome, Octavian began a full-scale reformation of military, fiscal and political matters. The senate granted him power over appointing its membership and over the governors of the provinces.[3] In doing so, the senate had created for Octavian what would become the office of Roman emperor. In 27 BC, Octavian offered to transfer control of the state back to the senate.[4] The senate refused the offer, which in effect was a ratification of his position within the state and of the new political order. Octavian was then granted the title of "Augustus" by the Senate,[5] and took the title of Princeps or "first citizen".[3]

As the adopted heir of Julius Caesar, Octavian, now referred to as "Augustus", took Caesar as a component of his name. By the time of the reign of Vespasian a century later, the term Caesar had evolved from a family name into a formal title. The senate re-classified the provinces at the frontiers (where the vast majority of the legions were stationed) as imperial provinces, and gave control of them to Augustus. The peaceful provinces were re-classified as senatorial provinces, and authority over them was retained by the senate.[6] The army, which had reached an unprecedented size because of the civil wars, was reduced in size by Augustus. Augustus also created nine special cohorts to maintain peace in Italy, with three, the Praetorian Guard, kept in Rome. Augustus completed the conquest of Hispania, while subordinate generals expanded Roman possessions in Africa and Asia Minor. Augustus' final task was to ensure an orderly succession of his powers. His stepson Tiberius had conquered Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and temporarily Germania for the Empire, and was thus a prime candidate. In 6 BC, Augustus granted some of his powers to his stepson,[7] and soon after he recognized Tiberius as his heir. In 13 AD, a law was passed which extended Augustus' powers over the provinces to Tiberius,[8] so that Tiberius' legal powers were equivalent to, and independent from, those of Augustus.[8] In 14 AD Augustus died at the age of seventy-five, having ruled the empire for forty years, and was succeeded as emperor by Tiberius.

The early years of Tiberius's reign were relatively peaceful. However, his rule soon became characterized by paranoia. He began a series of treason trials and executions, which continued until his death in 37.[9] The logical successor to the much hated Tiberius was his 24-year-old grandnephew Caligula. Caligula's reign began well, but after an illness he became tyrannical and insane. In 41 Caligula was assassinated, and for two days following his assassination, the senate debated the merits of restoring the Republic.[10] Due to the demands of the army, however, Claudius was ultimately declared emperor. Claudius was neither paranoid like his uncle Tiberius, nor insane like his nephew Caligula, and was therefore able to administer the Empire with reasonable ability. Claudius ordered the suspension of further attacks across the Rhine,[11] setting what was to become the permanent limit of the Empire's expansion in this direction.[12] He also resumed the Roman conquest of Britannia that Julius Caesar had begun in the 50s BC. In his own family life Claudius was less successful, as he married his niece, who may very well have poisoned him in 54.[13] Nero, who succeeded Claudius, focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and increasing the cultural capital of the Empire. Nero, though, is remembered as a tyrant, and was forced to commit suicide in 68. Historians refer to the dynasty of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero as the "Julio-Claudian Dynasty".[14]

Vespasian commissioned the Colosseum in Rome.

Since he had no heir, Nero's suicide was followed by a brief period of civil war, known as the "Year of the Four Emperors". Between June 68 and December 69, Rome witnessed the successive rise and fall of Galba, Otho and Vitellius until the final accession of Vespasian. These events showed that any successful general could legitimately claim a right to the throne.[15] Augustus had established a standing army, where individual soldiers served under the same military governors over an extended period of time. The consequence was that the soldiers in the provinces developed a degree of loyalty to their commanders, which they did not have for the emperor. Thus the Empire was, in a sense, a union of inchoate principalities, which could have disintegrated at any time.[16] Through his sound fiscal policy, the emperor Vespasian was able to build up a surplus in the treasury, and began construction on the Colosseum. Titus, Vespasian's successor, quickly proved his merit, although his short reign was marked by disaster, including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii. He held the opening ceremonies in the still unfinished Colosseum, but died in 81. His brother Domitian succeeded him. Having exceedingly poor relations with the Senate, Domitian was murdered in September 96. The reigns of Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian are commonly referred to as the Flavian Dynasty.

