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Queen's University
Classical Studies
CLST 201

Exam • Out of 100 MC questions – 60 are Augustus or later • General questions about emperors, events – ex. what makes Nero famous Continuation from Aurelian death • General about period of chaos o Had at least 35 emperors in 50 years o Foreign invasions so bad that even Rome threatened (frontiers weakly defended) o Some tribes settled inside frontiers as buffers. able to join Roman empire and army o Fragmentation, internal dissensions – no central control: general lawlessness o Plague of 250’s and 260’s leads to depleted army o Economic pressures – collapse of currency, denarius worthless (from 50% silver content to only 4%) terrible inflation, ruined trade o shortage of goods made prices increase o Troops wanted higher and higher pay o Decentralization shifts away from Rome in centre – 3 main power bases: Gaul, Danube frontier, East – Emperor wanted to be here Later Roman Empire • Sources o Sextus Aurelius Victor (Caesars) o Eutropius (Breviary) o Eusebius (Life of Constantine, History of the Church) • Transition from Imperial Roman history to Late Roman history, in the East this refers to Byzantine history • Attempt by emperor to deal with previous chaos • C. Aurelius Valerius Diocletian (285-305) o Ends chaos and takes control for length time, first time in a while o Rome had come close to collapse o Diocletian got rid of other two pretenders (284-285) o He was from Illyricum, son of a former slave! Was in Rome only twice in 20 years o Realized empire too big for one man, still problems on the frontiers therefore he created a new system to ensure empire’s survival  285 Diocletian (East): Senior partner aka the Augustus  Maximian (West): Junior partner aka the Caesar  Diocletian realized Maximian was weak and therefore appointed 2 other Caesars  Now: Diocletian = East (asia, Syria, Egypt), Maximian (Italy, Africa), Constantius (Gaul, Britain), Galerius (Balkans, Danube)  This is known as a Tetrarchy (4 man rule)  Capitals: Diocletian = Nicomedia, Maximian = Milan, Constantius = Trier, Galerius = Sirmium (NO ROME) o The point of a Tetrarchy established for military need, succession so that always have 4 people ruling – Augusti would retire, caesars move up, 2 new caesars hired o During this period – last great Christian persecution (299 on) o In 302-303 Christians banned from practicing their religion o By 303, Diocletian sick – him and Maximian retire in 305  Galerius and Constantius moved up to Augusti, need to pick 2 new Caesars  Flavius Valerius Severus, Galerius Valerius Maximinus , tetrarchy intact  BUT, soon all fighter each other for power, Maximian’s son (MAXENTIUS) and Constantius’ son (CONSTANTINE) thought they should be in power o Constantius dies in 306 – Army proclaims Constantine o 308 – Licinius, Galerius, Constantine, Maximinus o 309 – Constantine, Maximinus ruling alone with no Caesars….uh oh spaghettio o New alliances formed, but main power struggle between Constantine and Maxentius •
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