The evolution of Roman frontier defence systems and fortifications in the Lower Danube provinces in the first and second centuries AD
The defence of the Roman Empire from barbarian attacks depended on two distinct but interrelated features: the actual fortifications on the borders of the imperial provinces and the troops that garrisoned them. The main aim of this dissertation is to provide a collective analysis of Roman defence systems on the Lower Danube region, i.e. the provinces of Pannonia Inferior, Moesia Superior, Moesia Inferior and Dacia. The period of study spans from the early first century to the middle of the second century AD, a period which corresponds to the gradual emergence and final consolidation of the Roman frontier defence systems in the area. On the basis of the physical evidence that has survived from the frontier fortifications of the Lower Danube area, this study attempts to present a reconstruction of the strategic and tactical situation on the frontier and to provide some fresh observations on the motives behind the creation, purpose and function of Roman frontiers during the early Principate. After a brief introduction on some of the views that have been put forward on the subject, the main part of the thesis is divided into four separate chapters, one for each of the provinces studied. These chapters study the fortifications themselves in order to establish their date and garrison so as to offer an evaluation of the characteristic features of the defensive system of each frontier sector. The last chapter brings together the above information in order to produce some conclusions on the defence systems in the area, especially in relation to the rationale behind their creation and subsequent development.