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The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180–395 (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) epub download

by David S. Potter


A striking achievement of historical synthesis combined with a compelling interpretative line, The Roman Empire at. .

A striking achievement of historical synthesis combined with a compelling interpretative line, The Roman Empire at Bay enables students of all periods to understand the dynamics of great imperial powers. David Potter's comprehensive survey of two critical and eventful centuries traces the course of imperial decline, skillfully weaving together cultural, intellectual and political history. Particular attention is paid throughout to the structures of government, the rise of Persia as a rival, and the diverse intellectual movements in the empire.

The Roman Empire at Bay: AD 180-395 (Paperback). Published December 24th 2013 by Routledge. Author(s): David Stone Potter. ISBN: 0415840554 (ISBN13: 9780415840552).

The book integrates social and intellectual history into the narrative, looking to explore the relationship between contingent events and deeper structure. It also covers an amazingly dramatic narrative from the civil wars after the death of Commodus through the conversion of Constantine to the arrival of the Goths in the Roman Empire, setting in motion the final collapse of the western empire. At its core, the central question that drives The Roman Empire at Bay remains, what did it mean to be a Roman and how did that meaning change as the empire changed?

The project covers the period from 50BC to AD565, thus including the beginning of imperial power, major .

The project covers the period from 50BC to AD565, thus including the beginning of imperial power, major transformations, and the last attempt to Roman re-unification. It is an excellent test case for analysing the formulation of power in a society that was dominated by tradition, but politically and culturally in flux. The outcome of the project will provide new insights in the political and societal structures of power in an important historical period, and can be used as a blueprint for analysing systems of rule in other changing societies.

A rich and multifaceted study by a world-leading scholar in the period, The Roman Empire at Bay portrays the transformations and continuities of the Empire and its government in the third and fourth centuries from an exciting variety of perspectives, and abounds in bold, sometimes contestable, but always stimulating interpretations. Potter’s book is the best textbook on the high and late Roman empire, above all because it is so much more than a textbook.

David S. Potter, the author of this current excellent history does not take such a long term view, but argues quite effectively . The time between Aurelian and Diocletian is "one of the most obscure in the annals of the Roman empire. Potter, the author of this current excellent history does not take such a long term view, but argues quite effectively that the Roman Empire evolved dramatically following the reigns of Commodus (180-192 CE) and L. Septimius Severus (193-211 CE). Potter uses considerable analytic skill supported by excellent documentation to trace how the catastrophic 3rd Century forced the Empire to redesign its governmental and military systems to deal with radically altered domestic and international situations.

The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180-395 (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) download pdf myebookpdf. com/?book 0415100585 David S. Potter s comprehensive survey of two critical and eventful centuries traces the course of imperial decline, skillfully weaving together cultural, intellectual and political history. There is also a strong focus on Christianity, transformed in this period from a fringe sect to the leading religion. Potter, the author of this current excellent history does not take such a long term view, but argues quite .

The book integrates social and intellectual history into the narrative, looking to explore the relationship between contingent events and deeper structure. It also covers an amazingly dramatic narrative from the civil wars after the death of Commodus through the conversion of Constantine to the arrival of the Goths in the Roman Empire,.

David S. Potter's comprehensive survey of two critical and eventful centuries traces the course of imperial decline, skillfully weaving together cultural, intellectual and political history.

Particular attention is paid throughout to the structures of government, the rise of Persia as a rival, and the diverse intellectual movements in the empire. There is also a strong focus on Christianity, transformed in this period from a fringe sect to the leading religion.

Against this detailed background, Potter argues that the loss of power can mainly be attributed to the failure in the imperial elite to respond to changes inside and outside the empire, and to internal struggles for control between different elements in the government, resulting in an inefficient centralization of power at court.

A striking achievement of historical synthesis combined with a compelling interpretative line, The Roman Empire at Bay enables students of all periods to understand the dynamics of great imperial powers.

