ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE ROMAN TROOPS FROM THE DODECASCHOENOS IN AD 298: MANY QUESTIONS AND FEW ANSWERS — THE PROBLEMS IN PERSPECTIVE

Ben Hendrickx

Abstract


In 298 Diocletian withdrew the Roman troops from the Dodecaschoenos, thereby — according to Procopius — making a treaty with the Nobadai and the Blemmyes and creating a buffer zone to be filled and administered by the Nubians. In this article I examine with which people(s) or groups the Romans fought at the Nubian limiton at the end of the 3rd century AD and made peace, which was the former and later status of this ‘buffer zone’, and finally when and why was the balance, realized in AD 298, disturbed. There remain more questions than answers to the problems. This article discusses the different viewpoints and theories concerning the Roman withdrawal in the framework of the Meroitic Kingdom and the existing relationship with different tribes. This will lead to a more ‘refined’ understanding and assessment of the problematic of this historically complicated situation, and thus narrowing the problems, while proposing some solutions for some specific questions.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/59-0-944

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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