The Last of the Legions – A brief look at the armies of Rome’s Twilight

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Rome’s Legions: All-Conquering? Invincible? Think Again!

Think of Rome’s armies and you’ll probably conjure up an image of the typical 1st century AD legionary. In that era, the empire was bold, brash, burgeoning and seemingly unstoppable. The iconic lorica segmentata (segmented armour vest) symbolised the empire’s military might and technical superiority. But Rome’s dominance was not to last . . .

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http://www.gordondoherty.co.uk/writeblog/thelastofthelegions-abrieflookatthearmiesofromestwilight

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Valens – Emperor Against the World

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Barbarians in the north. Persians in the east. Catholics within. With enemies everywhere, it was no surprise to find a paranoid emperor.

Valens, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire from 364—378, was far from the specimen of nobility you would expect. When you think of a Roman emperor, you might picture a man with arms upheld in victory, leading a procession of soldiers and slaves through the city of Rome. Or perhaps you picture Commodus from “Gladiator,” a naïve youth whose desire to help the commoners is clouded by his fascination with his sister.  But you do not picture a man with a squint—squints are for Popeye. Or a man with bowed legs—those are for cowboys. Yet, Valens (CAESAR·FLAVIVS·IVLIVS·VALENS·AVGVSTVS) was just that. Not even his paranoia could save him.

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