The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180–395 (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) epub download

ISBN13: 978-0415100588

ISBN: 0415100585

Author: David S. Potter

Category: Other

Subcategory: Humanities

Language: English

Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 19, 2004)

Pages: 784 pages

ePUB size: 1303 kb

FB2 size: 1393 kb

Rating: 4.3

Votes: 586

Other Formats: lrf txt doc mbr

Related to The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180–395 (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) ePub books

Stylish Monkey
When Edward Gibbons wrote his monumental work, "The Decline and Fall of the Rome Empire", the "fall" Gibbons was referring to was that of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 CE. In his view the Roman Empire until that fall was undergoing an evolution (some would say devolution) into something vary different from the Empire of Caesar Augustus. David S. Potter, the author of this current excellent history does not take such a long term view, but argues quite effectively that the Roman Empire evolved dramatically following the reigns of Commodus (180-192 CE) and L. Septimius Severus (193-211 CE). Potter uses considerable analytic skill supported by excellent documentation to trace how the catastrophic 3rd Century forced the Empire to redesign its governmental and military systems to deal with radically altered domestic and international situations. Potter maintains that as a result Roman hegemony declined or disappeared in many regions, but that the Empire continued to be a viable force through the 4th Century and into the 5th Century.

It seems to this reviewer, at least, that although this is an outstanding history, Potter may not be entirely accurate in his depiction of Roman power through the 5th Century. An alternative view would be that the Western Half of the Empire gradually ceased to function effectively over the course of the period covered by this book and the structural reforms initiated by Diocletian and continued by Constantine were really institutional band-aids that in the end fell off, at least in the West. Such alternative views are possible because Potter not only documents his arguments, but where practical provides the reader with actual contemporary quotes. This allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions using this superbly organized book as a base.
Stylish Monkey
When Edward Gibbons wrote his monumental work, "The Decline and Fall of the Rome Empire", the "fall" Gibbons was referring to was that of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 CE. In his view the Roman Empire until that fall was undergoing an evolution (some would say devolution) into something vary different from the Empire of Caesar Augustus. David S. Potter, the author of this current excellent history does not take such a long term view, but argues quite effectively that the Roman Empire evolved dramatically following the reigns of Commodus (180-192 CE) and L. Septimius Severus (193-211 CE). Potter uses considerable analytic skill supported by excellent documentation to trace how the catastrophic 3rd Century forced the Empire to redesign its governmental and military systems to deal with radically altered domestic and international situations. Potter maintains that as a result Roman hegemony declined or disappeared in many regions, but that the Empire continued to be a viable force through the 4th Century and into the 5th Century.

It seems to this reviewer, at least, that although this is an outstanding history, Potter may not be entirely accurate in his depiction of Roman power through the 5th Century. An alternative view would be that the Western Half of the Empire gradually ceased to function effectively over the course of the period covered by this book and the structural reforms initiated by Diocletian and continued by Constantine were really institutional band-aids that in the end fell off, at least in the West. Such alternative views are possible because Potter not only documents his arguments, but where practical provides the reader with actual contemporary quotes. This allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions using this superbly organized book as a base.
fightnight
The Roman Empire at Bay covers the time between the reign of Commodus and the fall of Theodosius, the last emperor to control both halves of the Roman Empire. During this timeframe, initially demarcated by Gibbon in his first volume of The Decline and Fall, the Roman world was in a state of devolution. Power was increasingly centralized and the military was progressively unable to handle external threats. Potter views this era as not only a time of change, in which he analyzes many aspects contributing to Rome's "fall," but as a time of continuation. The Mediterranean was so successfully Romanized that even when Rome became an amalgamation of government and religion, everyday life carried on with only minor change.

The system of governance left to Commodus by his father Marcus Aurelius placed an enormous burden on the emperor himself. Of the emperor it was required a strong disposition, one capable of dominating others while effectively navigating the cult of personality that tended to grow around him. Inadequate emperors, like Commodus, let control fall to the lower echelons of government, namely the deeply conservative and unsuited equestrian class. Part of the weakness of the empire was this ad hoc governmental body that had no solidified or clearly delineated responsibilities.

