The Roman Empire at Bay: AD 180-395

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Psychology Press, 2004 - History - 762 pages
1 Review

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.

  

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Review: The Roman Empire at Bay: AD 180-395 (History of the Ancient World)

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Too short and cursory. Read full review

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User Review  - rnsulentic - LibraryThing

Dense, but fantastic. Read full review

Contents

Culture ecology and power
3
Government
38
Crises in government
85
The army in politics lawyers in government
125
Intellectual trends in the early third century
173
PART III
215
The emergence of a new order
263
The Constantinian empire
299
31337
364
Constructing Christianity in an imperial context
401
33755
443
35566
485
36795
526
change in the Roman Empire
576
Notes
582
Bibliography
715

Christians and the imperial government
314
Plotinus and Porphyry
323
Alternative polytheisms
329

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