Pax Romana[edit]

The next century came to be known as the period of the "Five Good Emperors", in which the successions were peaceful and the Empire was prosperous. Each emperor of this period was adopted by his predecessor. The last two of the "Five Good Emperors" and Commodus are also called Antonines.[17] After his accession, Nerva, who succeeded Domitian, set a new tone: he restored much confiscated property and involved the Senate in his rule. Starting in the year 101, Trajan undertook two military campaigns against gold-rich Dacia, which he finally conquered in 106 (see Trajan's Dacian Wars).[18][19][20] Following an uncertain number of battles, Trajan marched into Dacia,[21] besieged the Dacian capital and razed it to the ground.[22] Gibbon writes that the Dacians had "insulted, with impunity, the majesty of Rome" and that "this memorable war was terminated, after lasting five years, by an absolute submission of the barbarians."[23] With Dacia quelled, Trajan subsequently invaded the Parthian empire to the east. In 112, Trajan marched on Armenia and annexed it to the Roman Empire. Then he turned south into Parthia, taking several cities before declaring Mesopotamia a new province of the Empire, and lamenting that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great. Gibbon summarized Trajan's reign by writing, "Every day the astonished senate received intelligence of new names and new nations that acknowledged his sway," and that numerous kings, including "even the Parthian monarch himself had accepted their diadems from the hands of the emperor," that independent tribes had "implored his protection, and that the rich countries of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria were reduced into the state of provinces".[23] During his rule, the Roman Empire expanded to its largest extent, and would never again advance so far to the east.[24]

Trajan was succeeded by Hadrian, whose reign was marked by a general lack of major military conflicts, but he had to defend the vast territories that Trajan had acquired, and had to give back some of those territories shortly after becoming emperor. Gibbon writes, "Hadrian wisely resolved to surrender these eastern provinces" and that "in compliance with the precept of Augustus, once more established the Euphrates as the frontier of the empire."[25] Antoninus Pius succeeded Hadrian, and his reign was comparatively peaceful.[26] Gibbon notes that the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, "were scarcely disturbed by any hostilities, and offer the fair prospect of universal peace" as they "persisted in the design of maintaining the dignity of the empire, without attempting to enlarge its limits."[25] During the reign of Antoninus Pius' successor Marcus Aurelius, Germanic tribes launched many raids along the northern border. The reign of Commodus is often seen as the end of the Pax Romana. Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius, breaking the scheme of adoptive successors that had turned out so well. Commodus became paranoid and slipped into insanity before being murdered in 192.[27]

An empire in crisis[edit]

Extent of the empire in 210 AD, during the reign of Septimius Severus

The Severan Dynasty, which lasted from 193 until 235, included several increasingly troubled reigns.[28] A generally successful ruler, Septimius Severus, the first of the dynasty, cultivated the army's support and substituted equestrian officers for senators in key administrative positions.[29] In 197, he waged a brief and successful war against the Parthian Empire, during which time the Parthian capital was sacked, and the northern half of Mesopotamia was restored to Rome. Severus' successor Caracalla passed uninterrupted for a while. Most notably, he extended full Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Empire. In 217, Caracalla marched on Parthia from Edessa.[30] Increasingly unstable and autocratic, Caracalla was assassinated while on the march by Macrinus,[31][32] who proclaimed himself emperor in his place. The troops of Elagabalus declared him to be emperor instead, and the two met in battle at the Battle of Antioch in AD 218, in which Macrinus was defeated.[33] Elagabalus was murdered shortly afterwards;[33] After overthrowing the Parthian confederacy,[34][35] the Sassanid Empire that arose from its remains pursued a more aggressive expansionist policy than their predecessors[36][37] and continued to make war against Rome. In 230, the first Sassanid emperor attacked Roman territory,[37]Alexander Severus, the last of the dynasty, was proclaimed emperor, but was unable to control the army and was assassinated in 235.[33][38] His murderers raised in his place Maximinus Thrax, who was in turn murdered[39] when it appeared to his forces as though he would not be able to best the senatorial candidate for the throne, Gordian III. In 243, Gordian's army defeated the Sassanids at the Battle of Resaena.[40] His own fate is not certain, although he may have been murdered by his successor, Philip the Arab, who ruled for only a few years before the army proclaimed another general as emperor, this time Decius, who defeated Philip and seized the throne.[41] Gallienus, emperor from AD 260 to 268, saw a remarkable array of usurpers.

