The Emperor Constantine

By Hans A. Pohlsander | Go to book overview

10

CONSTANTINE'S GOVERNMENT

We are not as well informed on the secular aspects of Constantine's reign as we would like to be; our sources and many historians after them seem to have been more keenly interested in the religious aspects. But some observations may be made.

Constantine's dynastic model of shared rule, as contrasted to Diocletian's tetrarchic model, can in no way have been efficient. When Crispus was appointed Caesar in 317 he was probably only twelve years old; Constantine II, appointed at the same time, was only an infant. Constantius II was only seven years old at the time of his appointment in 324, and Constans, appointed in 333, was either ten or thirteen years old. Only in 335 did Constantine appoint his nephew Dalmatius to the rank of Caesar; and at the same time he apppointed another nephew, Hannibalianus, to the curious post of rex regum et Ponticarum gentium, evidently after a Persian attack upon Armenia; he also gave his daughter Constantina to this Hannibalianus in marriage.

Constantine was largely detached from the Senate in Rome. This withdrawal of the emperors from the Senate had been going on for more than a century. In Constantine's case it became more pronounced by reasons of both geography and sentiment. Constantine established a second senate in Constantinople, a "senate of sorts," to quote one distinguished historian of Byzantium, Warren Treadgold. This senate functioned as an advisory body

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The Emperor Constantine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chronology xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Soldier Emperors and Diocletian 4
  • 3 - Constantine's Rise to Power 13
  • 4 - Constantine's Conversion 22
  • 5 - Constantine as the Sole Ruler of the West 31
  • 6 - The Conflict with Licinius 40
  • 7 - The Arian Controversy, the Council of Nicaea and Its Aftermath 48
  • 8 - The Crisis in the Imperial Family 56
  • 9 - The New Rome 63
  • 10 - Constantine's Government 73
  • 11 - Constantine's Final Years, Death and Burial 80
  • 12 - Constantine's Image in Roman Art 85
  • 13 - An Assessment 90
  • Appendix I 95
  • Appendix II 98
  • Appendix III 102
  • Appendix IV 109
  • Select Bibliography 111
  • Index 117
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