Imperial Rome AD 193 - 284: The Critical Century

Imperial Rome AD 193 - 284: The Critical Century

Imperial Rome AD 193 - 284: The Critical Century

Imperial Rome AD 193 - 284: The Critical Century

Synopsis

A pioneering history of this period of crisis The Roman empire during the period framed by the accession of Septimus Severus in 193 and the rise of Diocletian in 284 has conventionally been regarded as one of crisis. Between 235 and 284, at least eighteen men held the throne of the empire, for an average of less than three years, a reckoning which does not take into account all the relatives and lieutenants with whom those men shared power. Compared to the century between the accession of Nerva and the death of Commodus, this appears to be a period of near unintelligibility. The middle of the century also witnessed catastrophic, if temporary, ruptures in the territorial integrity of the empire. Large portions of the eastern and western halves of the empire passed under the control of powers and principalities who assumed the mantle of Roman government and exercised meaningful and legitimate power over millions. Even those regions that remained Roman were subjected to deprivation and pillage by invading armies. The Roman peace, which had become in the last instance the justification for empire, had been shattered. Clifford Ando describes and integrates the contrasting histories of different parts of the empire and assesses the impacts of administrative, political and religious change. Key features:o Follows Rome's confrontation and conflict with a new world power, Sassanian Persia, in which two Roman emperors lost their liveso Devotes special attention to legal historyo Examines the changing nature of religious pluralism and the Christian persecutions

Excerpt

Rome, the city and its empire, stands at the center of the history of Europe, of the Mediterranean, and of lands which we now call the Middle East. Its influence through the ages which followed its transformation into the Byzantine Empire down to modern times can be seen across the world. This series is designed to present for students and all who are interested in the history of western civilization the changing shape of the entity that was Rome, through its earliest years, the development and extension of the republic, the shift into the Augustan Empire, the development of the imperial state which grew from that, and the differing patterns of that state which emerged in east and west in the fourth to sixth centuries. It covers not only the political and military history of that shifting and complex society but also the contributions of the economic and social history of the Roman world to that change and growth and the intellectual contexts of these developments. The team of contributors, all scholars at the forefront of research in archaeology and history in the English-speaking world, present in the eight volumes of the series an accessible and challenging account of Rome across a millennium and a half of its expansion and transformation. Each book stands on its own as a picture of the period it covers and together the series aims to answer the fundamental question: what was Rome, and how did a small city in central Italy become one of the most powerful and significant entities in the history of the world?

John Richardson, General Editor . . .

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