Project #28901 - Roman Empire- Soldier Emperors

 

Week 6- Soldier Emperors

Answer the following question and then respond to two other posts:

Question:

Week 6, April 21: Well, this week it finally happens: the Roman Empire is taken over by the military for half a century. We now enter the period of the Soldier Emperors which lasted from 235-284; by some counts, there were 26 emperors in 49 years! Read up on this period when the whole system of successors, either chosen or born, breaks down. This is a very confusing period in some ways; hey, the Romans seem to have been confused quite often, why shouldn't we be? In any case, what some might consider to have been an inevitable result of the power held by the military seems to have reached its logical conclusion

Well, the military seems to be in control of the empire during this period. Or is it? Do you agree that the period of the Soldier Emperors was a half-century of military takeover?

 

Your Answer:

 

Victoria’s Post:

I feel like this part of Roman history is the imperial version of "Who's on First?"  You've got people all over the place declaring themselves emperor, seceding, being assassinated in favor of someone else who declares themselves emperor, it's hard to even tell who was actually recognized as emperor at any given time.  It does seem like the military had a lot of influence over who was the emperor though.  They were the largest faction and seemed to determine that someone from the military that was popular with the military should be emperor.  If that person didn't work out he was simply assassinated and replaced with someone else.  I don't know that you could call it a military take-over.  It seemed more like a frantic race to see who could defeat the most rebellions and usurpers.  As soon as one was defeated the military had to take care of another one.  How they had time to be "in charge," I will never know.

 Your Response:

 

Kenneth’s Post:

What an interesting period.  It seems that pretty much everyone who was an Emperor, claimed to be Emperor, or just caused instability, were somehow directly related to a military plot or assassination to gain status.  I think the continual change of military leadership or military influenced leadership was a product of the times. The military had been allowed to grow in regards to selecting and replacing Emperors for the past 50 years and wasn’t just going to stop. The instability on the frontier in the North and the East combined with economic problems in the Empire caused discontent in the military and promoted usurpers to continuously pop up. Now throw in no Dynasty to have structured transfers of power and you have set the stage for almost a continuous military coup. The frequent change of Soldier Emperor’s seems almost desperate on the part of the military.  I think this was partly due to lack of patience and lack of knowledge in regards to political leadership. Running an Empire is not like running an Army things don’t just happen in the short term as they would on a battlefield.  I honestly don’t think there was a lot of centralized control. The Emperors were changing out so fast it is almost like the Empire was being ran by an ideology rather an individual.  The basic fundamentals of what Rome was, were a constant regardless of leadership or duration of leadership so in the turmoil of continuous change the military held things together defending the frontiers and Italy itself. With the Senate pretty much politically powerless at this time and the military controlling the change in leadership they were definitely directly influencing control over the Empire.  During a half century the military put people in power and removed them just as fast.

 

 

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Due By (Pacific Time) 04/25/2014 06:44 pm
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