Final Draft Roman Essay # 2 DOC

Final Draft Roman Essay # 2 DOC - 1 JC Stiassni History of...

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JC Stiassni History of the Roman Empire A.D. 138-400 Essay Group C Dr Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe And Dr Micaela Langellotti Candidate number: N30732 Word Count: 2,501 Intelligence and cunning always overcome disarray and naïveté: The Story of Emperor Constantine and his impact upon the Ancient World In the early 19 th Century, author and philosopher Lord Bryon strived to capture the Romantic spirit of his age as a volunteer in the Greek struggle for independence against their Ottoman rulers 1 . Through this experience Bryon observed violence, corruption and disorder, yet believed individual passion could overcome unfortunate situations: “Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people 2 ”. This quotation can also be used to describe the uncertain and eventful times of Third and Fourth Century Roman Empire. After a long period of stability and prosperity from Second Century A.D. Antonine Dynasty 3 , the Third Century was known for brutal struggles between Roman generals vying for power, some were elevated to Emperor, but then assassinated by their armies 4 . In response to this prolonged period of confusion and disarray, Emperors Diocletian and Maximian restructured Rome’s government and implemented a ruling team of four Tetrarchs to help stabilize and govern its vast Empire 5 . This organizational 1 Terry Castle, review of Bryon, The Flawed Angel by Phyllis Grosskurth, New York Times Book Review April 13, 1997, http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/13/reviews/970413.13castlet.html?_r=1 2 Lord Bryon’s Quotation on Chaos: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/chaos_5.html 3 Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York Penguin Books, 2000) 9. 4 Alaric Watson, Aurelian and the Third Century (London: Routledge, 1999) 1. 5 Michael Grant The Roman Emperors (New York: Sterling Publishing 1997) 203. 1
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shift had lasting impacts on the Empire, and several key reforms were enacted: the Tetrarchs increased the number of troops through conscription and improved administration of provinces by assigning Roman leaders to manage smaller territories. Rome’s tax system was also reorganized, with a net effect to collect more revenue 6 . Yet, these reforms also fomented division among four different realms, and relations between co-rulers were often tense and boiled over into unproductive rivalry 7 . Constantine, an ambitious general, saw the inherent weakness which the Tetrarchy posed: four different rulers in charge of separate Roman regions, yet each without a military directly under their command. Constantine worked to remove the Tetrarchs one by one, and in 324 A.D. became the sole, unchallenged ruler of the Roman Empire 8 . His goals did not stop there. Soon after this triumph he began to plan for construction of a grand city to rival Rome as
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Final Draft Roman Essay # 2 DOC - 1 JC Stiassni History of...

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