How did the late roman empire come to depend on barbarian mercenaries so much? The late empire had no problem raising massive armies, so it's not like they lost the will to fight or anything, was it purely a financial decision?
Id like to mention that it was a betrayel, but not an ooga booga snowniggers type betrayel. Romans treated the barbarians lower than shit, had them sell their children for the right to be slaves. Then they genocided them. Although only 30,000 barbarians joined directly because of this, it was just enough to capitalize on how weak Rone currently was due to corruption
A lot of them weren't really mercenaries in the traditional sense. The Roman way to deal with the massive influx of barbarians was to settle some of them on their frontiers, under the condition that they defend that frontier as well. This worked to various successes, and is a lot of the reason why one would have seen so many Barbarian Auxiliary troops at the time. The other reason is because mercenaries have no political ties, and therefore can actually be more dependable than regular troops. Don't forget that Romes undoing was its inability to counter infighting. Mercenaries were just an extension of that.
Auxiliaries and Mercenaries are not the same thing. A Mercenary is someone paid well to fight in the short term. An Auxiliary is someone from outside the core culture recruited to fight for the nation, perhaps with the promise of citizenship as a reward.
Many "Barbarians" were recruited with the idea they'd become Roman citizens for their service. In the particular case of the Romans, they often posted Auxiliary units away from their homelands so they they wouldn't get involved in local revolts. So for example Britain wasn't garrisoned by British Legions, but Auxiliaries from Scythia (...If I recall correctly).
As for why the Romans came to depend more and more on Auxiliaries came to be used? The core of the western empire became soft; those in Italy became used to luxury. People from the frontier were accustomed to war anyway, and fought harder, so were used instead.
The Auxiliaries had something to gain by winning wars: Roman Citizenship. Roman citizens really didn't have as much to fight for: they already came from the economically strong parts of the empire, they lived good lives.
>>588091 Ultimately, because they were cheaper than home grown troops. The losses during the civil wars of the 4th and early 5th centuries fucked the Empire hard and the usurpers and various emperors used the barbarians against one another, settling them on land in exchange for military service. As more and more land was handed over, overall tax income going into the state treasury declined leading to an increasing reliance on foederati and laeti.
>>588107 If you read Ammianus Marcellinus you'd know that is horseshit. The Late Roman army was built around smaller regiments of soldiers capable of fighting guerilla actions and raiding across the frontiers instead of the massive formations of the early empire which had proven unwieldly against the more irregular enemies the Romans had to fight against.
Roman soldiers by the end of the empire were most likely individually far better fighters than those of the early empire, trained to fight more one on one battles instead of standing in formation and making a stabbing motion.
>>590904 Roman infantry organization up until the battle of the River Allia actually focused largely on the individual soldier, as opposed to the phalanxes common of the time. From The Ghosts of Cannae: "Most Roman heavy infantry fought in the style of single combatant" and "It is important to understand that, unlike the closely packed phalangites legionaries were given a considerable patch of personal space to exploit and defend" In short, Roman infantry for most of Rome's existence weren't trained to fight "standing in formation and making a stabbing motion". They've always been focused on one on one engagements. Though everything else you said I agree with, civil wars really were the bane of Rome.
fun fact - many of the mercenaries that got payed in golden dinars percieved this basicaly to be a basic 'package' of gold that rome distributed or something, and upon getting back home would smelt them all into objects of status and value that they could actualy use in exchanges and contracts, as opposed to money
Due to the effects of the Antonine plagues and the constant civil wars of the third century, the Italian peninsula and to some extent the Empire as a whole had become depopulated. There was not enough manpower to keep the economy running and provide troops. Therefore the Romans had to find new sources of men. Barbarian tribes offered a solution. It quite successful until the Goths showed up seeking refuge from what is believed to be the Huns. Too many people at once prevented disarmament and settlement that had proved to be effective in the past.
Thread replies: 12 Thread images: 1
Thread DB ID: 458123
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.
This is a 4chan archive - all of the shown content originated from that site. This means that 4Archive shows their content, archived. If you need information for a Poster - contact them.
If a post contains personal/copyrighted/illegal content, then use the post's [Report] link! If a post is not removed within 24h contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the post's information.