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by Jill Harries

eBook Imperial Rome AD 284 to 363: The New Empire (The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome) download ISBN: 0748620524
Author: Jill Harries
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press; 1 edition (March 7, 2012)
Language: English
Pages: 384
ePub: 1332 kb
Fb2: 1363 kb
Rating: 4.3
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Category: Different
Subcategory: Humanities

Jill Harries is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. This volume is part of a series of eight titles that make up the Edinburgh history of Ancient Rome, starting with its origins and ending with the death of Justinian some thirteen hundred years later.

Jill Harries is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. Series: The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome. It covers "the New Empire", a period that includes the reigns of Diocletian and his colleagues (or, more accurately perhaps, his subordinates), and also that of Constantine and his successors up to the end of his House. It therefore ends with the death of Julian in AD 363. J i l l Harr ies. The new empire. 1143 01 pages i-xviii prelims:Imperial Rome 26/1/12 15:40 Page ii. The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome. Cover image: Constantius II, AE-2, mint of Cyzicus, 351–354 ad. Soldier spearing a fallen horseman.

Start by marking Imperial Rome AD 284 to 363 (The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome) as Want to Read .

Start by marking Imperial Rome AD 284 to 363 (The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome) as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. How had it changed? The emperors were still warriors and expected to take the field. There was still a Roman senate, though with new rules brought in by Constantine.

Series: The Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome. Published by: Edinburgh University Press.

How had it changed? The emperors were still warriors and expected to take the field. There were still provincial governors, but more now and with fewer duties in smaller areas; and military command was increasingly separated from civil jurisdiction and administration.

Edinburgh University Press. The breadth of vision is impressive. Jill Harries' triumph is to place Constantine and his promotion of Christianity in the context of a fully-rounded history of the Roman Empire from Diocletian to Julian. - Dr Christopher Kelly, University of Cambridge.

As a dramatic and religiously significant episode in the history of the late Roman Empire, it has been the subject of much polemic from. The book offers a different perspective on the development often taken to be the distinctive feature of these years, namely the rise of Christianity. As a dramatic and religiously significant episode in the history of the late Roman Empire, it has been the subject of much polemic from Christian authors both contemporary and mediaeval.

Jill Harries studied Literae Humaniores at Somerville College, Oxford .

Jill Harries studied Literae Humaniores at Somerville College, Oxford (1969–73) and completed her PhD in 1981. Harries was appointed Lecturer in Ancient History at St Andrews in 1976, and Professor in 1997. She served as the head of the School of Classics 2000-2003  . Imperial Rome AD 284 to 363: The New Empire (Edinburgh University Press 2012). Law and Crime in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press 2007). Cicero and the Jurists: from Citizens' Law to the Lawful State (Duckworth 2006).

A distinct perspective on the momentous religious change in the region Diocletian (284-305) and his principal successor, Constantine (306-337), would rule the Roman world for over half a century and Constantine's sons would build on their legacy. Administrative reform encouraged the rise of a bureaucratic culture, provincial government was reshaped and became more hierarchical and the court became more structured. The period was also one of momentous religious change.

This book is about the reinvention of the Roman Empire during the eighty years between the accession of Diocletian and the death of Julian. How had it changed? The emperors were still warriors and expected to take the field. Rome was still the capital, at least symbolically. There was still a Roman senate, though with new rules brought in by Constantine. There were still provincial governors, but more now and with fewer duties in smaller areas; and military command was increasingly separated from civil jurisdiction and administration. The neighbours in Persia, Germania and on the Danube were more assertive and better organised, which had a knock-on effect on Roman institutions. The achievement of Diocletian and his successors down to Julian was to create a viable apparatus of control which allowed a large and at times unstable area to be policed, defended and exploited. The book offers a different perspective on the development often taken to be the distinctive feature of these years, namely the rise of Christianity. Imperial endorsement and patronage of the Christian god and the expanded social role of the Church are a significant prelude to the Byzantine state. The author argues that the reigns of the Christian-supporting Constantine and his sons were a foretaste of what was to come, but not a complete or coherent statement of how Church and State were to react with each other.
Comments: (2)
Early Waffle
One of the better surveys I have read concerning this period in Roman imperial history. Of particular note are the chapters on Constantine, on the reigns of the sons of Constantine I (particularly Constans), the chapter on the 'Imperial Women' of the period and on the relationship between the emerging Christian church and the imperial government. The discussion about Constans is particularly interesting since his reign and its character are often either dismissed or discussed in a brief paragraph in other histories of this kind. Professor Harries offers a good discussion of the politics of Constans' reign and his character and points out that the scope of the revolt against him on the part of Magnentius was actually rather small and opposed by important sections of the military. This latter aspect of the revolt is usually not discussed on other histories of this period. As a survey of this period, this book compares favorably with another good survey, The Roman Empire at Bay (180-395), by David S. Potter which also offers interesting detailed discussions on the politics of this period. As a student of the Roman imperial period, I am glad I purchased this book.
Anaragelv
This volume is part of a series of eight titles that make up the Edinburgh history of Ancient Rome, starting with its origins and ending with the death of Justinian some thirteen hundred years later. It covers "the New Empire", a period that includes the reigns of Diocletian and his colleagues (or, more accurately perhaps, his subordinates), and also that of Constantine and his successors up to the end of his House. It therefore ends with the death of Julian in AD 363.

