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It is my purpose in this paper to explore a possible relationship between the battles at Mons Graupius (Britain, AD 84) and Adrianople (modem European Turkey, 378) as one ofthe primary factors in the end of Roman hegemony in the West. Between the 1st and 4th centuries, the ever-increasing specialization in the legions and the corresponding rise in reliance on non-Roman auxiliary troops for the fulfillment of other tactical roles led to the loss of the very tactical flexibility that aided-even enabled-the unprecedented success of Roman armies. I explore this theme by examining the history and structure of the legions, the evolution of military equipment, and by investigating specific engagements (in addition to the two mentioned above) as case studies.


Honors Capstone Project completed in 2012 for Olivet Nazarene University.