Exploratio: Military and Political Intelligence in the Roman World from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople

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Routledge, 1995 - History - 292 pages
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Until now, there has been no systematic survey of Roman military and civil intelligence. Since intelligence--gained through diplomacy and spying--is so important to governments and defense institutions, it is a subject which deserves extensive analysis.

Exploratioinvestigates how intelligence was gathered in the Roman Empire, in the long term to help formulate strategy, and in the short term for tactical reasons. The book discusses who gathered it and for whom, and how their methods grew in sophistication over the six centuries from the outbreak of the Second Punic War in 218 BC to the Battle of Adrianople in AD 378. Austin and Rankov show how early mistakes and shortcomings in the handling of intelligence had serious effects on battles and campaigns, as well as on diplomacy and the frontiers. They demonstrate that the Romans were consequently forced to develop new kinds of responses to ensure better readiness against the threats to the empire's external security.

Exploratioshows how the information gathered was handled by various bodies in the military and administrative spheres and its considerable impact on policy formation at all levels--from the purely local to the global.

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