War and Society in the Roman Empire

Colin Adams

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

War and Society in the Roman Empire

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Classical History



This chapter describes the status of war and society in the Roman Empire. The bias of the upper classes and fears of the lower are shown. The influences of civil war and rebellion could be profound in the Roman Empire. Any army is designed to fight wars, surely in a militaristic society such as Rome. Soldiers were employed in a range of activities in support of local administrative officials. Their internal administrative duties included their role in the collection of taxes. The army also had direct demands in terms of food supply, equipment and weapons, and their transport and delivery, but also indirectly in that the presence of soldiers naturally provided trading opportunities for provincial inhabitants. In general, the Roman soldiers were at the center of both the physical and societal fabric of the provinces of the empire.

Keywords: civil war; rebellion; militaristic society; Roman Empire; Rome; Roman soldiers

Article.  7990 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Classical History

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