The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine

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Harvard University Press, Nov 28, 2016 - History - 400 pages

“A genuinely bracing and innovative history of Rome.”
Times Literary Supplement


The Triumph of Empire takes us into the political heart of imperial Rome and recounts the extraordinary challenges overcome by a flourishing empire. Roman politics could resemble a blood sport: rivals resorted to assassination as emperors rose and fell with bewildering speed, their reigns sometimes measured in weeks. Factionalism and intrigue sapped the empire from within, and imperial succession was never entirely assured.

Michael Kulikowski begins with the reign of Hadrian, who visited the farthest reaches of his domain and created a stable frontier, and takes us through the rules of Marcus Aurelius and Diocletian to Constantine, who overhauled the government, introduced a new state religion, and founded a second Rome. Despite Rome’s political volatility, imperial forces managed to defeat successive attacks from Goths, Germans, Persians, and Parthians.

“This is a wonderfully broad sweep of Roman history. It tells the fascinating story of imperial rule from the enigmatic Hadrian through the dozens of warlords and usurpers who fought for the throne in the third century AD to the Christian emperors of the fourth—after the biggest religious and cultural revolution the world has ever seen.”
—Mary Beard, author of SPQR

“This was an era of great change, and Kulikowski is an excellent and insightful guide.”
—Adrian Goldsworthy, Wall Street Journal

 

Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 The Early Years of Hadrian
13
Chapter 2 The Late Reign and the Succession
23
Chapter 3 Peace and War at MidCentury
37
Chapter 4 The Last of the Antonines
56
Chapter 5 Septimius Severus and His Rivals
72
Chapter 6 The Reign of Severus
85
Chapter 7 The Later Severans
98
Chapter 13 The Failure of the Tetrarchy
219
Chapter 14 Constantine and Licinius
229
Chapter 15 The Structure of Empire Before and After Constantine
245
Chapter 16 The Constantinian Empire
265
Chapter 17 The Children of Constantine
282
Chapter 18 Constantius Julian and the Empire to Come
299
The Roman Emperors from Augustus to Julian
310
Persian Kings from Ardashir to Shapur II
312

Chapter 8 Eurasian History and the Roman Empire
117
Chapter 9 From Gordian III to Valerian
137
Chapter 10 Valerian and the Generals
159
Chapter 11 The Last of the Soldier Emperors
179
Chapter 12 Diocletian Constantine and the Creation of the Later Roman Empire
194
Further Reading
313
Bibliography
320
Index
334
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