Roman Administration


Roman Administration/109/Victory in Hispania/1746 Fig 1 Victory in HispaniaVictories in Macedon (214) and Hispania in 206 meant that Senate then had to invent a way to govern a territories a significant distance from Rome.  Again priority was given to Hispania. It was 148  before Rome finally occupied Macedonia and Greece. The Senate decided upon ayearly appointment of a Governor,with the territory becoming known as a Province. Initially Governors were appointed in the first year after being appointed Consul. The appointment was for one year only which from the Roman viewpoint limited the opportunity for corruption and avoided the temptation for the governor to establish a breakaway state.

Military Rule

Roman Administration/109/early days/1729 The Governor commanded all Roman military forces within his territory. An inherent part of these appointments was that these forces could be commanded without reference to the senate. He had other functions. He was responsible for the collection of taxes, the planning and management of major building projects, keep the peace and administer justice. In the Roman system a governor was immune to any accusation of wrongdoing during his term of office but could be prosecuted for impropriety when his term in office ended.

A standing army

Roman Administration/109/Army/1748 For this never ending process of expansion and war, Rome needed a standing armyThe main benefit of Roman Citizenship for those other than the patrician class was the ability to join a Legion. Legionaries were well paid and after ten years service could expect to retire in some style. Initially the patrician class provided all the cavalry and the officers for the army but soon they could not fulfil both duties

The Equestrians.

Roman Administration/109/cavalry/1747 They reserved the officer positions for themselves and created a new social class  to provide the cavalry. This new class was called the Equites, literally the horsemen.  Membership of the Equestrian order was hereditary but dependant on wealth. Anyone who fell below the wealth threshold could be struck from the list. As time passed and the empire and the army grew steadily larger the Equestrians were allowed to take officer positions and wealthy plebs (honourable citizens) were allowed to become cavalry.  Thus from the very early days of the empire the cavalry were considered to be a step above the foot soldiers.

Wealth Creation

Roman Administration/109/Italica/1751 The wars themselves were an essential part of the Roman strategy, the increasing invincibility of the Roman army provided a clear display of the fact that it was better to be a part of Rome than fight against it.To provide control and improved cash flow as the empire expanded a proportion of the land in all client states or provinces was allocated to patricians. [/tab]

Cursus Honorum

  Roman Administration/109/Cursus/1749 For patricians there was a established and relatively inflexible career path which led to fame and fortune, or of course, death.The Cursus Honorum interleaved military and political appointments, starting usually with ten years service in the cavalry, to give the wide range of experience needed to ascent to Rome’s most responsible position, that of Consul.However after BC 218 the reward for pursuing the Cursus Honorum became the almost inevitable appointment as Goveror of a province after a year as a consul though the appointment was limited to one year a governor could accumulate great wealth during his tenure

In the East

. Roman Administration/109/Pergamon/1752 In the East,  Macedon, Greece, Rhodes, Pergamon, Bithnia, Pontus, Judah, Syria and Egypt were all remnants of the Empire of Alexander the GreatThey were Hellenic city states which in the aftermath of Alexander’s empire had become kingdoms. with the exeption of Judah, all had the belief that they were the rightful successors of Alexander and therefore in competition with each other. They all took part in the Olypmic games in which the pleasure of competing was accompanied with a desire to demonstrate superiority. Once the Romans had found themselves catapulted into Hellenistic politics during and after the wars with Carthage their tactic became to become Greeks, to become yet another successor to Alexander and therefore an equal competitor for Alexanders Empire.[/tab]

Client Kings

Roman Administration/109/Army/1748 To the Hellenistic states the concept of a King or Emperor having possession of the wealth and control of the populace was familiar and acceptable.  Absorbing client kingships proved to be a way of easing the process of Roman expansion.However the acceptance of client kingships plunged them into the intricate politics of the east. Overlayed on the importance of succession from Alexander, the Egyptians also believed they were the rightful successors of the Pharohs and the Syrians (Sassanids) believed they were the rightful successors to the Persians and the Jews believed themselves to be unique, a people chosen by God. A dangerous mix. Intermarriage, diplomacy, intrigue and treachery were all used as weapons in their struggle to achieve superiority. Nevertheless the Roman government seemed to work well in the east,  particularly across the Aegean in Anatolia.[/tab]


Accidental empire/178/Victory in Hispania/1725 Fig 11 Victory in HispaniaThough something similar was tried several times, the concept of client kings did not work in Hispania.

In Hispania the Eastern and southern coastlines had been conquered by Carthage and were occupied by Iberian peoples.  It was possible for Rome to substitute itself for Carthage in these areas.

The Celtic World

Roman Administration/109/High King/1750 The Romans quickly discovered that  the peoples of the central plain and the northwest were Celtic.  It was in Hispania that the  need for a different way of dealing with Celtic tribes was identified.

They cared nothing for the Roman preoccupation in distinguishing other states as “allies” (related by treaty), “subjugates” (fought and surrendered to Rome) or “Enemies” (no surrender but conquered). They knew that the end result was always the same, Roman colonies created  roman enclaves within their territory, imposed taxation and forced memers of the clan into service in the Roman army.However if a Roman Consul, General or Governor  beat them in the field or even if one of them could put a bigger army in the field than they could themselves, then they were prepared to submit and accept the victor as their “High King”. Even then the Celts demanded self government and distribution of wealth to the whole clan. It return for this they were prepared to co-operate with Rome but always as an equal.


submissionRoman Administration/109/Submission/1753  

What they could not understand was that a Roman High King they had accepted as a result of his prowess was replaced, usually less than twelve months later.In the eyes of the Celts the role of High King was personal not institutional so the new appointee had to re-establish their right to the role of High King. Nor could they understand the total change in character, ethics and strategy from one governor to the next.  The first governor could be considerate in his treatment of those he vanquished, others murdered indiscriminately even those who sought treaties with the Romans.


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The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.