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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > 14. THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE ~ CHAPTER 14 (400 - 445) (08/09/10 - 08/15/10) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

This begins the fourteenth week's reading in our new Spotlighted group discussion.

The complete table of contents is as follows:

SYLLABUS:

Table of Contents

Introduction xi - cvi
A Note on the Text – cvii – cviii
Acknowledgements – cix
Selected Further Readings – cx – cxi
Chronology – cxii –cxiii
Preface – 1 – 4
Advertisement 5

TOC – First Volume

ONE: The Extent and Military Force of the Empire, in the Age of the Antonines p. 31

TWO: Of the Union and Internal Prosperity of the Roman Empire in the Age of the Antonines p. 56

THREE: Of the Constitution of the Roman Empire in the Age of the Antonines p. 85

FOUR: The Cruelty, Follies, and Murder of Commodus – Election of Pertinax – His Attempts to reform the State. – His Assassination by the Pretorian Guards. p. 108

FIVE: Public Sale of the Empire to Didius Julianus by the Praetorian Guards. – Clodius Albinus in Britain, Pescennius Niger in Syria, and Septimius Severus in Pannonia, declare against the Murderers of Pertinax. – Civil Wars and Victory of Severus over his three Rivals. – Relaxation of Discipline, - New Maxims of Government. p. 127

SIX: The Death of Severus. – Tyranny of Caracellaa. – Usurpation of Macrinus. – Follies of Elagabulus. – Virtues of Alexander Severus. – Licentiousness of the Army. – General State of the Roman Finances. – p. 149

SEVEN: The Elevation and Tyranny of Maximin. – Rebellion in Africa and Italy, under the Authority of the Senate. – Civil Wars and Seditions. – Violent Deaths of Maximin and his Son, of Maximus and Balbinus, and of the three Gordians. – surpation and secular Games of Philip. p. 187

EIGHT: Of the State of Persia after the Restoration of the Monarchy of Artaxerxes p. 213

NINE: The State of Germany till the Invasion of the Barbarians, in the Time of the Emperor Decius. p. 230

TEN: The Emperor Decius, Gallus, Aemilianus, Valerian, and Gallienus. – The general Irruption of the Barbarians, - The thirty Tyrants. p. 253

ELEVEN: Reign of Claudius. – Defeat of the Goths. – Victories, Triumph, and Death of Aurelian. p. 295

TWELVE: Conduct of the Army and Senate after the Death of Aurelian. – Reigns of Tacitus, Probus, Carus, and his Sons. p. 327

THIRTEEN: The Reign of Diocletian and his three Associates, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius, - General Re-establishment of Order and Tranquility. – The Persian War, Victory and Triumph. – The New Form of Administration. – Abdication and Retirement of Diocletian and Maximian. p. 358

FOURTEEN: Troubles after the Abdication of Diocletian. – Death of Constantius. – Elevation of Constantine and Maxentius. – Six Emperors at the Same Time. – Death of Maximian and Galerius. – Victories of Constantine over Maxentius and Licinius. – Re-union of the Empire under the Authority of Constantine. p. 400

FIFTEEN: The Progress of the Christian Religion, and the Sentiments, Manners, Numbers, and Condition of the primitive Christians. p. 446

SIXTEEN: The Conduct of the Roman Government towards the Christians, from the Reign of Nero to that of Constantine. p. 514


Appendix I – 1084 - 1105

Edward Gibbon

Note: This is a group membership selected book.

The assignment for this FOURTEENTH week includes the following segments/pages:


WEEK FOURTEEN: Troubles after the Abdication of Diocletian. – Death of Constantius. – Elevation of Constantine and Maxentius. – Six Emperors at the Same Time. – Death of Maximian and Galerius. – Victories of Constantine over Maxentius and Licinius. – Re-union of the Empire under the Authority of Constantine. p. 400 - 445


We look forward to your participation; but remember this is a non spoiler thread.

We will open up threads for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers.

This book was kicked off on May 10th. This will be the FOURTEENTH week's assignment for this book.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library.

A special welcome to those who will be newcomers to this discussion and thank you to those who have actively contributed on the previous Spotlighted book selection. We are glad to have you all.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL


message 2: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Does anyone here think Constantine is lucky that Maxentius had an early death? Maxentius had far more troops and still many supporters in Rome at that time.

I wondered why Gibbon did not include Constantine's fascination over supranatural things, inc. his order for his troops to paint the chi-ro/labarum symbol in their shields. Or was it not that influential or worth mentioning at all?

And I also just found out that he's the one who disband the Praetorian guards. Good riddance. I think they'd been effective only until Marcus Aurelius' reign.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 26, 2010 09:55PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
It is odd sometimes what Gibbon includes and leaves out. He was selective. The praetorian guards were hazardous to the health of the Roman leaders whoever they were.

I think he portrayed Constantine in a more favorable light because he was the winner and Maxentius was the loser. Also maybe Gibbon considered this a religious symbol of sorts however far fetched that might be.

All the information that we have about Maxentius comes from sources that were allied with Constantine:

See this write-up which is interesting:

http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclas...

There also is an interesting paper that I found which discussed the blurring of paganism and Christianity within Constantine's belief system:

"Constantine’s beliefs were certainly complicated, and must be discussed. As we have seen, Constantine favored the Christian God and saw himself as a Christian.

However, after his conversion, his beliefs retained some pagan elements. This is not surprising, for during the time of Constantine the line between paganism and Christianity was blurring, and it would be easy for a pagan to confuse elements of the two.

First, paganism was moving towards beliefs that were also held by Christians. The pagan religion was becoming monotheistic, at least philosophically, and most educated pagans were also beginning to integrate concepts of morality and redemption into their religion. On the other hand, Christian beliefs could also be confused with those of pagans.

The Christian Church still recognized the existence of pagan deities, although it saw them as demons. In addition, the rituals of Christianity were similar to those of the mystery religions, especially those of Mithras. Finally, the Church often identified Christ with the Sun as an illuminating spirit – specifically, it referred to Christ as the “Sun of Truth.” This could cause people to confuse Christ with such deities as Sol Invictus, “The Unconquered Sun,” who was increasing in popularity among pagans. This last point is especially relevant in the discussion of Constantine, for Sol Invictus was the last pagan god to disappear from the imperial coinage. Thus it is understandable that Constantine retained elements of paganism after he converted to Christianity."


This is an interesting paper by a Stephen Murphy: (extract was from his paper)

http://www.janus.umd.edu/Feb2001/Murp...


message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Surprisingly I just purchased a copy of this new book on Constantine by Paul Stephenson while I was in Sydney this weekend;

Constantine Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor by Paul Stephenson by Paul Stephenson


message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) One section I have just read in "Constantine" covering the Roman Army and the Emperors was a quote from Tiberius that handling the army was "like holding a wolf by the ears". Which seems to be a common thread through the later parts of Gibbon.

Constantine Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor by Paul Stephenson by Paul Stephenson


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very true Aussie Rick. And I guess you had the opportunity to hit the bookstores while in Sydney (smile).


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