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FREE PDF É BOOK Aurelian and the Third Century é EYLTRANSFERSERVICES ☆ ❮Reading❯ ➸ Aurelian and the Third Century (Roman Imperial Biographies) Author Join or create book clubs – Aurelian and the Third Century provides a re evaluation in the light oAurelian and the Third Century provides a re evaluation in the light of recent scholarship of the difficulties facing the Roman empire in the AD 260s and 270s concentrating upon the reign of the E I wish there were books about the period Aurelian is the greatest Emperor in a 4 year span than everybody else Its the high peak no bottom just the depressing end of ALL Barracks Emperors

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Nd political events of the period from 268 to 276 Part 2analyzes the other achievements and events of Aurelian's reign and assesses their importance A key supplement to the study of the Roman Empi Watson's appraisal kicks off with a short introductory chapter on the third century 'crisis'; he notes that this term is hardly appropriate to describe what seemed to be very much the normal state of affairs over several decades The fundamental changes which occurred both within and without the Empire during this period are discussed and the effects they hadThe first half of the book is a narrative of Aurelian's reign the reconuest of the East and the victory over the breakaway 'Gallic' Empire Although Watson extols Aurelian's generalship it almost sounds like Zenobia's gains evaporated very uickly after a single defeat inflicted by the Roman forces; likewise the reconuest of the West was very much a pushoverThe second half of the book is an analysis of Aurelian's policies First the economic reforms are discussed Though Watson might regard Aurelian as a saviour of the economy I can't really see how increasing the amount of silver in the coinage from a little over three percent to a whopping er five percent could really have reinvigorated the currencySecondly the public works and administration are covered Slighly oddly in speaking about the walls of Rome commissioned by Aurelian Watson notes that they held off the Goths in 408 and 409 but not in 410 As any fule kno the walls held in 410 too; it was only because some of the occupants of the city regarded surrender as better than slow starvation that they opened the gates to Alaric's armyThird up is consideration of Aurelian's relationship with the senate and army Watson presents a valuable reanalysis suggesting that Aurelian had a very good relationship with the senate; many commentators have regarded this period when many officers and emperors including Aurelian himself began to come from outside the senatorial class professional soldiers working their way up through the ranks as one of conflict between senators and emperors Incidentally the potrayal of Aurelian as extremely cruel and a disciplinarian comes in for a bit of a hammering; his treatment of the defeated Palmyrans and 'Gallic' Empire seem relatively speaking to have been uite enlightened for the ageFinally Watson ponders 'the Emperor and the divine' I was hoping to discover something about precisely when certain practices came in such as wearing the diadem and prostration as I have seen a number of conflicting claims on this Watson is unfortunately no help here He does regard the transition from 'Principate' to 'Dominate' as a gradual transition making it impossible to cleanly divide two contrasting eras as historians have tended toWhilst Watson is clearly a great admirer of Aurelian and his achievements unfortunately he has failed to convince me of uite the same belief A decent if not particularly outstanding work covering this short but important period of Roman history

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Aurelian and the Third Century Roman Imperial BiographiesMperor Aurelian and his part in summoning them Withintroduction examining the situation in the mid third century the book is divided into two parts Part 1 deals chronologically with the military a This is a good and at times a very good presentation of Emperor Aurelian the Roman Empire and the so called “Third century crisis” It is written in an easy to read way The author’s use of numismatic evidence is extremely interesting largely convincing and particularly useful for analysing the kind of economic problems that the Empire was facing and how the Emperor tried to solve them Also largely but not entirely – convincing are Alaric Watson’s efforts to portray his hero for which he has obvious sympathies in a positive light and to identify the attempts of some of the sources to denigrate this emperor and his tremendous efforts The book is divided into two somewhat uneven partsThe first and longest is entitled “Restorer of the World” It focuses on the tremendous upheavals that saw the fragmentation of the Empire and its reunification thanks to Aurelian’s achievements hence the title of this review and this first part This title however was also a key piece of Aurelian’s propaganda The point here is that I would have expected Alaric Watson to demonstrate to what extent the sweeping and boasting claim to have “restored the world” was justified as opposed to somewhat excessive and I did not really find such a discussion in the book What I had instead was the impression that the author’s apparent sympathy from his subject translated into a willingness to take Aurelian’s claim at face valueThere is no doubt that the Empire fragmented in AD 260 under the reign of Emperor Gallienus and following the defeat capture and death of his father Emperor Valerian