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The Empire of the Tetrarchs

The era of Diocletian and Constantine is a significant period for the Roman empire, with far-reaching administrative changes that established the structure of government for three hundred years a time when the Christian church passed from persecution to imperial favour. It is also a complex period of co-operation and rivalry between a number of co-emperors, the result of Diocletian's experiment of government by four rulers (the tetrarchs). This book examines imperial government at this crucial but often neglected period of transition, through a study of the pronouncements that the emperors and their officials produced, drawing together material from a wide variety of sources: the law codes, Christian authors, inscriptions, and papyri. The study covers the format, composition, and promulgation of documents, and includes chronological catalogues of imperial letters and edicts, as well as extended discussions of the Gregorian and Hermogenian Codes, and the ambitious Prices Edict. Much of this has had little detailed coverage in English before. There is also a chapter that elucidates the relative powers of the members of the imperial college. Finally, Dr Corcoran assesses how effectively the machinery of government really matched the ambitions of the emperors. The additional notes in this revised edition of the hardback contain details of recent epigraphic work and discoveries, especially from Ephesus, as well as an account of a long ignored rescript of Diocletian.
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Winner of the Kupiszewski Prize for 1999


With its undoubted authority and clear organisation, many will be tempted to use The Empire of the Tetrarchs as a reference book; they should not. Corcoran marshals important arguments carefully and quietly, and The Empire of the Tetrarchs deserves to be read from cover to cover. Roger Rees, Edinburgh University, Hermathena A general index and an index locorum complete a thorough and thoroughly impressive work. Roger Rees, Edinburgh University, Hermathena Corcoran enjoys the enviable ability to mine in the murky depths some of Late Antiquity's most impenetrable unaccommodating material - to unearth diamonds ... The Empire of the Tetrarchs is scintillating, valuable and, I'd wager, very durable. Roger Rees, Edinburgh University, Hermathena

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