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From the Danube to the Po: the Defence of Pannonia and Italy in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries <span class="smallCaps">ad</span>

NEIL CHRISTIE

in The Transition to Late Antiquity, on the Danube and Beyond

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264027
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734908 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264027.003.0020

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

From the Danube to the Po: the Defence of Pannonia and Italy in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries ad

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Pannonia and Noricum were crucial for the protection of Italy and defensive bonds are identifiable as early as the 160s AD. The fourth- and fifth-century reconfiguration of settlement patterns and politico-military organization across the northern provinces of the Roman Empire meant that defence and military response were not limited to the frontiers but extended deep into the interior. For the middle Danube sector, defence in reality was drawn from across the river, far south across the Alps, and as far as the river Po. Thus, a series of ‘inner fortresses’ exists in Pannonia such as Ságvár and Fenékpuszta. By the same date, a defensive emphasis emerges for both urban and rural sites. For Italy, the fourth-century installation of the Claustra Alpium Iuliarum denotes a significant militarization of space, which is accelerated behind the Alps in the fifth century. This chapter describes key aspects of late Roman defensive responses in northern Italy and Pannonia and examines the policy and strategy being played out in these.

Keywords: Danube; Po; defence; Pannonia; Italy; Roman Empire; inner fortresses; Claustra Alpium Iuliarum; militarization

Chapter.  14200 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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