The senatorial class, for instance, slowly lost power over time to the emperor. Inheritable for only three generations, its membership was constantly revolving and came to be divided equally between Italian and provincial control, allowing into power people previously subjected to monarchical rule. While his theatrics and senatorial executions ingratiated him with the people and the army, Commodus's assassination was the result of his failure to recognize the Senate still harbored rule. Of any emperor, it was required that he successfully navigate the three sources of Roman power: the Forum, the camp, and the palace.

Power, however, was heavily concentrated within the army and, upon his assassination, the military simply chose a successor as the Senate, devoid of influence, was unable to procure even a mock trial of appointment. Nevertheless, transitions of power in Rome were always imprecise and men and armies battled for control. Out of the resulting tumult and "chaos at the top" rose Septimius Severus, whose long reign spoke to his ability to negotiate the disparate pillars of power without overextending himself by relying too heavily on any one group. Upon his death, it was said that he told his sons to "get along, make the soldiers rich, and don't give a damn for anyone else."

Severus recognized that true power lied with the army. That Aurelius couldn't subdue the Danubian tribes or Alexander the armies of Ardashir was indicative of qualitative but unrecognized deficits in the fundamental military structure. The military was deeply conservative and virtually unchanged since Augustus. That there was any "grand strategy" of the empire at all was simply the idea that what was Roman should remain Roman, with borders determined by its limited resources. Imperial powers, Potter argues, tend to increase the efficiency of their rivals and then forget about them. Its size, training and composition were set by tradition and finances, not strategy.

Aurelian, the first leader of substance following the third century crisis, undertook a financial reform that effectively ended Rome's "gold standard" in favor of a fiat currency. This was done for somewhat less than pragmatic means, as Aurelian's intent was to demonstrate his power by removing coinage from circulation that contained the images of his rivals. So too, the true purpose of walling Rome was to demonstrate his power through a building project.

The time between Aurelian and Diocletian is "one of the most obscure in the annals of the Roman empire." Diocletian saw Rome for what it had become: a territory too vast to be ruled from one location by one man alone. Under him, Rome itself "ceased to be an imperial residence," as control became increasingly centralized in court bureaucracies and the emperor's cult of personality, the nexus of power now centered exclusively around the emperor himself. He implemented a collegial style of rule that allowed Rome to recover its world position, albeit briefly.

War between men in Diocletian's newly created positions of Augusti and Caesare effectively ended the Tetrarchy. Constantine's resulting sole rule culminated in a reassertion of hereditary monarchy. Believing he was in direct contact with the Christianity deity, he established Christianity as the dominant religion, the most dramatic change of this period and solidified further by the Nicaean council's decision to create a single definition of belief out of many disparate views.

Our ideas and understanding of classical antiquity comes from Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries and Rome, nearly 300 years later. Our perceptions are influenced by the cultures that followed, and in what light they viewed their forebears. Constantine's 31 year rule, further entrenched by his sons, forever changed the succeeding culture. While no man could make the Empire Christian, by allowing it to stand on an equal footing with polytheism the narrative of imperial power would come to be inextricably linked with Christianity.

Rome's ability to remain open to outsiders - be they Christian, provincial, or even removed from the lands of the Empire itself - was its greatest source of strength. Despite changes in political and intellectual norms, economic and cultural life would ultimately continue with only minor changes. The failures of imperial government during the later part of the fourth century would contribute to the decline of the empire's authority in the west, but in this vacuum regional powers were allowed to perpetuate the ideals of Roman society. Over the 200-year timeframe this book encompasses, the empire certainly grew weaker. But old forms were adapted to new realities. Rome was weakened but would not cease to be a power, and it was not about to disappear from the face of the Mediterranean world.
fightnight
The Roman Empire at Bay covers the time between the reign of Commodus and the fall of Theodosius, the last emperor to control both halves of the Roman Empire. During this timeframe, initially demarcated by Gibbon in his first volume of The Decline and Fall, the Roman world was in a state of devolution. Power was increasingly centralized and the military was progressively unable to handle external threats. Potter views this era as not only a time of change, in which he analyzes many aspects contributing to Rome's "fall," but as a time of continuation. The Mediterranean was so successfully Romanized that even when Rome became an amalgamation of government and religion, everyday life carried on with only minor change.