at the hands of the Sassanids There is no doubt either that it was Aurelian’s military skills and sheer determination that reunified the Empire There is no doubt either that Aurelian’s achievements were herculean especially when keeping in mind that they took place during a short reign of five and had a half years However what is somewhat missing in a thorough assessment of the Empire’s fragmentation and its causes and a thorough assessment as to whether Aurelian by forcefully reconuering the splinter regimes really put an end to the Empire’s divisionsThe reunification while real was also short term and perhaps also superficial and this is what Alaric Watson does not really discuss Attempts at break away regimes in Gaul continued for much the same reasons as those mentioned in the book There was one during the reign of Probus which he forcefully put down and there was the usurpation of Carausius during the reign of Diocletian at a minimum In the East Aurelian did destroy the “separatist” regime of Palmyra although one could also discuss whether and to what extent it really was “separatist” since Palmyra’s survival depended upon trade with the Empire However this did not solve unrest in the East including insurrections in Egypt which Diocletian had to put downThe second part of the book is about Aurelian’s internal policies His economic reforms are mainly about his attempts to reform the currency The chapter on public works and administration include his fortification of Rome while the chapter on his relations with the Senate and the army are largely about explaining the somewhat mixed reputation and ambivalent treatment that this Emperor receives in the sources The final chapter – “the Emperor and the Divine” – explores and describes Aurelian’s religious policy and in particular the cult to the “Unvanuished Sun” Sol Invictus which he put in place and which would inspire both Constantine and Julian during the next centuryHere again the contents are mostly good but only as far as they go Here again the author largely avoids discussions that would show Aurelian’s achievements to be less than stellar First Aurelian’s “economic reforms” mainly his attempts to reform the currency were essentially aimed at the army and at increasing the Emperor’s financial resources In modern terms this could be seen as an attempt to restore faith and confidence in the currency except that the aim was to restore the soldiers’ trust and to bolster resources to pay them This was achieved by cracking down on fraud and peculation and restructuring the mints but also by modifying and slightly improving the silver title in some of the issues The conseuence especially during the next two reigns was galloping inflation Aurelian is also shown to have reformed the urban dole Here again the Emperor’s objectives and intentions could have been worth a discussion Although Aurelian may have sought to improve the well being of his subjects it is as least as likely that he wanted to ensure that they would be no unrest when he was away fighting on the borders of the Empire A similar concern can be identified when discussing Aurelian’s walls around Rome In fact just about all of his “reforms” were designed to protect to put the Empire’s in a state of defence and to give the army the means to be victorious This and the extent to which Diocletian developed and pursued similar policies because of similar needs would have been worth showingAnother surprise is that the author has managed to write it while having comparatively little to say on the Roman army itself on its performances in the field and on those of its general and Emperor Aurelian is mentioned as being an excellent tactician and general but apart from the fact that he was victorious there is little discussion to make the case with the campaigns only described in general terms and not very much about the battles themselves Also somewhat missing is a discussion on the changes that may have started to affect the army and its euipment and tactics in particular Even the cavalry force that Gallienus formed and in which Aurelian served and then commanded could have merited a thorough discussionHowever there are reasons for rating this book four stars instead of the three stars that the previous comments would suggest This is because some of the limitations listed above in particular those related to the army have to some extent to do with unsatisfactory sources Not very much is known for certain for instance about most of Aurelian’s victories against the Germanic invasions and incursions across the Rhine and the Danube although his victories against the Palmyrean armies and his campaign generally could perhaps have been described in detailPerhaps one of the most significant merits of this book is to put pay to Aurelian’s reputation for cruelty and the blackening of his reputation generally It is also to show where this reputation comes from and why and how it was established and how misleading such a reputation happens to be He did execute some Senators because they plotted against him but so did the so called “good Emperors” such as Trajan or Hadrian Unlike them however he had little time to spare on establishing good relations with them and was much interested in the army and the Empire’s defences Simply put this was because he was that is he was a pragmatic soldier first and foremost and probably also a disciplinarianHe believed in Roma Aeterna and the traditional Roman ideology of eternal victory He would do whatever it took to turn the tide and make sure that ultimately the Empire would prevail and survive and this is exactly what he did