Middle Imperial Roman

Historical Overview Section

The accession to the purple on November 20, 284, of Diocletian, the lower-class, Greek-speaking Dalmatian commander of Carus's and Numerian's household cavalry (protectores domestici) was a time when conflict boiled in every province of the empire, from Gaul to Syria, from Egypt to the lower Danube. It was too much for a single person to control, and Diocletian decided he needed a mate, and raised his fellow-officer Maximian to the office of Caesar, making him co-emperor. After his acclamation, Maximian was dispatched to fight the rebel Early Frankish Bagaudae in Gaul. Diocletian returned to the East where he fought the Later Sarmatians indecisively, did a deal with the Sassanid Persians to achieve a temporary peace, absorbed the Early Armenians.

Maximian had a tougher time, as the Early Frankish and Ancient British were in open revolt, which the Romans struggled to contain. The two emperors continued to act independently against various enemies, but they agreed on a joint campaign against the Early Frankish Alamanni in 287 whilst Diocletian continued to play diplomacy with the Sassanid Persians and Palmyrans to keep them quiet, and cut a deal with the Beja? too. Diocletian then conjured up two more Caesars in 293, moving the empire closer to a Rome and Byzantium format and this allowed the Empire to take on the Later Sarmatians again in the Balkans and the Dacian or Carpi tribes on the Danube. The Sassanid Persians new King Narseh declared war on Rome in 295 or 296 which was inconvenient for a while.

After Diocletian had split the empire and then retired, there was a bit of a rebellion by the Legions at the edges of the Empire, but it got sorted out after the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy (306-324 AD) and a geezer called Constantine won. He was so happy he invented a city and called it after himself - Constantinople. Constantine rebuilt Trajan's bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering the Dacian or Carpi tribes in a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Later Sarmatians against the Early Visigothic and Early Vandals.

Constantine's death triggered another invasion by the Sassanid Persians, and another round of civil war, including the Battle of Mursa Major in 351, one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history. The winner, Constantius lived mostly in Milan, but also visited Rome - for the first and only time in his life - in 357, and, in that same year, he forced the Later Sarmatians and Early Frankish Quadi invaders out of Pannonia and Moesia Inferior, then led a successful campaign across the Danube against the Later Sarmatians and the Early Frankish Quadi tribe - but whilst his back was turned, the Sassanid Persians invaded again!

Constantius was succeeded in 361 by Julian (and his friend Sandy), after a bit of sharp practice in which Julian started off running Gaul for Constantius, but ended up running the whole shebang. Julians first action was a bit of a mistake, as in March 363, and despite a series of omens against the campaign, he decided to invade the Sassanid Persian Empire - possibly to keep the eastern Roman army happy (as he'd been running the Western one, and the Easterners felt they were missing out). This went badly wrong, "bad" in a "defeat" sense for the army and in a "death" sense for Julian personally. This let in Jovian for the next 30 years, and he just gave stuff away to the Sassanid Persians and Early Armenians to keep them quiet.

Valentinian and his brother Ritchie Valens then ruled until 375. During his short reign there were wars in Africa, with the Early Frankish and Ancient British tribes, and Rome came into collision with new barbarian peoples such as the Early Frankish Burgundians and the Early Anglo Saxons. Valens fought the Sassanid Persians, the Early Ostrogothic and Heruls and messed up big time at in Thrace when he marched against the confederated barbarian army led by the Early Visigothic and Early Vandals on 9 August 378 in what would become known as the Battle of Adrianople . When the battle was over, two-thirds of the eastern army lay dead. Many of their best officers had also perished. What was left of the army of Valens was led from the field under the cover of night.

Theodosius succeeded Valens, and Gratain succeeded Valentian. Gratian was killed in a rebellion in 383,and after 392 Theodosius ruled as sole emperor, appointing his younger son Honorius Augustus as his co-ruler for the West after a bit of a civil war. He was largely forced into doing deals with the various Early Visigothic and Early Vandal, (Dacian or Carpi)) and Early Ostrogothic and Herul tribes, recruiting them as Foederate troops.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
200 point list from Derby 2017
3 Legionaries and Praetorians Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Light Infantry Javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary
2 Lanciarii Medium swordsmen armour impact Elite
1 Auxiliaries and Lanciarii Medium swordsmen impact missile support Ordinary
3 Legionaries and Praetorians Heavy swordsmen armour impact Elite
2 Light Infantry Javelin Light infantry javelin Ordinary
1 Legionairies Heavy swordsmen armour impact Ordinary
2 Equites IllyricanI Light cavalry javelin Ordinary
2 Clibanarii Heavy cavalry impact Elite
2 light bow Light infantry bow Ordinary

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