Chwiejna lojalność żołnierzy Justyniana. Przyczyny rebelii w rzymskiej armii w Afryce w latach 536–546 n.e. Słowa

Michał Stachura

Abstrakt

The wavering loyalty of Emperor Justinian’s soldiers. The causes of the military revolts in Africa (536–545 AD)

Shortly after the liquidation of the Vandal rule in northern Africa and the restoration of the Roman administration, the newly established prefecture was shaken up by a series of military mutinies and rebellions. The revolts in the years 536–545 AD are represented in the contemporary witness accounts (esp. historian Procopius of Caesarea, poet Flavius Cresconius Corippus) as a case of a “civil war” among the Romans in the context of the concurrent conflict with the Berber (“Moor”) tribes. The history of the army mutinies has been depicted in accordance with the literary conventions and the propaganda‑oriented assumptions of the authors, with a striking background picture of the Roman army in a state of continual readiness to rise up in revolt against the emperor’s authority, which is something virtually unknown from any other contemporaneous war theatre, in consideration of a comparable scale. In his analysis of the unfolding events, the Author attempts to address not only the questions of the political intentions of the various rebellion leaders, but also (or even in particular) the motivations which would make the soldiers take part in such precarious undertakings. He points to a number of political, religious, and economic factors which caused the northern African army mutinies to escalate so violently, concluding with a paradoxical observation that in the newly established prefecture, the emperor would have counted on the loyalty of the locally recruited soldiers rather than on the elite troops to whose military skills he owed the re‑conquering of Africa.

Słowa kluczowe: historia wojskowości, Późne Cesarstwo Rzymskie, Afryka Północna, Justynian, bunt wojska