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Commanders and command in the Roman Republic…

Commanders and command in the Roman Republic and Early Empire

by Fred K. Drogula

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Drogula’s book begins, as it ends, with the bold claim that the history of provincial command was to a large extent the history of the Roman Republic and Early Empire (p. 1 and p. 382). Roman historians themselves were well aware that commanders and command played a crucial role in shaping the world in which they lived. Livy, for example, asks his readers to pay particular attention to the men and conduct, in the civilian and military spheres, through which imperium was established and increased (pr. 9). Tacitus later famously began his Annals with a sweeping account of over seven hundred years of Roman History, starting with the rule of kings and ending with the armies of Lepidus and Antonius passing into the hands of Augustus, who with the name of princeps took everything under his imperium (1.1.1). Drogula thus follows a long tradition in making a serious contribution to furthering our understandings of this history. Unlike Livy and Tacitus, though, he focusses on the development of a number of key concepts (imperium, auspicium, magistratus and prouincia) that defined provincial commanders and command rather than the deeds of individuals.
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