A military that was often willing to support its commander over its emperor meant that commanders could establish sole control of the army they were responsible for and usurp the imperial throne. The so-called Crisis of the Third Century describes the turmoil of murder, usurpation and in-fighting that is traditionally seen as developing after the murder of Alexander Severus in 235.[42] During the near-collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284, 25 emperors reigned, and the empire experienced extreme military, political, and economic crises. Additionally, in 251, the Plague of Cyprian broke out, causing large-scale mortality which may have seriously affected the ability of the Empire to defend itself.[43] In 253 the Sassanids under Shapur I penetrated deeply into Roman territory, defeating a Roman force at the Battle of Barbalissos[44] and conquering and plundering Antioch.[34][44] In 260 at the Battle of Edessa the Sassanids defeated the Roman army[45] and captured the emperor Valerian.[34][37]

Relief from a 3rd-century sarcophagus depicting a battle between Romans and Germanic warriors; the central figure is perhaps the emperor Hostilian (d. 251)

The essential problem of large tribal groups on the frontier remained much the same as the situation Rome faced in earlier centuries; the 3rd century saw a marked increase in the overall threat. Some mix of Germanic peoples, Celts, and tribes of mixed Celto-Germanic ethnicity were settled in the lands of Germania from the 1st century onwards.[46][47] The assembled warbands of the Alamanni frequently crossed the border, attacking Germania Superior such that they were almost continually engaged in conflicts with the Roman Empire. However, their first major assault deep into Roman territory did not come until 268. In that year the Romans were forced to denude much of their German frontier of troops in response to a massive invasion by another new Germanic tribal confederacy, the Goths, from the east. The pressure of tribal groups pushing into the Empire was the end result of a chain of migrations with its roots far to the east.[48] The Alamanni seized the opportunity to launch a major invasion of Gaul and northern Italy. However, the Visigoths were defeated in battle that summer and then routed in the Battle of Naissus.[49] The Goths remained a major threat to the Empire but directed their attacks away from Italy itself for several years after their defeat. The Alamanni on the other hand resumed their drive towards Italy almost immediately. They defeated Aurelian at the Battle of Placentia in 271 but were beaten back for a short time, only to reemerge fifty years later. The core problems would remain and cause the eventual destruction of the western empire.

Diocletian and Constantine[edit]

The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St Mark's, Venice

The accession of Diocletian, who reigned from 284 until 305, marks the end of the period conventionally known as the Crisis of the Third Century. Diocletian was able to address many of the acute problems experienced during this crisis, including a treaty in 297 with Narseh that produced a peace between Rome and the Sassanid Empire that lasted until 337. Diocletian, a usurper himself, defeated Carinus to become emperor. Diocletian saw the vast empire as ungovernable, and therefore split the Roman Empire in half and created two equal emperors to rule under the title of Augustus. In doing so, he effectively created what would become the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. In 293 authority was further divided, as each Augustus took a junior Emperor called a Caesar to provide a line of succession. This constituted what is now known as the Tetrarchy ("rule of four"). Some small measure of stability again returned, with the empire split into a tetrarchy of two greater and two lesser emperors, a system that staved off civil wars for a short time until AD 312. The transitions of this period mark the beginnings of Late Antiquity.[50]

The Roman Empire in 337 AD during the reign of Constantine the Great.

