A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284-641 (Blackwell by Stephen Mitchell

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By Stephen Mitchell

The moment variation of A background of the Later Roman Empire positive aspects wide revisions and updates to the highly-acclaimed, sweeping old survey of the Roman Empire from the accession of Diocletian in advert 284 to the demise of Heraclius in 641. 

  • Features a revised narrative of the political background that formed the past due Roman Empire
  • Includes broad adjustments to the chapters on local background, specially these when it comes to Asia Minor and Egypt
  • Offers a renewed assessment of the decline of the empire within the later 6th and 7th centuries
  • Places a bigger emphasis at the army deficiencies, cave in of kingdom funds, and function of bubonic plague in the course of the Europe in Rome’s decline
  • Includes systematic updates to the bibliography

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The one surviving pagan historical narrative from late antiquity, by Zosimus, is missing part of its second book, which may have been suppressed by copyists as it must have contained a strongly anti-Christian view of the persecutions at the beginning of the fourth century. Some pagan writings are preserved, especially from the time of Julian and from Roman writers of the late fourth century, and the pagan philosophical tradition is also represented. But these were theoretical treatments that give little indication about the vitality of paganism on the ground.

What we do possess are three summaries written in the 360s and 370s by Latin writers who had held positions at court or in the army, and whose purpose was to provide succinct historical information, perhaps for oficial purposes. Aurelius Victor published a series of short imperial biographies from Augustus to Constantius, called Caesares, in 360. Eutropius wrote a Breviarium, THE SECULAR HISTORIANS 23 a history in ten short books from the foundation of Rome to the accession of Valens, which appeared in 369, when he held the post of a libellis and was the emperor’s magister memoriae.

This celebrated his victories in the Isaurian wars and his generosity in peacetime, notably the abolition of the tax known as the chrysargyron, when the records of debtors were burned in the hippodrome. 15 The Secular Historians Our knowledge of the events that gave an overall shape to later Roman history derives in the irst instance from the secular historians of late antiquity. Their prime object was to preserve a record of the successes and failures of the Roman 22 THE NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE Empire and its rulers, including the activities of emperors and senior oficials, of armies and campaigns, of diplomacy and power struggles, and other political events.

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