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HI101 Lecture Notes - Crisis Of The Third Century, Civitas, Imperial House Of Japan

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Alicia Mc Kenzie

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A Flawed Colossus September 13th, 2010
Rivers were the easiest way f transportation. A lot of the major cities are located on rivers
Easier to do everything
Also serve as boundaries
o Rhine and the Danube*?
Early kingdoms and provinces were also bounded by rivers
Easiest way to mark boundaries between one state and the other
Structural Flaws
Distance and communication
So large that orders to be known from one side to the other
o By ship
o Took a number of weeks
o Never 100% guaranteed the order would be received
Roads were built
o So the army could travel
Dependence on civitas-unit
Municipality as basic governmental cell
o If the empire was a honeycomb, the civitas was a cell
Expense of the army
The army was the biggest budget unit for the empire
Troops would be stripped from one area to another
Complex and abuse-prone taxation system
To support the army was a large reason
Decurion's became tax collectors
o Decurions were municipal chancellors*?
Dominance of aristocracy in the West
States were larger
o They had to much power
Could buy their way out of taxation
Bribe officials if they were breaking the law
The Third Century Crisis
External Threats
Persians, Rhine frontier, 'Barbarians', tribal units
o Persians and the romans fought for centuries, perpetual war
Devaluate of the coinage
5% precious metal
o Silver coins were made out of bronze, coated in silver
Military Emperors
Effective military leader at the helm
The army started to produce emperors
o Lower social levels than the aristocracy
o Created instability
Political Fragmentation
Gallic Empire (260-273)
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