Macquarie University
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Why were the Sclavenes never Roman allies?: A study of Late Antique Roman frontier policy and a barbarian society

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posted on 2022-03-28, 11:26 authored by Amy Wood
This thesis addresses evidence which suggests that those barbarians identified as Sclavenes in the sources never became fully integrated into the Roman system of alliances or its cultural orbit in the sixth and seventh centuries. The written and archaeological evidence available is examined to compare it with previous Roman-barbarian relationships to draw reasonable conclusions about the Sclavene relationship with the Eastern Roman Empire and to some extent, the nature of Sclavene society before it transformed into the recognisable Slavic polities of the Early Middle Ages. The question is conceptualised within the overall framework of the Late Antique Roman frontiers along the Danube and its hinterland on either side (the Balkans and Pontic-Danubian region). This is the point at which the Sclavenes become visible in the written sources and where the cause and effect of Roman barbarian policy can be seen over time and across various (mainly Germanic) barbarian groups in both the written and archaeological material. It will be argued that the Sclavenes were never Roman allies due to a confluence of historical circumstances, the nature of Sclavene society itself, and the availability and operation of alternative imperial orbits in Central Eastern Europe, namely the First Avar Khaganate.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Rome and the historical context -- 3. The Sclavenes -- 4. Why were the Sclavenes never Roman allies? -- 5. Conclusion -- Appendices.


Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Danijel Dzino


Copyright Amy Wood 2015. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (x, 172 pages) illustrations, maps

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