History of Rome in Crisis, 235-284

Sunday, January 17, 2009 (tentatively 4:30pm)

Location: meet up in dorm, head over to Ryerson

Lecture by Keith Jamieson


Between 235 and 284 the Roman Empire endured a period of inner turmoil and external invasion typically referred to as the Crisis of the Third Century. Due to poor documentation and the empire’s survival, study of the third century was neglected until the past several decades in favor of Rome’s classical period (around the 3rd century BC — 2nd century) or the Western Empire’s collapse, but it nevertheless remains a critical period in European history. How did the Crisis begin, and what were its results? Can the period really be categorized as a “crisis”? In what way did the third century presage the Western Empire’s fall, and how were a successful series of soldier-emperors, unlike the puppet rulers of the fifth century, able to restore centralized control? Also, how many anecdotes about palace conspiracies and assassinations can be fit into about 50 minutes? The answers await at my talk.


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