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I am interested in learning how cities in the later Roman Empire defended themselves.
I know that many cities and towns had defensive walls, but who manned the defenses?

Under whose command were the defenders?

Who was responsible for enlisting, training, and equipping these city defenders?

I understand that military units had detachments assigned to governors, but I assumed they were in the capacity of a bodyguard, not responsible for manning the walls.

And, what sources can help me further explore this?

Again, thank you guys in advance.
I think some of this was covered in this previous thread, and you might find more in here.

After the 270s, many cities were fortified and had military garrisons - either billeted troops of the field army or 'limitanei' type units. If a city was threatened the garrison could have been augmented from nearby forces - this seems to have happened in Amida, for example, with its large number of various legion detachments. There could also have been stationarii in the vicinity. These troops could perhaps have been supplemented by locally-raised militias - this was done in Aquiliea, I believe, when it was besieged by Maximinus Thrax, and there are suggestions that the population of Rome was armed during the siege of 408 (see the thread above).
This has a few passages from Malalas about 6th century wars with the Persians in which forts and I think a few cities had to be defended:
Ave Civitas,

I found a good answer in A.H.M. Jones The Later Roman Empire 284-602. Chapter 19 is devoted to cities and in its pages are described who is responsible for city security.

Thank you guys very much.
Ugh I need a copy of that book... why does everything have to be so expensive?
The copy I have I bought used through two different sources at two different times. I think my total coast was $60.00.

Do a search in Abebooks and Amazon. They both host good, reputable sellers and a zillion books.
Quote:I think some of this was covered in this previous thread, and you might find more in here.

These days I marvel at the knowledge that I seem to have had but a few years ago.. :unsure:

I was going to write about Synesius of Cyrene but I see that I already covered that a few years ago. So yes, commanders/governors could (illegally) draft their own forces to defend the walls. That often did the trick against raiders.
Quote:I found a good answer in A.H.M. Jones The Later Roman Empire 284-602.

Jones is a fantastic source, and his books are a good investment. However, in this case I'm not sure that he answers your question. Chapter 19 describes the regular running of cities: the various duumviri and other curiales are civic magistrates, as are the curator and defensor. The praepositus pagi and other 'police' officials are responsible for keeping order, not defending the city itself.

Cities were not often attacked, and so there was unlikely one single official responsible for defending them - that would more likely be the job of the highest ranking military, or at a push civilian, officer available. Larger cities might be defended by the dux of the province (as it seems Nisibis was in 350), or even a comes or magister if he managed to reach it in time (as at Amida), while in smaller ones the defence might be commanded by a tribune (the HA mentions Aurelian defending Mainz while a tribune, although this could be anachronistic). Only if there were really no military men available (and so no soldiers, probably) the local council leaders or city curator would presumably step up to the task.
There is also the famous case where the wife of the Emperor Valens rallied the defenders of Constantinople and paid out of her own pocket for the citizens to be armed and armoured and as a result the defenders of that city managed to beat off Fritigern and his Goths.