The Constantinian Dynasty - Five Successors, One Victorious Emperor

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The Constantinian Dynasty - Five Successors, One Victorious Emperor

The Constantinian Dynasty - Five Successors, One Victorious Emperor

The Tetrarchy, inaugurated in 285 AD by Emperor Diocletian, had been instituted mainly with the intent of mitigating successions tribulations such as those that had plagued the third century. But the system began to breakdown in 306 when Emperor Constantius Chlorus died in Eboracum (York, UK) and the army serving under him illegitimately designated his son Constantine I as his successor. The latter emerged, 19 years later, as the last man standing following a series of deadly rivalries between several determined candidates to the purple cloak. By then, the well envisioned experiment of the Tetrarchy had become a distant memory and Constantine I ruled the Empire as sole emperor from 325 until his death in 337.

During this crucial 12-year period, important administrative reforms were undertaken, and the Roman army experienced a major reorganization in its structure and composition. As the Empire was recovering its former military might, Christianity officially became the state religion.

Modern bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306 (Chabe01 / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Modern bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306 (Chabe01 / CC BY-SA 4.0)


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