HIST 210 - Lecture 2 - The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms

Lecture 2 - The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms

Overview

Professor Freedman outlines the problems facing the Roman Empire in the third century.  The Persian Sassanid dynasty in the East and various Germanic tribes in the West threatened the Empire as never before.  Internally, the Empire struggled with the problem of succession, an economy wracked by inflation, and the decline of the local elite which had once held it together.  Having considered these issues, Professor Freedman then moves on to the reforms enacted under Diocletian to stabilize the Empire. He attempted to solve the problem of succession by setting up a system of joint rule called the Tetrarchy, to stabilize the economy through tax reform, and to protect the frontiers through militarization. Although many of his policies failed--some within his lifetime--Diocletian nevertheless saved the Roman Empire from collapse.

Assignment

Brown, The World of Late Antiquity, pp. 11-33.

Course Media

Transcript

html

Audio

mp3

Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]