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No ancient commentator 17 T H E O R I G I N S O F WA R 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 44111 indicates that the Romans thought in this way; they had no word in Latin for ‘frontier’ in the sense of a formal barrier or fortiﬁed line. Instead, with a self-conﬁdent belief in their military superiority, they probably saw no need for long-term planning. 109 Finally, the pattern of Roman warfare and the deployment of the legions can shed some light on the causes of war and wider strategic concerns.
97 Of course a fear (real or imagined) of powerful neighbours, who might or might not threaten Roman territory and subjects, could lead to a pre-emptive attack by the Romans, which could then become a campaign of conquest. 98 Frontier policy? 99 But it is worth asking if we can overcome this problem by taking a wider view based partly on comparative material derived from the discipline of defence analysis. 100 These were modiﬁed occasionally by individual emperors, who were essentially therefore taking rational decisions, which to some extent depended on perceived wisdom and practice, and amounted to virtually a common policy, at least in certain areas of the empire.
Galba raised a new legion (later VII Gemina) entirely from Spanish recruits. 48 Heavy war casualties could also play havoc with the normal system of recruitment. 49 Again, an inscription from Egypt shows the origins of 130 men recruited to legion II Traiana in AD 132 and 133. No recruits came from Egypt, 28 S O L D I E R S A N D WA R 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 44111 while eighty-eight came from Africa, ﬁfteen from Italy, one from Dalmatia, seven from Asia Minor, and nineteen from Syria and Palestine.