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Failure of EmpireValens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D.$
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Noel Lenski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233324

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233324.001.0001

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. Valens and the Eastern Frontier

. Valens and the Eastern Frontier

(p.153) Chapter 4. Valens and the Eastern Frontier
Failure of Empire

Lenski Noel

University of California Press

This chapter looks at Valens' interactions with the peoples of the eastern frontier: the Persians, the Armenians, the Georgians, the Saracens, and the Isaurians. Although Valens' court historians Eutropius and Festus bolstered his claims to Armenia and upper Mesopotamia with slanted accounts of Roman history, these gains began to disintegrate toward the end of his reign, when multiple military crises forced Valens to withdraw his forces to other hot spots. Iberia and especially Armenia were not faithfully obedient subjects but powerfully independent friends. The relations of Valens with Persia, Armenia and Iberia are examined also. Festus and Eutropius provided Valens with practical guides to Rome's historical claims to the territories of the east. They were engaging in a historical discourse with very real political and military implications. It is shown that Valens was forced to deal with three peoples who shared environmental and cultural similarities; the Maratocupreni, Isaurians, and Saracens.

Keywords:   Valens, Persians, Armenians, Georgians, Saracens, Isaurians, eastern frontier, Eutropius, Festus

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