Malyugin O. Administrative Division of Late Roman Britain and the Problem of the Province of Valentia in Anglo-American Historiography

O.I. Malyugin*


The paper deals with the administrative reforms in late Roman Britain and the problem of the province of Valentia. After the recovery of the island from the usurpers the administrative reform of Diocletian was spread on Britain. Four provinces were created: Britannia Prima, Britannia Secunda, Flavia Caesariensis and Maxima Ceasariensis. The names of these provinces are found in number of ancient texts, including the Notitia Dignitatum.

Ammianus Marcellinus says about the creation of new province – Valentia – in 368. In historiography there is no unanimity on the question of the localisation of this province. Among the most popular theories are two viewpoints: 1) Valentia was created by the division of the province of Britannia Secunda; 2) the name Valentia appeared after renaming of one of existing provinces (likely Maxima Caesariensis) or entire diocese of Britannia. The solution of this problem is possible only with the discoveries of new texts (e.g., epigraphic).

According to most researches, sixth province – Orcades – mentioned by Polemius Silvius, never existed.

See full version of the paper in Russian.

*O.I. Malyugin — Ph.D., Associate Professor (the Department of Ancient and Medieval History, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus).

For citation use: [Malyugin, O. 2012, 25 March. “Administrative Division of Late Roman Britain and the Problem of the Province of Valentia in Anglo-American Historiography.” Yaroslavl State University, Centre for Classical Studies.].


Rada Varga, PhD. (Cluj Napoca) 27.03.12, 19:29

The topic of your paper is very interesting and intriguing. Unfortunately, I can only read its abstract and so I have two questions. First, is Ammianus Marcellinus the only source that names this province of Valentia? And secondly, which are the conclusions of your research? I know that the Russian full text must certainly address my questions, but as it is inaccessible for me, I would be grateful for your answers!

    Олег Иванович Малюгин, к.и.н. (Минск) 28.03.12, 13:44

    In sum the three sources name the new province — the Notitia Dignitatum and the Laterculus of Polemii Silvii apart the text of Ammianus.

    In my opinion, the Valentia was created by the division of previously existed one, likely Britannia Secunda, but data is not complete and the various considerations are possible — the western, eastern or north parts of former frontier province can formed the fifth British province.

Rada Varga, PhD. (Cluj Napoca) 28.03.12, 23:18

Thank you very much for the clarifications!

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