Oddziaływania psychologiczne i dyscyplinujące w armiach późnego antyku

Marek Wilczyński

Abstrakt

The psychological and disciplinary treatment of soldiers in the armies of late antiquity

The multiethnic army of the Late Roman Empire generated a huge number of disciplinary problems. Reading the work of Vegetius we hear about serious negligence in the overall military discipline. Other sources inform us repeatedly about mutinies, desertions and self-mutilations of the soldiers who wanted to avoid being incorporated into the army. Very often the mentality of barbarians (e.g. the Huns) in the service of the Roman Army was completely contradictory to the requirements of the Roman law and military customs. A huge role in keeping discipline in army ranks was played by a commander. He was expected to look after his soldiers, build a manly spirit in the detachment, inspire his people by examples of personal courage and – what was truly no less important – have a good fortune on the battlefield. As an impact factor exerting influence on the soldiers, they tried to use not only the harsh punishments, but also some psychological methods e.g. if the signs from the gods were auspicious, they tried to spread the news as far and wide as possible; they took care of the sick and wounded; they supervised the supply of goods and an equitable sharing of the spoils. However whenever they considered it useful, they also resorted to blackmail, taking soldiers’ families hostage; they also threatened that the commander would resign or cut off the only way of escape without any hesitation. Understanding the psychological effects of such actions constitutes a real research challenge.
 

Słowa kluczowe: armia późnorzymska, dyscyplina, cesarstwo rzymskie w IV–VI wieku, barbarzyńcy
References

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