One of the most influential factors for the Roman policy in the Late Antiquity was the process of so called ‘barbarisation’ in the army and in government. Although, the position of barbarians at the court of Constantinople was never as dominant as in Ravenna, nevertheless one can point out some periods when their influences were strong. Quite often one can find barbarians in the highest positions of the Roman government. The careers of Bauto, Plintha, Ardaburios, Aspar, and others, can be an excellent example. This paper is going to be an attempt aimed at presenting if there was such a thing as a barbarian elite and if so, how was it created and how did it function?
How did St Patrick self-identify in his writings? As British? Roman? Christian? Irish? Or all of the above? The answer is all of the above. As Dábhí Ó Cróinín has remarked, it is unique to have an autobiographical account of what it was like to be captured by the barbarians, surely a ‘worst case scenario’ for a Romano-Briton of good family. Yet Patrick not only escaped from the land of his captors, he went back there and spent his life inter alienigenas, ‘among aliens’! His reasons for doing so are an opportunity to consider the uneven progress of Christian conversion.