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Early medieval notes 2
Crisis of Third Century
Diocletian 

Was awesome

Saved the Roman empire
Problems

Problem of succession – how next one chosen

Size

Urban and rural 

Cities draining country

East west imbalance

Armies – staffed by barbarians
Problems of replacing generations

Disease 

Death childbirth

Infant mortality
Problems in 3rd century

Invasions – Persian

Back as far as Heroditus

First western historian

370BC
Persia on till 7th century

Valerian captured by Persians
Danube and Rhine – bulwarks against Barbarians
Decius died 251 fighting goths
235 to 280 30 emperors

Some lasting months 

Assassinated by own troops – most
How choose

Sometimes family

2nd – choose

Other – military leaders 
Rome becoming less and less relevant 
Rome 271 Aurelian walled the city 
Third century

Ruled by succession of generals

Not rich

Hold senate in contempt

Not well educated 
Donative – reward from new emperor
Plotinus – flourished in third century

New Platonist
Big inflation problems
Romans didn’t have debt financing
Debase coinage – don’t put in as much silver or gold
Go to buy stuff – price 50% up as coins not good
Local elites – ruined

Sardis
People not interested who move in

Interested in religions that cross borders
Diocletian abdicated 305

Son of ex-slave

From Dalmatia
Under severe guidance empire reformed

Empire militarised
Changed in taxes

Change and grow army

Nearly doubled

200,000 to 400,000
No income tax as is based more on land than on salary

Admin values land, estates
Each 15 years change estimate

Diocletian improve mail system

Also more punishment for tax avoidance
Establishment of tetrarchy

Divided empire in west and east

Gets co-emperor in west he in east

And each has helper

Augusti – boss

Caesar – helpers 
Emperor distant glimpsed

Not appear in public

He’s a god

Throw yourself at his feet

Don’t look at him till he says so
285 Diocletian 

Maximian
306 brings down

Son of Augusti not appointed

Rebels
Fixed prices on goods – trying to deal with inflation
Gresham’s law? Coinage 
Fixed price

Legal price stuff is rubbish

Better stuff is more expensive on black market
Diocletian’s policies failed  

Tetrarchy

Fixed prices

Christianity
Liver told Diocletian Christians were responsible
Successful

Saved Roman Empire for 100 years

And east for 1200 years

People at time felt saved from disaster

Mosaic – a world restored
On whole things good in fourth century

Prosperous

Barbarians back

Persians back
Trier great in Germany

Milan

  

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