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The fourth and fifth centuries saw a profound change in the great Roman army What was once a predominantly Roman institution became increasingly barbarized a term used by historians for the Germanization of Roman culture with more and more northern peoples being used in the army which some modern historians claim had a negative impact on the Empire itself Many modern historians claim that this was a key factor in the decline and fall of Rome itself But to understand the impact this had on the Empire one must first look at how and why the army underwent such a change The army went from using German mercenary units as extra troops to the barbarians becoming the backbone of later armies Was it just a sign of the times or was it a forced situation as some historians have thought Or was it just a continuation of Roman tradition of synthesis and absorption of outside cultures Rome has always used troops from other cultures and adopted their tactics if superior to theirs In my paper I shall try to prove that the barbarization of the army was no different than what Rome had done throughout its history and that the Germanization had little impact upon the empire First I shall look at modern interpretations of the barbarization of the Roman army then move on to the contemporary sources From there I shall form the core of my thesis there was no significant change in the army and this led to no real impact on the empire In order to discuss the barbarians and their impact upon the army we must look first at modern historiography as it is a more concrete foundation in which I can build my thesis since modern historians have the ability of hindsight and seeing the whole picture rather than be limited in vision and scope like the contemporary writers Randers-Pehrson a modern historian states that barbarians in the army
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