Wojna Justyniana z Maurami – przykład konfliktu asymetrycznego?

Michał Stachura


The war of Justinian against Moors – an example of an asymmetric conflict?

The series of wars against Moors in North Africa, which took place after capturing these pro­vinces by Justinian’s army in AD 533, is sometimes compared by historians to modern asymmetric conflicts. The present paper is an attempt at a closer look at both the military aspect of the mentioned conflict and its political determinants, in order to answer the question of whether present-day asymmetric conflicts can in fact be regarded as a an accurate key for its description. The answer is not unambiguous. On the one hand, what we find here is asymmetry on many levels, exerting heavy influence on the character of this particular war. On the other hand, the conflict can be seen as part of a centuries-long history of complex interaction between the Roman state and ‘Moorish’ political organisms in the region, thus it is impossible here to speak of any ‘strategic surprise’ characteristic of modern conflicts of this type. Neither of the parties had in mind to destroy the opponent or to dislodge it from the disputed area; in fact, the Moorish Wars with Rome could rather be regarded as specific, rather violent negotiations of terms and conditions for a peaceful coexistence of two very different political organisms.

Słowa kluczowe: konflikty asymetryczne, późny antyk, Afryka Północna, Justynian, Maurowie


Corpus Iuris Civilis, t. 2: Codex Iustinianus, ed. P. Krüger, Berlin 1877.

Corpus Iuris Civilis, t. 3: Novellae Iustiniani, ed. W. Kroll, Berlin 1895.

Flavii Cresconii Corippi Iohannidos seu de Bellis Libycis libri VIII, ed. J. Diggle, F.R.D. Goodyear, Cambridge 1970.

FlawiuszKreskoniusz Koryppus, Joannida. Pochwała Justyna, tłum., wstęp, komentarz B.J. Kołoczek, Kraków 2016 (w druku).

Procopii Caesarensis opera omnia, ed. J. Haury, G. Wirth, t. 1–4, Lipsk 1962–1964.

Prokopiusz z Cezarei, Historia sekretna, tłum., wstęp, komentarz A. Konarek, Warszawa 1998.

Prokopiusz z Cezarei, Historia wojen, t. 1, tłum., wstęp, komentarz D. Brodka, Kraków 2013.

Theodosiani Libri XVI cum Constitutionubus Sirmondianis et Leges Novellae ad Theodosianum pertinentes, ed. Th. Mommsen, P.M. Meyer, Berlin 1905.


BenestD., British Leaders and Irregular Warfare [w:] The Moral Dimension of Asymmetrical Warfare. Counter-terrorism, Democratic Values and Military Ethics, eds. Th.A van Baarda, D.E.M. Verweij, Leiden–Boston 2009, s. 169–178.

BlackhurstA., The House of Nubel: Rebels or Players? [w:] Vandals, Romans and Berbers. New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa, ed. A.H. Merrills, Aldershot 2004, s. 59–76.

Boroda K., Gospodarka Cesarstwa Rzymskiego w V wieku [w:] Świat rzymski w V wieku, red. R. Kosiński, K. Twardowska, Kraków 2010, s. 329–364.

BrenneckeH.Ch., Studien zur Geschichte der Homöer. Der Osten bis zur Ende der homöischer Reichskirche, Tübingen 1988.

CoxR., Assymetric Warfare and Military Conduct in Middle Ages, „Journal of Medieval History” 2012, t. 38, s. 100–125.

Heather P., Odrodzenie Rzymu. Cesarze i papieże: bój o władzę nad chrześcijaństwem, tłum. J. Szczepański, Poznań 2014.

Heather P., Upadek Cesarstwa Rzymskiego, tłum. J. Szczepański, Poznań 2006.

KaldellisA., Procopius of Caesarea. Tyranny, History, and Philosophy at the End of An­tiquity, Philadelphia 2004.

LeeA.D., The Empire at War [w:] The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian, ed. M. Maas, Cambridge 2005, s. 113–133.

LeoneA., Changing Townscapes in North Africa from Late Antiquity to the Arab Conquest, Bari 2007.

LeppinH., Justinian. Das christliche Experiment, Stuttgart 2011.

MerrillsA., Miles R., The Vandals, Malden, MA–Oxford 2010.

MilesF.B., Asymetric Warfare. An Historical Perspective, Carlisle Barracks, PA 1999.

ModéranY., Les Maures et l’Afrique Romaine (IVe–Vie siècle), Rome 2003.

PringleD., The Defence of Byzantine Africa from Justinian to the Arab Conquest, Oxford 1981.

RushworthA., From Arzuges to Rustamids. State Formation and Regional Identity in Pre-Saharian Zone [w:] Vandals, Romans and Berbers. New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa, ed. A.H. Merrills, Aldershot 2004, s. 77–98.

SheaG.W., Justinian’s North African Strategy in the Johannis of Corippus, „Byzantine Studies/Études Bzyantines” 1983, t. 10, s. 29–38.

Strzelczyk J., Wandalowie i ich afrykańskie państwo, Warszawa 1993.

SyvänneI., A Military History of Late Rome 284–381, Barnsley 2015.

SyvänneI., The Age of Hippotoxotai. Art of War in Roman Military Revival and Disaster (491–636), Tampere 2004.

Szopa A., Zagrożenia asymetryczne jako przyczyna upadku Cesarstwa Rzymskiego na Zachodzie, „Prace Historyczne” 2016, t. 143/4, s. 615–627.

Wilczyński M., Gejzeryk i „czwarta wojna punicka”, Oświęcim 2016.

Wolfram H., Historia Gotów, Warszawa–Gdańsk 2003.

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line. Pierwotną wersją
czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana kwartalnie w internecie.