Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D. (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, Mar 3, 2003 - History - 470 pages
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Failure of Empire is the first comprehensive biography of the Roman emperor Valens and his troubled reign (a.d. 364-78). Valens will always be remembered for his spectacular defeat and death at the hands of the Goths in the Battle of Adrianople. This singular misfortune won him a front-row seat among history's great losers. By the time he was killed, his empire had been coming unglued for several years: the Goths had overrun the Balkans; Persians, Isaurians, and Saracens were threatening the east; the economy was in disarray; and pagans and Christians alike had been exiled, tortured, and executed in his religious persecutions. Valens had not, however, entirely failed in his job as emperor. He was an admirable administrator, a committed defender of the frontiers, and a ruler who showed remarkable sympathy for the needs of his subjects.

In lively style and rich detail, Lenski incorporates a broad range of new material, from archaeology to Gothic and Armenian sources, in a study that illuminates the social, cultural, religious, economic, administrative, and military complexities of Valens's realm. Failure of Empire offers a nuanced reconsideration of Valens the man and shows both how he applied his strengths to meet the expectations of his world and how he ultimately failed in his efforts to match limited capacities to limitless demands.
  

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Contents

The Pannonian Emperors
14
Pannoniastrong in men and prosperous in land
35
Pannonian Beginnings
45
Illyrians and Professionals
56
The Revolt of Procopius
68
Valens and the Ideal Emperor
84
The Long Shadow of Constantine
97
Punishment and Concessions
104
Valens Response to the Arian Crisis
242
Administration and Finance under Valentinian and Valens
264
Corruption Civic Administration the Masses and Agriculture
272
Economics and Finance under the Valentiniani
286
Recruiting Laws and Military Manpower
307
The Disaster at Adrianople
320
The Collapse of the Gothic Settlement and Disaster at Adrianople
325
The Reasons for Collapse of the Gothic Settlement
341

Valenss First Gothic War
116
The Gothic War of 36769
127
Some Principle of Late Roman Foreign Policy
137
Valens and the Eastern Frontier
153
Valenss Relations with Persia Armenia and Iberia
167
Historical Propaganda and the Eastern Frontier
185
Valens and the Maratocupreni Isaurians and Saracens
196
Religion under the Valentiniani
211
The Magic Trails of Rome and Antioch
218
The Arian Crisis and Valentinians Response
234
The Reasons for the Disaster at Adrianople
355
Epilogue
369
DATABLE EVIDENCE FOR VALENTINIANIC FORTIFICATIONS
375
SHAPURS ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURES IN ARMENIA
381
NATURAL DISASTERS AND THE REIGN OF VALENS
385
CIVIC STRUCTURES BUILT UNDER IMPERIAL SPONSORSHIP AD 364379
393
BIBLIOGRAPHY
403
SECONDARY SOURCES
408
INDEX
443
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Noel Lenski is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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