Information and Frontiers: Roman Foreign Relations in Late Antiquity

Overview

During late antiquity the Roman empire faced serious threats from the peoples to the east and to the north. This book is concerned with the role played by information and intelligence in the empire's relations with these peoples, how well-informed about them the empire was, and how such information was acquired. It deals with an important facet of late Roman history which has not previously received systematic treatment, and does so in a wide-ranging manner which relates the military/diplomatic history to its ...
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Overview

During late antiquity the Roman empire faced serious threats from the peoples to the east and to the north. This book is concerned with the role played by information and intelligence in the empire's relations with these peoples, how well-informed about them the empire was, and how such information was acquired. It deals with an important facet of late Roman history which has not previously received systematic treatment, and does so in a wide-ranging manner which relates the military/diplomatic history to its broader social/cultural and economic context.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521028257
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2006
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Chronological list of selected Roman emperors early third to early seventh century
Chronological list of Sasanian kings 2205-628
Maps
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I Contexts
1 The protagonists 15
Sasanian Persia 15
The empire's northern neighbours 25
Roman resources for foreign relations 32
2 At the interface: the frontier regions 49
The east 49
The north 66
Pt. II Information and Uncertainty
3 Background knowledge and assumptions 81
Geographical knowledge 81
The role of environmental parameters 90
Ethnographic knowledge 101
4 Strategic intelligence 106
Strategic intelligence in relations with Persia 109
Strategic intelligence in relations with northern peoples 128
Appendix: Chronological catalogue of Roman-Persian invasions 230-628 143
Pt. III Sources of Information
5 Diffusion of information 147
Information diffusion in pre-industrial societies and in late antiquity 149
Informal channels 161
6 Information-gathering 166
Embassies 166
Spies 170
Select bibliography 185
Index of sources 193
General index 200
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