Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Shane Bjornlie

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© 2017 Jason Kan


In its lengthy history, Rome arguably did not suffer a military catastrophe greater than that at Cannae during the Second Punic War in 216 BC and at Adrianople during the Gothic War in 378 AD. Yet not only did Rome recover from both these defeats to win their respective wars, if Rome’s rise and fall were to be captured as a bell-curve, the two defeats would also be interestingly positioned on opposing sides of one another. This thesis will therefore assess the extent to which Rome’s recovery from military disasters can serve as a proxy to the “health” of the Roman Empire. In the process, the differences in Rome’s political unity, social enthusiasm and good fortune between the two cases will be highlighted and discussed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.