Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft

The Patterns and Socio-Economic Impact of Military Mobility on the Eastern Roman-Persian borderlands, 502-602

My main aim at Tübingen was to quantify and assess the impact of cross frontier raids by Persian and Lakhmid Arab armies on the borderland provinces of the 6th century-eastern Roman empire. These included northern Syria and Euphratensis, Mesopotamia and Osroene, and the provinces of Roman Armenia. To this end, I compiled a spreadsheet listing and categorising all raids mentioned by contemporary historical sources. I then analysed the resulting patterns and potential impacts of these invasions, drawing on wider literature on the impact of war, and comparing these patterns with similar work I had carried out previously on the northern Balkans. The main conclusion was that, in the short-term at least, eastern provinces suffered far greater damage and population losses than those in the Balkans, contradicting the impression given by contemporary histories. This work culminated in a 20,000-word paper on ‘The Socio-Economic Impact of Raiding on the Eastern and Balkan Borderlands of the Eastern Roman Empire, 502-602’, to be published in Millennium in either 2019 or 2020. Moving forward, this work constitutes the first stage of a longer-term project on Warfare, Socio-Economic Change and Political Control in the Eastern Roman Borderlands, 502-602 for which similar research on Africa, Italy and Spain will be carried out in the coming years.

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