The Tetrarchy effectively collapsed with the death of Constantius Chlorus, the first of the Constantinian dynasty, in 306. Constantius's troops immediately proclaimed his son Constantine the Great as Augustus. A series of civil wars broke out, which ended with the entire empire being united under Constantine. In 312, relations between the tetrarchy collapsed for good. Constantine legalised Christianity definitively in 313 through the Edict of Milan.[51] From AD 314 onwards, he defeated Licinius in a series of battles. Constantine then turned to Maxentius, beating him in the Battle of Verona and the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

War in Persia and Germania[edit]

Just before the death of Constantine I in 337, Shapur II broke the peace and renewed what would become a twenty-six-year conflict with the Sassanid Empire, attempting with little success to conquer Roman fortresses in the region. In 361, after further episodes of civil war, Julian became emperor. His edict of toleration in 362 ordered the reopening of pagan temples, and, more problematically for the Christian Church, the recalling of previously exiled Christian bishops. Julian eventually resumed the war against Shapur II of Persia, although he received a mortal wound at the Battle of Ctesiphon and died in 363. The Romans were victorious but were unable to take the city and were forced to retreat. There were several later wars.[52] Julian's officers then elected Jovian as emperor. Jovian ceded territories won from the Persians as far back as Trajan's time, and restored the privileges of Christianity, before dying in 364. Upon Jovian's death, Valentinian I, the first of the Valentinian dynasty, was elected Augustus, and chose his brother Valens to serve as his co-emperor.[53] In 365, Procopius managed to bribe two legions, who then proclaimed him Augustus. War between the two rival Eastern Roman Emperors continued until Procopius was defeated, although in 367, eight-year-old Gratian was proclaimed emperor by the other two. In 375 Valentinian I led his army in a campaign against a Germanic tribe, but died shortly thereafter. Succession did not go as planned. Gratian was then a 16-year-old and arguably ready to act as Emperor, but the troops proclaimed his infant half-brother emperor under the title Valentinian II, and Gratian acquiesced.[54]

Theodosius I, as depicted on the Missorium Theodosii (388 AD)

Meanwhile, the Eastern Roman Empire faced its own problems with Germanic tribes. One tribe fled their former lands and sought refuge in the Eastern Roman Empire. Valens let them settle on the southern bank of the Danube in 376, but they soon revolted against their Roman hosts. Valens personally led a campaign against them in 378.[55] However this campaign proved disastrous for the Romans. The two armies approached each other near Adrianople, but Valens was apparently overconfident of the numerical superiority of his own forces over the enemy. Valens, eager to have all of the glory for himself, rushed into battle, and on 9 August 378, the Goths inflicted a crushing defeat on the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople, resulting also in the death of Valens.[55] Contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus estimated that two-thirds of the Roman soldiers on the field were lost. The battle had far-reaching consequences, as veteran soldiers and valuable administrators were among the heavy casualties, which left the Empire with the problem of finding suitable leadership. Gratian was now effectively responsible for the whole of the Empire. He sought however a replacement Augustus for the Eastern Roman Empire, and in 379 chose Theodosius I.[55]

Theodosius, the founder of the Theodosian dynasty, proclaimed his five-year-old son Arcadius an Augustus in 383 in an attempt to secure succession. Hispanic Celt general Magnus Maximus, stationed in Roman Britain, was proclaimed Augustus by his troops in 383 and rebelled against Gratian when he invaded Gaul. Gratian fled, but was assassinated. Following Gratian's death, Maximus had to deal with Valentinian II, at the time only twelve years old, as the senior Augustus. Maximus soon entered negotiations with Valentinian II and Theodosius, attempting and ultimately failing to gain their official recognition. Theodosius campaigned west in 388 and was victorious against Maximus, who was captured and executed. In 392 Valentinian II was murdered, and shortly thereafter Arbogast arranged for the appointment of Eugenius as emperor.[56] The eastern emperor Theodosius I refused to recognise Eugenius as emperor and invaded the West again, defeating and killing Arbogast and Eugenius. He thus reunited the entire Roman Empire under his rule. Theodosius was the last Emperor who ruled over the whole Empire. As emperor, he made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.[57] After his death in 395, he gave the two halves of the Empire to his two sons Arcadius and Honorius. The Roman state would continue to have two different emperors with different seats of power throughout the 5th century, though the Eastern Romans considered themselves Roman in full. The two halves were nominally, culturally and historically, if not politically, the same state.

