This concluding chapter summarizes the main points of previous chapters, in arguing that the evolution of provincial command—particularly of imperium and the provincia—is in large part the history of Rome itself. As Rome grew from a village to a Mediterranean-wide empire, change became a normal feature of the Roman Republic. Because of this, provincial command was not a static conceptual monolith that remained unchanged throughout the republic, but a complex idea that was defined or made up by simpler ideas like imperium, auspicium, magistratus, and provincia, all of which evolved over time. As fundamental ideas of authority and responsibility individually evolved over time, they caused the larger idea of military command to change as well. In this respect, Rome’s concept of provincial command was highly reactive, in that it developed in response to Rome’s military needs.
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