The Roman Army in the Negev

The Roman Army in the Negev

January 26, 2022
8:00 PM

The Roman Army in the Negev
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern via Zoom

Alexandra Ratzlaff

The landscape of the Roman Eastern Empire included extreme conditions in barren, marginal zones such as the region of the Negev located in modern-day southern Israel. One of the strengths of the Roman mechanisms of imperialism was the extent to which the Roman army, while in many ways considered a very standardized and homogenous institution, excelled at optimizing indigenous strategies of occupation in such trying regions and making them their own.

Roman internal security in the Negev developed out of modification of the established Nabataean system of trade routes. Roman army units monitored road systems, secured supply lines, and performed local policing duties. Here the Roman army functioned as agents of imperial administration in a region without large urban centers or embedded officials.

This presentation will explore how the Roman army facilitated imperial interests throughout the Negev from the 1st century BCE – 6th century CE for economic reasons, rather than for military or security concerns.

Alexandra Ratzlaff, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at Brandeis University

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