Fall of the Western Roman Empire (395–476)[edit]

The Roman Empire in 460 during the reigns of Majorian (west) and Leo I (east).

After 395, the emperors in the Western Roman Empire were usually figureheads, while the actual rulers were military strongmen. In 475 Orestes had revolted against Emperor Julius Nepos, causing him to flee to Dalmatia.[58] Orestes then proclaimed his own son Romulus Augustus to be emperor, but could not get sanction from the Eastern Empire nor homage from scattered remnants of the Western Empire outside Italy (which was under his immediate military control.) A few months later, in 476 Orestes refused to honor his promises to the Foederati, (Germanic mercenaries in the service of the empire) who had supported his revolt against Nepos, for lands in Italy. The dissatisfied mercenaries, led by Odoacer, revolted, killing Orestes and removing Romulus Augustus. Odoacer ruled Italy as a king and refused imperial titulature, so the year 476 is generally used to mark the end of the Western Roman Empire.[59]

Odoacer quickly conquered the remaining provinces of Italy, and was greeted as a liberator by the Roman Senate. Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno soon received two deputations. One was from the Senate; it returned the Imperial regalia and requested that the division of the empire should be formally abolished and Zeno should reign alone, endorsing Odoacer's governance of Italy. The second deputation was from Nepos, asking for military support to regain control of the Italian Peninsula.[60] Zeno declined to abolish the Western Empire, but acceded to the requests to legitimize Odoacer's rule, naming him patrician. He urged Odoacer and the Senate, however, to recognize Nepos' authority and invite him to return to Italy. Nepos was not invited back, but Odoacer was careful to observe the formalities of the exiled emperor's titular status, often invoking his name and even minting coins with his image. Upon Nepos' death in 480, Zeno claimed Dalmatia for the East, but Odoacer, claiming his duty as vassal to arrest and punish the killers of the Western Emperor, invaded and took control of the country. He also did try and execute the assassins. When Odoacer supported the revolt of Illus and Leonitus (484-488), Zeno responded by declaring his own menacing ally Theodoric the Great, Ostrogoths, to be King of Italy. Theodoric invaded, crushed Odoacer, and took possession of Italy in 489.

The Empire became gradually less Romanised and increasingly Germanic in nature: although the Empire buckled under Visigothic assault, the overthrow of the last Emperor Romulus Augustus was carried out by federated Germanic troops from within the Roman army rather than by foreign troops. In this sense had Odoacer not renounced the title of Emperor and named himself "King of Italy" instead, the Empire might have continued in name. Its identity, however, was no longer Roman—it was increasingly populated and governed by Germanic peoples long before 476. The Roman people were by the 5th century "bereft of their military ethos"[61] and the Roman army itself a mere supplement to federated troops of Goths, Huns, Franks and others fighting on their behalf. Many theories have been advanced in explanation of the decline of the Roman Empire, and many dates given for its fall, from the onset of its decline in the 3rd century[62] to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.[63] Militarily, however, the Empire finally fell after first being overrun by various non-Roman peoples and then having its heart in Italy seized by Germanic troops in a revolt. The historicity and exact dates are uncertain, and some historians do not consider that the Empire fell at this point. Disagreement persists since the decline of the Empire had been a long and gradual process rather than a single event.

Eastern Roman Empire (476–1453)[edit]

The entry of Turkish sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, by the Italian painter Fausto Zonaro (1854–1929)

As the Western Roman Empire declined during the 5th century, the richer Eastern Roman Empire would be relieved of much destruction, and in the mid 6th century the Eastern Roman Empire (generally today called the Byzantine Empire) under the emperor Justinian I reconquered Italy and parts of Illyria from the Ostrogoths, North Africa from the Vandals, and southern Hispania from the Visigoths. The reconquest of southern Hispania was somewhat ephemeral, but North Africa served the Byzantines for another century, parts of Italy for another five centuries, and parts of Illyria even longer.

