["Invasions of the Roman Empire 1," created by MapMaster]
[Source: Wikimedia Commons]
As I mentioned in this post, the Roman Empire had really gotten too big to handle by the 3rd century. Though Diocletian and the others managed to deal with the problem, they did not solve it. The Empire was still losing control of its outlying territories. They didn’t have the soldiers to keep them, and in some cases there simply wasn’t a stable population in these areas to maintain them as Roman. Some of these new groups of people found places to settle down within such territories with the blessing of the Empire. The Roman army also started employing some of them as soldiers to maintain control of certain parts of the Empire, sometimes using them against other tribes moving into the same area.
This was a time of change for Rome, with all the complications major changes bring. The distinctions between citizen and non-citizen were blurring. Soldiers were often more loyal to their commanders than to the Empire. “Barbarian” culture was mixing with Roman culture, changing both ideals and way of life for people throughout the Empire.
Migration Period - Wikipedia