Augustan Frontier Policy

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Augustan Frontier Policy


Certainly, Augustus’ policy was concerned both to secure peace and to enhance the prosperity of provinces, once within the empire. In this way, his work represented a continuation and development of that of Julius Caesar; this had looked to the protection of Rome and Italy by the establishment of a ‘buffer’ of provinces a Pro-Roman territory, secure within increasingly visible frontiers and valuing the prosperity which came From peace and security – Shotter

“Varied from region to region, adjusted for circumstances and contingencies. Aggression alternated with Restraint, conquest with diplomacy, advance with retreat. Acquisitions and annexations occurred in some Areas, consolidation and negotiation in others… The regime persistently projected the impression of vigour, expansionism, triumph and dominance” (Gruen, ‘Imperial Policy of Augustus’ p.416; quoted in Antiquity 2 p.313)

“One major contribution we can be sure Augustus made to Roman expansion was to slow it down: although he had conquered more territory than any other Roman before him, and duly highlighted this in the prefaceto the Res Gestae, caution gradually replaced the bold enterprises of his predecessors… Military defeats have been blamed for the end of expansion…It is far more likely that, just as conquest was at first driven by political competition, so the end of competition had made the costs and risks of territorial expansion seem no longer worth it” (Woolf, p.121)

Despite some failures “and the costly losses in the areas around the Danube and east of the Rhine, Augustus appeared to the Romans as a great conqueror who had expanded the empire, indeed as the greatest commander in Roman history. The territories of his other successful conquests all remained part of the empire for many centuries and testified to the soundness of his policies in Romans’ eyes.” (p.104)- Eck


By the end of his reign, the armies of...
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