The system of governance left to Commodus by his father Marcus Aurelius placed an enormous burden on the emperor himself. Of the emperor it was required a strong disposition, one capable of dominating others while effectively navigating the cult of personality that tended to grow around him. Inadequate emperors, like Commodus, let control fall to the lower echelons of government, namely the deeply conservative and unsuited equestrian class. Part of the weakness of the empire was this ad hoc governmental body that had no solidified or clearly delineated responsibilities.

The senatorial class, for instance, slowly lost power over time to the emperor. Inheritable for only three generations, its membership was constantly revolving and came to be divided equally between Italian and provincial control, allowing into power people previously subjected to monarchical rule. While his theatrics and senatorial executions ingratiated him with the people and the army, Commodus's assassination was the result of his failure to recognize the Senate still harbored rule. Of any emperor, it was required that he successfully navigate the three sources of Roman power: the Forum, the camp, and the palace.

Power, however, was heavily concentrated within the army and, upon his assassination, the military simply chose a successor as the Senate, devoid of influence, was unable to procure even a mock trial of appointment. Nevertheless, transitions of power in Rome were always imprecise and men and armies battled for control. Out of the resulting tumult and "chaos at the top" rose Septimius Severus, whose long reign spoke to his ability to negotiate the disparate pillars of power without overextending himself by relying too heavily on any one group. Upon his death, it was said that he told his sons to "get along, make the soldiers rich, and don't give a damn for anyone else."

Severus recognized that true power lied with the army. That Aurelius couldn't subdue the Danubian tribes or Alexander the armies of Ardashir was indicative of qualitative but unrecognized deficits in the fundamental military structure. The military was deeply conservative and virtually unchanged since Augustus. That there was any "grand strategy" of the empire at all was simply the idea that what was Roman should remain Roman, with borders determined by its limited resources. Imperial powers, Potter argues, tend to increase the efficiency of their rivals and then forget about them. Its size, training and composition were set by tradition and finances, not strategy.

Aurelian, the first leader of substance following the third century crisis, undertook a financial reform that effectively ended Rome's "gold standard" in favor of a fiat currency. This was done for somewhat less than pragmatic means, as Aurelian's intent was to demonstrate his power by removing coinage from circulation that contained the images of his rivals. So too, the true purpose of walling Rome was to demonstrate his power through a building project.

The time between Aurelian and Diocletian is "one of the most obscure in the annals of the Roman empire." Diocletian saw Rome for what it had become: a territory too vast to be ruled from one location by one man alone. Under him, Rome itself "ceased to be an imperial residence," as control became increasingly centralized in court bureaucracies and the emperor's cult of personality, the nexus of power now centered exclusively around the emperor himself. He implemented a collegial style of rule that allowed Rome to recover its world position, albeit briefly.

War between men in Diocletian's newly created positions of Augusti and Caesare effectively ended the Tetrarchy. Constantine's resulting sole rule culminated in a reassertion of hereditary monarchy. Believing he was in direct contact with the Christianity deity, he established Christianity as the dominant religion, the most dramatic change of this period and solidified further by the Nicaean council's decision to create a single definition of belief out of many disparate views.

Our ideas and understanding of classical antiquity comes from Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries and Rome, nearly 300 years later. Our perceptions are influenced by the cultures that followed, and in what light they viewed their forebears. Constantine's 31 year rule, further entrenched by his sons, forever changed the succeeding culture. While no man could make the Empire Christian, by allowing it to stand on an equal footing with polytheism the narrative of imperial power would come to be inextricably linked with Christianity.

Rome's ability to remain open to outsiders - be they Christian, provincial, or even removed from the lands of the Empire itself - was its greatest source of strength. Despite changes in political and intellectual norms, economic and cultural life would ultimately continue with only minor changes. The failures of imperial government during the later part of the fourth century would contribute to the decline of the empire's authority in the west, but in this vacuum regional powers were allowed to perpetuate the ideals of Roman society. Over the 200-year timeframe this book encompasses, the empire certainly grew weaker. But old forms were adapted to new realities. Rome was weakened but would not cease to be a power, and it was not about to disappear from the face of the Mediterranean world.