Of the many accepted dates for the end of the classical Roman state, the latest is 610. This is when the Emperor Heraclius made sweeping reforms, forever changing the face of the empire. Greek was readopted as the language of government and Latin influence waned. By 610, the Eastern Roman Empire had come under definite Greek influence, and could be considered to have become what many modern historians now call the Byzantine Empire. However, the Empire was never called thus by its inhabitants, who used terms such as Romania, Basileia Romaion or Pragmata Romaion, meaning "Land of the Romans" or "Kingdom of the Romans", and who still saw themselves as Romans, and their state as the rightful continuation of the ancient empire of Rome.

During the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, the Empire lost its possessions in Africa and the Levant to the Arab-Islamic Caliphate, reducing Byzantine lands to Anatolia, the Balkans and southern Italy. The sack of Constantinople at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 is sometimes used to date the end of Eastern Roman Empire: the destruction of Constantinople and most of its ancient treasures, total discontinuity of leadership, and the division of its lands into rival states with a Catholic-controlled "Emperor" in Constantinople itself was a blow from which the Empire never fully recovered.

Nevertheless, the Byzantines recovered Constantinople itself and reestablished the Empire in 1261, and continued to call themselves Romans until their fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. That year the eastern part of the Roman Empire was ultimately ended by the Fall of Constantinople. Even though Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, declared himself the Emperor of the Roman Empire (Caesar of Rome / Kayser-i Rum), and even though this capture was in some ways far less catastrophic than the sack, Constantine XI is usually considered the last Roman Emperor. The Greek ethnic self-descriptive name "Rhomios" (Roman) survives to this day.


  1. ^ Eck, Werner; translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider; new material by Sarolta A. Takács. (2003) The Age of Augustus. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p12
  2. ^ Paul K. Davis, 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present: The World’s Major Battles and How They Shaped History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 63.
  3. ^ a b Abbott, 269
  4. ^ Abbott, 267
  5. ^ Abbott, 268
  6. ^ Eck, Werner; translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider; new material by Sarolta A. Takács. (2003) The Age of Augustus. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p40
  7. ^ Abbott, 272
  8. ^ a b Abbott, 273
  9. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories XXVIII.5.23.
  10. ^ Abbott, 293
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  16. ^ Abbott, 296
  17. ^ McKay, John P.; Hill, Bennett D.; Buckler, John; Ebrey, Patricia B.; & Beck, Roger B. (2007)
  18. ^ Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 322
  19. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 213
  20. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 215
  21. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 222
  22. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 223
  23. ^ a b Gibbon, p3
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  26. ^ Bury, J. B. A History of the Roman Empire from its Foundation to the Death of Marcus Aurelius. p525
  27. ^ Dio Cassius 72.36.4.
  28. ^ Simon Swain, Stephen Harrison and Jas Elsner (eds), Severan culture (Cambridge, CUP, 2007).
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  32. ^ Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 129
  33. ^ a b c Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 130
  34. ^ a b c Grant, The History of Rome, p. 283
  35. ^ Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 128
  36. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 234
  37. ^ a b c Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 151
  38. ^ Dio, 60:20:2
  39. ^ Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 131
  40. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 235
  41. ^ Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 135
  42. ^ Grant, The History of Rome, p. 280
  43. ^ Christine A. Smith. Plague in the Ancient World: A Study from Thucydides to Justinian.Loyola University New Orleans.
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  47. ^ Grant, The History of Rome, p. 282
  48. ^ Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 624
  49. ^ Grant, The History of Rome, p. 285
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  53. ^ Kulikowski, M. Rome's Gothic Wars: from the third century to Alaric. 2007. pg 162
  54. ^ Theodosian Code 16.10.20; Symmachus Relationes 1–3; Ambrose Epistles 17–18.
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  60. ^ Malchus, fragment 10, translated in C.D. Gordon, The Age of Attila, pp. 127-129
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  62. ^ Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 361
  63. ^ Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 231