Late Roman Army

The term Late Roman army has been used in modern scholarship to describe the military forces of the Roman Empire from the accession of Emperor Diocletian in 284 until the Empire's definitive division into Eastern and Western halves in 395. In the period leading to the formal dissolution of the Western empire in 465, the Western army was progressively diminished in size and effectiveness as provinces, and the revenue they generated, were lost to barbarian settlement. The East Roman army, on the other hand, continued intact and essentially unchanged until its reorganization by themes and transformation into the Byzantine army in the 7th century. The term "late Roman army" is often used to include the East Roman army.

The Late Roman army exhibited significant differences in recruitment, equipment, organisation and tactics to those of the army of the Roman Principate which preceded it. In line with the centralising tendencies of the Roman Dominate, the Late Roman army saw field armies being permanently embodied, and placed directly under the supervision of emperors or their designated military subordinates. As a consequence of this the troops remaining as garrison forces on the frontiers became a largely separate force. Manufacture and provision of military equipment was also brought under centralised state control.

Read more about Late Roman Army:  Overview, Sources, Army Size, Army Structure, Equipment, Supply Infrastructure, Fortifications, The "barbarisation" Theory

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