War and Warfare in Late Antiquity

Current Perspectives


This two-volume publication explores the key factors determining the course and outcome of war in Late Antiquity. Volume 8.1 includes a detailed review of strategic and tactical issues and eight comprehensive bibliographic essays, which provide an overview of the literature. In Volume 8.2, thematic papers examine strategy and intelligence, fortifications and siege warfare, weaponry and equipment, literary sources and topography, and civil war, while papers focused on particular geographic regions home in on war and warfare in the West Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries, and the Balkans and the Eastern frontier in the 4th to 7th centuries AD. Contributors are Susannah Belcher, Neil Christie, Ian Colvin, John Conyard, Jon Coulston, Jim Crow, Florin Curta, Hugh Elton, James Howard-Johnston, Jordi Galbany, Jordi Guàrdia, John Haldon, Michel Kazanski, Maria Kouroumali, Michael Kulikowski, Christopher Lillington-Martin, Marta Maragall, Oriol Mercadal, Jordi Nadal, Oriol Olesti, Alexander Sarantis, Conor Whately, Michael Whitby and John Wilkes.
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EUR €269.00USD $342.00

Biographical Note

Alexander Sarantis, D.Phil (2006), University of Oxford, is Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Late Antique Archaeology and Associate Lecturer at the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies, University of Kent. He has authored articles on the Gepids, the Heruls and A.H.M. Jones. His forthcoming monograph looks at The Balkans during the Reign of Justinian. Neil Christie, Ph.D. (1985), University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, is Reader in Archaeology at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK. He is the author of various works on Late Roman and Early Medieval Italy, a recent monograph on The Fall of the Western Roman Empire, and editor and co-editor to works on late antique towns and landscapes.

Review Quote

"...Todo ello hace que, en efecto, la obra contribuya de manera notable a la difusión de importantes novedades, sobre todo aportadas por la arqueología, relativas a los conflictos bélicos y a sus efectos en tiempos tardo-antiguos, tanto en el Oriente como en el Occidente mediterráneo, así como del estado actual de la investigación.” Isaías Arrayás Morales (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), RUHM, Vol. 5/10/ 2016, pp. 375 - 445 "...The papers present an abundance of evidence and debate which will remain for many years on the bookshelves of scholars interested in the late Roman period and especially military affairs. The editors are to be congratulated for the result of what must have been an onerous task but one which has provided a key resource for all students of Late Antiquity." Andrew Poulter (University of Nottingham), The Classical Review, Vol. 65, Issue 01, April 2015, pp. 240 - 242 (DOI: 10.1017/S0009840X14002856) "These volumes are the latest addition to the invaluable Late Antique Archaeology series which has done much to strengthen late antique archaeology’s identity as a field in its own right...At over a thousand pages, this is a substantial work, and a sampling of the bibliographic essays, running to more than 250 pages, suggests that they will be a valuable resource...Overall, this is a very useful publication, both for its bibliographical surveys and for a good number of stimulating research papers." A.D. Lee (University of Nottingham), Medieval Archaeology, vol. 58, November 2014 "...un ouvrage utile et de grande qualité. Il donne une première lumière sur tous les aspects de la guerre durant l'Antiquité tardive et il permet de reprendre tous les aspects du sujet grâce aux listes de sources et de bibliographie, en général heureusement commentées. Dorénavant, personne ne pourra aborder l'histoire militaire de cette période sans commencer par voir ce qu'il apporte..." Yann Le Bohec, in sehepunkte 14 (2014), Nr. 2 [15.02.2014], URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2014/02/24248.html "...these two volumes will undoubtedly interest all those seeking to learn more about war and warfare during Late Antiquity, and I doubt that there is anyone who will not learn something new by reading the set..." David Woods, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.06.48.

Table of contents

VOLUME 8.1 Acknowledgements ... ix List of Contributors ... xi Foreword ... xvii Alexander Sarantis and Neil Christie Waging War in Late Antiquity ... 1 Alexander Sarantis Bibliographic Essays War in Late Antiquity: Secondary Works, Literary Sources and .M aterial Evidence ... 101 Conor Whately Military Equipment and Weaponry: A Bibliographic Essay ... 153 Alexander Sarantis Tactics: A Bibliographic Essay ... 177 Alexander Sarantis Organisation and Life in the Late Roman Military: A Bibliographic Essay ... 209 Conor Whately Strategy, Diplomacy and Frontiers: A Bibliographic Essay ... 239 Conor Whately Fortifications in the West: A Bibliographic Essay ... 255 Alexander Sarantis with Neil Christie Fortifications in Africa: A Bibliography Essay ... 297 Alexander Sarantis Fortifications in the East: A Bibliographic Essay ... 317 Alexander Sarantis VOLUME 8.2 Strategy and Intelligence Information and War: Some Comments on Defensive Strategy and Information in the Middle Byzantine Period (ca. A.D. 660–1025) ... 373 John Haldon Fortifications and Siege Warfare Fortifications and the Late Roman East: From Urban Walls to Long Walls ... 397 James Crow Siege Warfare and Counter-Siege Tactics in Late Antiquity (ca. 250–640) ... 433 Michael Whitby Weaponry and Equipment Late Roman Military Equipment Culture ... 463 J. C. N. Coulston Barbarian Military Equipment and its Evolution in the Late Roman and Great Migration Periods (3rd–5th c. A.D.) ... 493 Michel Kazanski Recreating the Late Roman Army ... 523 John Conyard Literary Sources and Topography Reporting Battles and Understanding Campaigns in Procopius and Agathias: Classicising Historians’ Use of Archived Documents as Sources ... 571 Ian Colvin Procopius on the Struggle for Dara in 530 and Rome in 537–38: Reconciling Texts and Landscapes ... 599 Christopher Lillington-Martin Ammianus Marcellinus and the Nisibene Handover of A.D. 363 ... 631 Susannah Belcher The West Imperial Campaigns between Diocletian and Honorius, A.D. 284–423: the Rhine Frontier and the Western Provinces ... 655 Hugh Elton The Archaeology of War and the 5th c. ‘Invasions’ ... 683 Michael Kulikowski Controlling the Pyrenees: a Macaque’s Burial from Late Antique Iulia Libica (Llivia, La Cerdanya, Spain) ... 703 Oriol Olesti, Jordi Guàrdia, Marta Maragall, Oriol Mercadal, Jordi Galbany and Jordi Nadal The Balkans The Archaeology of War: Homeland Security in the South-West Balkans (3rd–6th c. A.D.) ... 735 John Wilkes Military Encounters and Diplomatic Affairs in the North Balkans during the Reigns of Anastasius and Justinian ... 759 Alexander Sarantis Horsemen in Forts or Peasants in Villages? Remarks on the Archaeology of Warfare in the 6th to 7th c. Balkans ... 809 Florin Curta The East Military Infrastructure in the Roman Provinces North and South of the Armenian Taurus in Late Antiquity ... 853 James Howard-Johnston El-Lejjūn: Logistics and Localisation on Rome’s Eastern Frontier in the 6th c. A.D. ... 893 Conor Whately Civil War Wars within the Frontiers: Archaeologies of Rebellion, Revolt and.Civil War ... 927 Neil Christie The Justinianic Reconquest of Italy: Imperial Campaigns and Local Responses ... 969 Maria Kouroumali Abstracts in French ... 1001 Index ... 1009 Series Information ... 1085


All those interested in the archaeology and history of the Late Roman and Early Medieval periods in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as military historians and architectural historians focusing on fortifications.