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The Creation of the Roman Frontier

The Creation of the Roman Frontier

STEPHEN L. DYSON
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 338
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvxp2
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    The Creation of the Roman Frontier
    Book Description:

    Stephen L. Dyson finds in the experience of the Republic the origins of Roman frontier policy and methods of border control as practiced under the Empire. Focusing on the western provinces during the Republic, he demonstrates the ways in which Roman society, like that of the United States, was shaped by its own frontier.

    Originally published in 1987.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5489-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. LIST OF MAPS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-6)

    Hadrian’s Wall symbolizes the Roman frontier. Massive and permanent, it separates the world of Rome from that of the barbarian. This wall in the north of England and the remains of thelimesalong the Rhine and Danube have created the image of the Roman frontier as basically a fortified barrier. Yet walls and forts were only part of a larger diplomatic, military, political, social, and economic system that embraced both sides of the frontier and created a gradual transition from Roman to non-Roman society. While fortifications are explicit, even blunt reminders of imperial policy, the other aspects of the...

  6. CHAPTER 1 THE GALLIC FRONTIER IN NORTHERN ITALY
    (pp. 7-41)

    From the beginning, Rome was a society of frontiers. For the first Palatine communities, political boundaries were close at hand. The shrines of Janus preserved the folk memories of their existence.¹ Nor was the experience of Rome exceptional for the communities of the Italian peninsula during the first millenium B.C. The whole area was a crazy quilt of political units varying in ethnic background and level of social development. Etruscans, Greeks, Italians, and Gauls all met along complex and changing frontiers.

    For this study, the meeting between Rome and the Gauls seems the most appropriate place to begin. Starting with...

  7. CHAPTER 2 THE TRANSPADANE FRONTIER
    (pp. 42-86)

    By 191 B.C. the Boii had been subjugated, and the process of final Romanization of the Aemilia could begin. The Roman senate in 183 B.C. declared that the Alps were theprope inexsuperabilem finemof Italy.¹ The future form of Italy had been defined, and the frontier advanced to the natural border of the peninsula. The northern mountains were to serve partly as barrier and partly as filter, controlling the movement of new groups into Italy while at the same time allowing the continuation of the transmontane trade that had existed for centuries, if not for millennia. The tribes located...

  8. CHAPTER 3 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LIGURIAN FRONTIER
    (pp. 87-125)

    By 187 B.C. the power of the Boian Gauls had been crushed and the rest of cisalpine Gaul brought into the Roman system. Under construction was the Via Aemilia, which would unite the cisalpine colonies and connect them with the potentially rich lands across the Po. Urban centers were beginning to prosper. Across the Mediterranean, Rome was expanding her conquests in Sardinia and Spain. However, one frontier remaining within Italy itself—that of the Ligurian mountains—had already proved to be one of the most intractable in Roman history

    In the northwest of Italy, Alps merge unbroken into the Apennines....

  9. CHAPTER 4 THE REPUBLICAN FRONTIER IN GAUL
    (pp. 126-173)

    Linking the Roman frontiers of northern Italy and Spain was the southern coast of France. Geographically and historically, its development was closely connected with that of its neighbors. The mountain masses on its eastern and western borders were continuations of those of Italy and Spain, and posed similar problems of frontier control. The coastal stŗip of the Riviera was the main connection between the Roman homeland of Italy and the Iberian peninsula. But although the frontier needs of Spain and Italy should have forced an early Roman involvement in Gaul, Rome did not intervene militarily until the late second century...

  10. CHAPTER 5 THE BEGINNINGS OF A ROMAN FRONTIER IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA
    (pp. 174-198)

    No place better revealed the problems, ambiguities, and agonies of the Roman frontier experience than the Iberian peninsula. The Romans inherited a complicated frontier with a long, involved history. For two hundred years they carried on their military conquest and political, social, and economic development in an effort to bring peace and stability to the region. The Iberian provinces became a source of military disillusionment, imperial ambition, and growing resistance at home to Roman foreign policy. They also became a place of refuge from the growing political strife in Italy. At the same time, ironically, they became Rome’s first overseas...

  11. CHAPTER 6 THE POST-GRACCHAN EXPERIENCE IN SPAIN
    (pp. 199-236)

    Dividing the Roman frontier experience in the Iberian peninsula into phases is a difficult task. In a sense, it was a single, seamless process. The governorship of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus does, however, mark an important turning point. Not only did it start a generation of peace; it also brought fundamental change in the approach to provincial development and frontier management. The period from the Scipios to Gracchus had seen the establishment of a Roman frontier on the remains of its Greek and Punic predecessors. Some areas were conquered and some territory partly subjected, while large parts of the peninsula remained...

  12. CHAPTER 7 THE ROMAN FRONTIER IN SARDINIA AND CORSICA
    (pp. 237-269)

    The frontiers of northern Italy and Liguria were vital to the heartland of Rome. Failure of border management there would allow hostile tribes to attack the core Roman territory in Italy and even threaten Rome itself. Stable border areas in the north were essential for the survival and development of Roman Italy. The great expenditure of time, money, and blood by the state demonstrates their importance during the third and second centuries B.C.

    With the expansion of Rome into the Mediterranean, frontier control became more complicated. Rome had to think not only of the defense of Italy but also of...

  13. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 270-280)

    Virtually every catch phrase applied to frontier experiences, from the “escape valve” and the “inner frontier” to “regeneration through violence,” has a certain relevance for the Roman Republican frontier. No one phrase alone, however, can explain what took place in this long-lasting and immensely varied process. The fact of this complexity is in itself worthy of reflection. It is the relation of the history of the Republican frontier in the west to general frontier patterns that will be the main focus of these concluding remarks.

    An important aspect of the Roman frontier in the west was the nature of imperialism...

  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 281-314)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 315-324)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 325-325)