Caracalla and Armenia

Lee E. Patterson’s latest exploration of ancient Armenia has just been published in the journal Syllecta Classica.  “Caracalla’s Armenia” investigates the role Armenia played in the emperor Caracalla’s war against the Parthian Empire, Rome’s inveterate enemy in the East.  Many have speculated that Caracalla annexed the country as a Roman province, essentially to help secure the frontier before embarking on his Parthian war, but Patterson argues Armenian resistance prevented such an annexation from happening, thus impeding the emperor’s overall military objectives.  This conclusion is based on a detailed analysis of classical and Armenian sources, the latter presenting acute historiographical problems with which Patterson continues to engage in his longterm book project on Armenia.  The book will take a diachronic view of Armenia’s role in Roman foreign policy in the East, from the first century BCE to the seventh CE.


Subscribers to Project Muse can access the latest issue of Syllecta Classica at

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