I was expecting this book to be a comprehensive survey of these times of change, or of "renovation" (a combination of official "re-founding" and effective revitalization) as the Romans would have perhaps said. It is a survey, to some extent, but a survey that reflects the author's preferences and which is therefore somewhat uneven with a number of gaps.

The book is at its best when dealing with Imperial ideology, its interactions with religion (both the old gods and the new one) and its translation into "Roman law" which was more a collection of legal rulings on specific cases than law as we would understand it nowadays. This seems to be the author's preferred subject and area of expertise. It is certainly fascinating at times, if only because it shows what were the priorities and "hot topics" of the time, which of these topics made it up to the Emperors through appeals and how the various Emperors attempted to deal with them. Also included are enumerations of the cases.

However, while this will certainly be of interest to students focusing on Roman law, its legal system and how it evolved over the centuries, there is a price to pay: other topics get a bit "short-changed" as a result. This is particularly the case for two of them.

One is the Roman army and the military issues and challenges that the Empire had to deal with, more generally. Arguably, these have already been covered in numerous other volumes, and perhaps even "ad nauseam". However, they a treated in a rather off-hand and perfunctory way. The emphasis is rather put on the relationship between the armies and the emperors and the growing threat that coalescent confederations of Barbarians on the Rhine and Danube and a more aggressive Sassanid monarchy created for the Empire. Despite the focus on legal issues, there is comparatively very little on "internal" problems that may have affected the Empire's ability to survive, for instance the crisis in manpower.

More generally, the great absent of this book are the economics of the Late Roman Empire. Although the subject is touched upon in various places, for instance when dealing with the Senate, manpower issues and the army, or coinage reforms under Diocletian and Constantine, it is never really addressed comprehensively. Accordingly, there is nothing on the Empire's demographics, precious little on the causes of the Third century inflation and not much on how the Emperors dealt with this part of the "crisis" by largely reverting to a barter and a militarised "command and control" economy to continue to extract the resources necessary for survival. This is probably the greatest gap in the book.

It also appears that the author is more comfortable, or perhaps simply more interested, in some segments of the period. While not "bad", the treatment of the reigns of Diocletian and his successors and of Constantine seems at times almost perfunctory, especially when discussing their various reforms and which piece of them can be attributed to one or to the other Emperor. The author, however, seems much more interested in the reigns of the sons of Constantine. This is the case of Constantius II in particular, who is shown to have been better than what is commonly believed and to have implemented a careful and rather efficient strategy against Persia, even if an inglorious one, which allowed him to preserve the Empire's limited resources. Also of interest to the author, and presented in clear contrast to Constantius, is the very short reign as sole Augustus (some eighteen months) of his nephew Julian. The presentation of Julian's shortcomings - he is essentially shown as being delusional in most of his policies (and not only with regards to religion), as opposed to his much more realistic uncle - is particularly interesting and well done, without any apparent bias (or, at least, none that I was aware of). In both cases, however, the economic and social components are largely missing.

I would, for instance, have been interested to find something about the impact on the Western half of the Empire and its frontiers of the rebellion of Magnentius and the hard fought three-year civil year that was necessary to put a stop to it. I was also expecting some kind of general assessment about the state of the Empire's economy, society, finances, government and defences at the accession of Diocletian, at the end of Constantine's reign and perhaps also after the death of Julian and how these had evolved and improved or deteriorated. There was none of that, so I was a bit disappointed as a result. Three stars.