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Was it possible to keep Praetorians under control?

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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Was it possible to keep Praetorians under control?
    Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 02:57

The Praetorian Guards which was established by Caesar Augustus to maintain control in the city of Rome ended up controlling many subsequent emperors.

Various emperors tried to keep them under control, either by reducing their numbers, or by bringing in their own guards such as Septimius Severus' Pannonian Legions.

Was there a foolproof system for the emperors to ensure they were in charge of the Praetorians and not lose control of them?

Or would it always depend on the strength and willpower of individual emperors?

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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 08:19

No, from the moment they first 'forgot' their primary duty of protecting the emperor and instead got involved in the rise and fall of Caesars, there was no putting that genie back into the bottle.

It would take a strong Caesar to keep them in line and to hold on to their support.

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  Quote Marcus Regulus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 09:54
The praetorians had one thing that many of the gangs had in the later republic -- Mob violence.  They were hard to control and impossible to disband.  There are times though that they do nothing because they seem to be pleased with the way things are going, but other times they just take Rome's fate into their own hands -- hard to control -- near impossible.
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 17:22
Constantine took care of the Praetorians pretty well. That ended it.

Was there a foolproof system for the emperors to ensure they were in charge of the Praetorians and not lose control of them?


Aug. also created the German Bodyguard unit that were more loyal than the Praetorians. Galba disbanded them, tho.

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  Quote Aquila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 21:21
WHo can control a huge group of armed men from getting what they want??? Hmmm, Superman? Anyways, it is a pretty good discussion, but with a really obvious solution.
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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 23:00

In China, generals in charge of the soldiers guarding the Imperial capital used to have great influences. They played significant roles in Imperial successions during the Han dynasty, Jin dynasty and Tang dynasty.

The Song dynasty emperors implemented a system whereby they rotated the commanders to different units, preventing the soldiers and generals from becoming overly familiar with each other. The founder of the Song dynasty should know - he was the commander of the Imperial Guards himself before usurping the throne.

The Ming dynasty resolved the problem by instituting a more fearsome organisation - the secret police.

The Qing dynasty prevented the problem by rotating the garrisons protecting the capital, and within the Imperial city, established an lite unit as palace guards comprising of scions of nobilities.

Though these three dynasties had their own problems, there was no record of their rulers being threatened by their own Imperial guards.

I thought the rotation system established by Caesar Augustus was a good one, but his successors failed to maintain it properly.

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2012 at 19:52
Short of disbanding them, the easiest solution would be to grant them concessions (pay rises, government positions, etc)
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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2012 at 00:36
Augustus when he formed the Pretorians created them as individual unconnected cohorts so they were no threat. It was Tiberius who formed them into a single unit under an ambitious commander, causing the problem.

As for handling the problem, Vespasian made his son Titus Prefect of the Pretorians. Problem solved. That being said the Pretorians apart from Aurelian never killed a good emperor, only the dreadfully bad ones so can be read as perfectly positive force in Rome.

Edited by Toltec - 22-Jul-2012 at 00:37
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2012 at 19:53
Originally posted by Aquila

WHo can control a huge group of armed men from getting what they want??? Hmmm, Superman? Anyways, it is a pretty good discussion, but with a really obvious solution.

A stronger group of armed men tasked with assassinating the leaders and purging the ranks of suspected traitors
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  Quote d' artagnan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2012 at 20:34
Because no Roman was capable of killing his father,

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  Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2012 at 00:26
Originally posted by snowybeagle

 

Was there a foolproof system for the emperors to ensure they were in charge of the Praetorians and not lose control of them?

Yes...it was called money.
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2012 at 03:46
What are similarities among those 2 flags with shields of praetorians in movie about Alaric 1 siege of Rome
and dead of last king of Rome,Honorius ?!?Smile

and


   You can find movie about praetorians shield on net....What did it mean than?


Edited by medenaywe - 22-Aug-2012 at 03:51
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  Quote maks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2012 at 05:59
I am thrilled to know if there is any occasion when any Emperor demanded the help of legions against Praetorians?
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2012 at 06:58
They changed Emperors same as in today secret services "games", they  change Presidents!JFK case is perfect proof for it.SmileIf you want doll on strings=marionettes you need persons with Dark past&pervert behaviour=addict or forbidden sexual wishes&group person...Other way:strings can not be pulled and doll has to be killed only.
Smile
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