So - So,,?Ifwewishedto ,...

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So, what was paradigmatically, drastically different about the late Roman period? If we wished to  take the mystery out of it all, we could claim that the fall of the Roman Empire was  scripted.  First, the empire  was  too big, and the lanes of communication—in military, food supply, and of  course cultural terms—were far too tortuous. To respond to a threat from Parthian Persia, for  example, Marcus Aurelius  had to  remove troops from the Rhine frontier at a time when  Barbarians were pushing up against those very borders, and setting in motion the numerous  conflict to come. This brings us to the second given of the period: an identifying part of ancient  and pre-modern history was the conflict between settled, sedentary, agrarian societies and  polities, on the one hand, and nomadic, pastoral, raiding cultures, on the other. The two never  coexisted, and could never work out a sustainable symbiosis. Furthermore, the nomads were 
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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So - So,,?Ifwewishedto ,...

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