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Another Dacian Campaign

Contributed by David Verne

With the disaster of the following year, Tettius Julianus, an experienced commander, has been placed in command of the Roman army in Moesia. Throughout the year he launches raids across the border but spends most of his time preparing for a major campaign next year. While Julianus deals with local concerns, Domitian argues with the officer corps on overall policy. Domitian took Augustus' advice for future emperors not to expand the Empire and focus on defense seriously while the officers viewed this as cowardice. He was forced to agree to an aggressive stance for the Dacian war because of the need to avenge the humiliation of losing a legion and the Praetorian Guard standard. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Augustus was able to convince the military to stay on a defensive stance because he had won many victories and thus had won their respect. Domitian had only won sham victories against a surprised Roman ally and a raiding force. The rank and file soldiers loved Domitian because of the substantial pay raises he had given them, but the officer corps saw an aggressive as necessary stance to destroy potential enemies while they were weak. The officers were disgusted that Domitian, who they saw as an ignorant civilian, was more concerned with roads and watchtowers than actually fighting.

See Also


  1. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 

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